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Autumn in the Gardens of Whythenshawe Hall near Manchester, England - November 2014

www.manchester.gov.uk/info/200073/parks_playgrounds_and_o…

This beautiful park is set in 109 hectares of open parkland in South Manchester, with historic and ornamental woodlands, herbaceous borders, formal bedding, open grassland and beautiful wildflower meadows. It’s grounds have certainly proved to be beautiful over the past few years. They were awarded a Green Flag Award in 2011 and 2012 – the national standard for parks and green spaces.

The park is steeped in history and there are three Grade II Listed Buildings located within the park: North Lodge, the Statue of Oliver Cromwell and Wythenshawe Hall.

Its range of year-round leisure and educational opportunities for all ages includes a varied activities and events programme, with highlights such as the annual firework and bonfire extravaganza, the Wythenshawe Star Gazers meetings and other seasonal celebrations.

The park is easy to access by car or public transport and there’s plenty of parking on site. There are also a full range of facilities to assist disabled visitors.

Wythenshawe Hall was re-opened recently for the Wythenshawe Games and was so popular that we hope to open it on a more regular basis in the future – keep an eye out for further details on our events page.

Wythenshawe Park opens daily from dawn to dusk.

Where is the park?

Our address is Wythenshawe Road, Manchester M23 0AB

Directions

•By road: Leave M60 at Junction 5, or M56 Junction 3 (onto Princess Parkway)
•By bus: Bus 101 from Princess Parkway (heading from City Centre). Bus 179 along Altrincham Road (from Stockport direction). Bus 370 from Didsbury along Wythenshawe Road, or from Altrincham Interchange along Wythenshawe Road. Bus stops are located nearby on Princess Parkway, Wythenshawe Road and Altrincham Road

The main entrance to the park is on Wythenshawe Road. There is car parking on site, with a £1 charge at certain times of the year.

Additional telephone numbers:

•Community Farm: 0161 946 0726
•Courtyard Cafe: 0161 998 0821
•Horse-riding: 07876 555 528

Facilities in the park

•Athletics track

•Bowls

•Children’s play area: mixed age

•Courtyard Cafe – open weekends only October to March and 7 days a week from April to the end of September

•10 senior football pitches

•Horse riding

•Horticultural Centre

•Multi-use games area

•Orienteering course

•Parking

•Pitch n putt

•Tennis courts

•Toilets at Stable block and Horticultural Centre

•Veterans Pavilion

•Woodland and walks

•Wythenshawe Community Farm

•Wythenshawe Hall

For disabled visitors

•Toilets – there is a disabled toilet in the Stable Courtyard.

•Paths – the main pathways in the park are wheelchair friendly. Other paths in the park and woodlands have varied access depending on wheelchair type, disability and weather.

•Parking – there are designated disabled parking spaces in the main car park. There are also two spaces at the side of the Hall, by the delivery courtyard.

•Buildings – most buildings have disabled access.

Activities and events

Talks – are usually held on Wednesdays once or twice a month, for further information see the events calendar.

Education Programmes – Wythenshawe Park has produced a booklet of environmental-based activities. These can either be just for fun or can form part of a programme of learning for the National Curriculum. For availability, please call 0161 998 2117.

Health Walk – every Tuesday – 1pm and 2pm starts. Meet at the main car park. The walk at 1pm is for quicker walkers.

Second Chance Cycling Club – every Tuesday and Thursday 10am – 12noon. All abilities. If you don’t have a bike you can hire one for the session. Meet at the Athletics track. Please contact reception for costs.

Tennis – there are 8 tennis courts in the park, all available to use free of charge. There’s no need to book – just turn up and play. There is no facility at present to hire racquets and balls.

If you want to learn new skills or take advantage of tennis coaching at a great price, sessions are available for all ages.

Learn more about tennis coaching in Manchester.

Athletics Track – the athletics track is used regularly by a variety of local sports and athletics clubs. Due to the high demand this places on the facility, we can only offer bookings to groups and not individuals.

