The next stage of the development of Mayfield Park will see a see-through slide built right across the River Medlock.
Striking images released this week show the plans for Mayfield Play Yard, a new adventure playground filled with tunnels and towers.
The massive 14,000 sq ft playground will make up part of the wider Mayfield Park, the first city centre park to be opened in Manchester in 100 years.
The child-friendly space itself will be built around six towers, each reaching 10 metres in height, linked by crawl tunnels, rope bridges, and slides.
The star attraction will be the 18 metre-long slide that will carry its passengers right over the restored river in a transparent polycarbonate tube.
There’ll also be a 60-degree drop slide, racing slides, and a six-metre spiral slide at the new corner of Mayfield Park.
The chimney-shaped towers are a nod to Manchester’s industrial past and were inspired by an octagonal chimney discovered by archaeologists at the Mayfield site.
The plans also include wheelchair accessible play equipment, like tunnels, slides and roundabouts.
Stepping posts and balance beams through the green space will encourage children to engage with the wildlife and nature around them.
Mayfield Play Yard, which will be the largest public playground in the city, has been designed collaboratively by regeneration specialist U+I on behalf of the Mayfield Partnership, landscape architects Studio Egret West (SEW) and Massey & Harris, an independent play equipment specialist based in Greater Manchester.
Massey & Harris, which was behind two play areas at Heaton Park, is currently building the play area at its workshop in Stockport before it is transported and installed at Mayfield.
Huw Pritchard, lead designer at Massey & Harris, said: “Mayfield is a unique development which we are incredibly proud to be a part of. As a local company, which has been based in Stockport for more than 70 years, we know first-hand how important green space is to Manchester’s growing population.
“We were aware of the project from its very early stages and thought how fantastic it would be to be involved, so to actually work on it is incredible.”
Max Aughton, project landscape architect at Studio Egret West, said: “Our design concept was for an industrial-inspired play area within nature that will help to tell the story of Mayfield’s amazing history.
“We’ve chosen a simple palette of materials including steel and reclaimed brick to create an industrial feel which also gives the trees and planting a contrasting backdrop.
“The chimney towers resonate with historic skylines of Manchester and Mayfield. Together these features will create a sense that our young visitors are exploring an abandoned landscape where nature has taken over.
“This is a park which people will visit again and again and have different experiences each time they come as seasons change. For children especially, as their confidence grows so too will their use of the play area which features different heights and levels for all ages.
“The towers will sit amongst the canopies of some of the largest trees to be planted at Mayfield and this will give the children a real sense of playing within nature.
“Accessibility and inclusivity are at the heart of the design and we have ensured the entirety of the park and the majority of play area equipment is wheelchair friendly. We can’t wait to see the play area in action.”
Councillor Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, added: “Mayfield Park is going to be a major new green public space for Manchester.
“As a city which values our young people it’s perfect that it will include a play facility as fun and active as this as part of what it has to offer.
“We can’t wait to welcome Manchester people to this new attraction.”
Mayfield Park is due to be completed by autumn.
Featured image: Supplied
Kids & Family
Chorlton community rallies around local family in need after heartwarming appeal
A Manchester mum has been blown away by her local community’s kindness after posting an appeal on Facebook asking for help feeding her kids.
After her son’s Disability Living Allowance was changed, leaving the family waiting for a payment with nothing in the cupboards, Lisa Cerven took to the Chorlton M21 Facebook group to ask if anyone could donate some food to tide them over.
Starting by saying that she felt “very ashamed to be asking”, she continued to explain that her son’s DLA had been changed until next week – even though she was originally meant to be getting it this Tuesday.
She continued to say that she was planning to get “a nice big shop in” as both of her kids “eat a lot”, but as the result of her son being moved onto a new benefits system, they would now have to go without for another week.
Elaborating further, she said that “it has really really messed me up” and explained that she had “literally got nothing in”, adding: “if anyone has anything food wise spare I was hoping maybe you could help”.
The post continued: “My electric will be fine until Tuesday when I get £20 and we can cope with no gas for a while with blankets and stuff (please no hate).
“I have tried a few things and we got by until now but even if it’s just for my kids I don’t care about myself, anything will help.
“Again I’m terribly sorry for being cheeky, even any food banks that can deliver or are close to me that are open now, thank you.”
The post, first shared on Sunday, quickly saw locals pile into the comments section with offers of help.
From people running food banks offering to “send out whatever food you need”, to offers from locals to send a takeaway to the house and come by and drop off money for gas, Lisa has been inundated with support from all angles.
