Spend a happy day at University of Manchester Botanical Grounds

Wed, 14 Jul 2021 17:33:00 BST

The University of Manchester Botanical Grounds (The Firs) is part of the Firs Environmental Research Station, located close to Owen's Park in Fallowfield. The site has been holding volunteering sessions in gardening activities, helping towards building the botanical garden for outreach, teaching, health and wellbeing and a place to support biodiversity on campus.

The Firs is home to the University’s ‘’Living Plant Collection’’ much of which is in the Range greenhouse, which is itself split into 5 climate zones: lowland tropical, cloud forest, arid, subtropical and Mediterranean. There is also a moss house, fernery, pond, vegetable plot, meadow, and a small orchard. This garden always needs work and upkeep. This is where our volunteer sessions come in! We have already started a series of sessions for students in collaboration with The University of Manchester’s Volunteering Team.

Oliver Hughes has been on hand to manage the site and support all new volunteers. He helps to direct which parts of the garden to work on - this might even involve ‘adopting' a small section where people can volunteer regularly.

Volunteering at The Firs is flexible, with people coming along as much as they want and is a particularly good option for those who have limited time to commit to regular days of volunteering, for those who live around the Fallowfield area, or anybody who enjoys gardening and would like to be outdoors in this peaceful place.

Professor Amanda Bamford, said: "The Firs is an oasis in the middle of Fallowfield, full of biodiversity, and a great place to unwind especially in the subtropical greenhouse.’’

Professor Giles Johnson, Director of the Firs, added: "The Firs is a really special place and with people across the University involved in volunteering here, we can make it accessible and special for the whole of the Fallowfield community."

A student volunteer, said: “Wow, what an incredible place! When can I come back?”

  • Check The Firs out on Instagram @uom_botanical_grounds