For information on how to book the track contact southareaccs@manchester.gov.uk

Other activities:

•Monday 5 – 8pm Boxing Club

•Monday 7 – 9pm Sale Harriers

•Tuesday 9.30am – 3pm Adapted Cycling with Wythenshawe Wheelers

•Tuesday 2 – 4pm PARS Running Group

•Tuesday 5 – 7pm Winston Runners

•Tuesday 5 – 9pm Manchester Harriers

•Wednesday 9.30am – 12noon Adapted Cycling with Wythenshawe Wheelers

•Wednesday 5 – 8pm Boxing Club

•Wednesday 5 – 9pm Sale Harriers main club training night

•Thursday 10 – 12noon Second Chance Cycle Club

•Thursday 5 – 9pm Manchester Harriers

•Friday 9.30am – 3pm Adapted Cycling with Wythenshawe Wheelers (term time only)

•Saturday 9.30am – 12noon Manchester Harriers

•Saturday 1-3pm Adapted Cycling with Wythenshawe Wheelers

•Sunday 10am – 1pm Sale Harriers

Contact details for the clubs listed above:

•Boxing Club contact Gina at royaloakcommunity@ymail.com
•Wythenshawe Wheelers contact Sue Blaylock on 07753 428 937 or visit their website
•Sale Harriers contact Dave Rogers on 07804 892 080 or visit the Sale Harriers website
•Manchester Triathlon Club contact them on 07583 742 652 or email mtc@man-tri-club.org.uk
•Winston Runners contact Margaret Carleton on 0161 998 3141 or visit their website
•Manchester Harriers email information@manchesterharriers.co.uk or visit their website
•PARS Running Group contact Joanne on 0161 230 1857

Historically, most of Wythenshawe Park lay within the Cheshire township of Northenden (or Northen.) The park we know today was developed from the Wythenshawe demesne, land directly associated with Wythenshawe Hall.

From the late 1300s Wythenshawe descended through the Tatton family, who established their residence at Wythenshawe Hall. The most dramatic incident in the Tattons’ long history at the hall was over the winter of 1643-44 when the site was besieged by Cromwell’s parliamentarian soldiers during the Civil War.

Robert Tatton, a royalist, kept the Hall in a state of defence but surrendered on 27 February 1644 after two cannons were brought from Manchester.

The site developed over the years, with various additions and changes to the hall and its outbuildings, including a walled garden, glass houses, and an ice house.

By 1830 a number of fields around the Hall were opened out to create an area of parkland. By this time the Northenden part of the park also included a number of plantations managed by the Tatton’s estate.

The hall and parkland was bought in 1926 by Lord and Lady Simon at a time when Manchester City Council was developing Wythenshawe as ‘The Garden City’, providing new housing for families being moved out of the then deprived areas of the city. It was given to the city, ‘to be kept forever as an open space for the people of Manchester,’ and was intended for the recreational use of people living on the newly built Wythenshawe housing estate.

Since that time the park has been a place of recreation, learning and enjoyment for the people of Manchester.

Horticultural Centre

Open from 10.00am to 4.00pm*. Admission is free.

The Horticultural centre was originally built to provide plants for use by Manchester City Council throughout the city. When production stopped at the facility the numerous greenhouses were converted into display houses, and several themed gardens and habitats were created to provide environmental education and fun for the people of Manchester.

The numerous permanent displays include the Safari Walk which features tropical plants such as banana, pineapple, tea, coffee and rice, interspersed with ornamental subjects, water features, an aviary, alpine garden and display of cacti.

The outdoor area is home to numerous gardens featuring heather, shrubs, herbs, trees, herbaceous borders, alpines and fruit set in a pleasant and relaxing habitat.

In 2006 a traditional Cob House was built which features a living roof. There is also a large pond and picnic area.

Gardening societies, social groups etc are welcome to enjoy self-guided trips. We also have an education pack for primary schools (contact the office for more details).

If you’d like to volunteer at the Horticultural Centre we’d be pleased to hear from you and we welcome individuals or groups. Call us on 0161 998 2117 for further information.

The Horticultural Friends Society is a friends group dedicated to the Centre – they welcome new members so if you’re interested, get in touch!

*The gardens are open daily and the Glasshouses vary seasonally and during maintenance periods.