One person said: “Where about you are I will drop you some money for gas”
Another person said: “If you need anything I’m happy to help. Send a bit of money or take you do a little shop. xx”
A third added: “I can drop some fruit and veg off now if you message me”
A fourth said: “If it is any help I can transfer you some funds, it won’t be anything big but something enough for you to get yourself some warmth in the house as I don’t want you and your kids keeping cold in these difficult cold days to come.”
Within a few hours of the post being, Lisa commented underneath to say: “Turning the comments off! Had the most amazing replies! This community really is the best!!! THANK YOU to everyone xxx”
Speaking to The Manc about the donations she’s received, she added: “This community has been absolutely amazing.”
As well as a large number of people commenting on Facebook with offers of help, others sent messages of solidarity and support for her situation.
One person wrote: “You’ve got nothing to be ashamed of it’s the Government that should be ashamed. Bless you I hope you get what you need and even more to help you along a bit.”
Another said: “Lisa Cerven please please don’t feel ashamed for asking for help! I admire you for reaching out. Times are so hard at the moment, it shouldn’t be happening but it is.
“It looks like you’ve had lots of offers of help from the community since you’ve posted this but if you don’t manage to get what you need please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll help where I can. Sending you my love xxxx”
A third added: “Pls never feel ashamed to ask Lisa, if you can’t rely on your community then we are in a dire state. x”
A fourth said: “I have spoken with this lady tonight and I must say I’m so proud of our local community who have helped her. It means so much to her and her kids and it’s took a lot for her to ask.”
Feature image – Commons Wikimedia
She wrote: “Hi I feel very ashamed to be asking but my sons dla has been changed until next week.
“I was meant to get it on Tuesday and was meant to get a nice big shop in both
Kids & Family
Hollywood megastar Leonardo DiCaprio heaps praise on Chester Zoo for ‘bringing fish back from the dead’
Actual Leonardo DiCaprio has publicly praised Chester Zoo for its conservation work, which saw a fish species ‘brought back from the dead’.
The Oscar-winning megastar and keen environmentalist posted on Instagram to his 55.6m followers to talk about golden skiffia fish.
The fish species hasn’t been seen in its native central-western Mexico since the 1990s, but 1,200 were successfully bred and released into the Teuchitlan River this month.
The reintroduction of the fish coincided with the country’s Day of the Dead celebrations.
Leo wrote: “This year’s Day of the Dead celebrations included a unique ‘resurrection’ in Jalisco, Mexico, where conservationists released more than 1,000 Golden Skiffia into the fish’s native range in the Teuchitlán River.
“The freshwater fish had not been documented in the wild since the late 1990s. The events, in the midst of Mexico’s #DayoftheDead celebrations, included formal speeches, traditional dances and the official release of the fish.
“Bringing the species back from the ‘dead’ is the result of collaborative conservation work between Michoacan University of Mexico, @chesterzoo, the Goodeid Working Group and @Shoal_Org (a program of @Rewild and @synchearth).”
Paul Bamford, regional programme manager for Latin America at Chester Zoo, added: “This project is a great example of how zoos can contribute to conservation in the field through conservation breeding and research, utilising the skills and experience that have been developed in zoos to help strengthen existing and new wild populations.
“By supporting freshwater conservation in Mexico and the ecosystems where the fish live, we’re not only protecting biodiversity and the wellbeing of freshwater environments, but also the people and communities that live alongside them.”
Omar Domínguez-Domínguez, a professor and researcher from the Michoacan University of Mexico, who is leading the golden skiffia reintroduction, said: “The Day of the Dead is a traditional Mexican celebration, when it is believed that people’s deceased ancestors return to the land of the living for one night, to talk and spend time with their families.
“Releasing the golden skiffia at this time is a metaphor for how the species has come back from the dead to return to its home, not for one night, but forever.
“Releasing this species back into the wild is a light of hope for this wonderful family of fishes – the goodeids – and for the conservation of freshwater fish more generally. Knowing that universities, zoos and aquarists can come together to fix some of what has been destroyed and return to nature some of what has been lost is an amazing thing.”
The skaffia was pushed to extinction by dam construction, water extraction, pollution and the introduction of invasive species.
Conservationists hope that the fish being released will ultimately result in a healthy, self-sustaining population that can fulfil its important natural role in the ecosystem of eating algae and mosquito larvae, which helps keep populations of those species in check.