Salford’s own Secret Garden gets transformed

Work to improve Islington Park, Salford will start at the end of May.

The city centre park is being upgraded to provide a green oasis for nearby residents, make walking and cycling through it easier and join it to the Greater Manchester Bee Network which will be the largest network of off-road walking and cycling routes in the UK when complete.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority awarded Salford City Council £683,249 for the improvements.

Councillor Mike McCusker lead member for planning and sustainable development, said: “The paths, cycle routes and lighting through the park will be upgraded along with the lawn and an area for pop up events or a café will be added.

“More seating will be added, new trees planted to soak up rainfall, more plants including seasonal wildflowers which will benefit wildlife and landscaping will make it an even more pleasant place to relax.

“We’re adding cycle parking which includes Salford’s first stands for cargo bikes. We have an e-cargo bike library at Manchester Bikes in nearby Chapel Street to help more businesses try a green alternative to deliveries.”

Islington park mosaic

Islington Park houses a mosaic which local school children designed in 1992 to commemorate Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of the classic children’s novel The Secret Garden. Frances lived nearby as a child before emigrating to America and published the book in 1911, drawing on her memories of England.

Councillor McCusker added: “Unfortunately, after 30 years of weathering, damage and many, many repairs the mosaic has reached the end of its life but we will preserve parts of it in feature walls, so it lives on for future generations. We will also work with local children to create new mosaic designs which will be printed on aluminium.”

Nearby footpaths will remain open but the park itself will be closed during the work which is expected to finish in September.

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Date published
Friday 13 May 2022

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