Wythenshawe Hall was the home of the Tatton family for over 600 years, and is now owned by Manchester City Council. The Hall, and the surrounding 250 acres of park land, were given to the city by Lord and Lady Simon in 1926, to be enjoyed by the people of Manchester and beyond. The Hall served as an art gallery and museum until its temporary closure in 2010.

In 2012 Wythenshawe Park hosted a 9-day community replica of the London 2012 Olympics. During this time the Hall was open every day with a variety of cultural, educational, historical and fun activities for people of all ages. The event was a huge success, with over 5000 visitors to the Hall, many of whom expressed an interest in setting up a friends group.

The Friends of Wythenshawe Hall have been working in partnership with the council to open the Hall on a regular basis since. There have been Christmas and Easter open days and also a very popular Garden Party which joined up with the Big Lunch to host a community picnic with over a 1000 visitors on the day.

Please check our online events calendar for information on when the Hall will be open next. If you’d like to get involved, find out more by visiting the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall website. (external site)

Whilst the Hall was still an art gallery and museum a number of information sheets were made for the public to print off and keep. They contain information on how the rooms were used in the Hall as well as some pictures and much of this information is available to download from our website.

There are a selection of pages from the Scrapbooks of Eva and Alice Tatton, Room Guides, House Detective – a special guide for children and A Park for the People – Memories. There is also the Memory Box Trail, showing images from a special outdoor sculpture trail inspired by people’s memories of the park.

Community Farm

Wythenshawe Community Farm is a registered charity (charity number 515619) established in 1984, which has become one of the most popular facilities at Wythenshawe Park.

Opening hours

•Open 7 days a week

•11.30am – 4pm (April to October)*
•11.30am – 3.30pm (November to March)

*Please note occasionally the farm may close for training or maintenance.

The Farm, located next to the children’s play area, offers children a chance to learn about where food comes from, and all the elements of a working countryside farm within an urban setting.

As well as cows, sheep, goats, pigs, ducks and horses, we have a prize-winning herd of Hereford cattle. Our extensive breeding programme means that baby animals are often on site. Visitors can ‘meet’ the animals and (if they’re lucky) can see feeding time (this is usually around 3pm but times and availability may vary).

Historically fruit and vegetables were grown in the garden to supply the Tatton family at the hall, and the farm recently won funding to open its own shop, where they now sell a range of locally produced food including meat, their own seasonal vegetables, and eggs from the hens on site.

As well as just visiting the farm, youngsters can also become a Junior Farmer for the day. For more details please ask at the Farm Office or call them on 0161 946 0726.

Horse Riding

Wythenshawe Park Riding Stables provide a variety of riding lessons, escorted trekking, and horse and carriage rides.

They also offer Association of British Riding School’s (ABRS) courses and level 1 and 2 Diplomas in Horse Care and Stable Management through The Manchester College.

The Stables are a member of the Riding for the Disabled Association and has recently become Manchester’s first Pony Club UK Centre.

For further information, visit The Stables website, email wpridingstables@ntlworld.com or phone 07876 555 528.

Pitch ‘n’ Putt

The Pitch ‘n’ Putt golf course is open 7 days a week from the beginning of April to the end of October

Pitch ‘n’ Putt Equipment

Currently there is no equipment for hire and so no charge for using the course. The public are entitled to bring there own putting clubs and golf balls.

Woodlands

Thirteen separate woodlands have been identified in Wythenshawe Park, although one is inaccessible. There are many trees planted as woodland, but also avenues and individuals. The park is speckled with other, lesser copses, the largest of which is the Big Round, situated almost centrally. Bird lovers and botanists will find an array of biodiversity here.

A schedule of maintenance is slowly restoring the woods to their original prominence in the list of facilities available. Litter picks and involving volunteers from the general public, are an important aspect of the well-being of these areas, so if you would like to help, please contact the park on 0161 998 2117 for further information.

Fir Coppice A mature woodland containing Sycamore, Oak, Willow and Ash. An under-storey mainly consists of Rhododendron, Bramble and young Sycamore and Beech regeneration.

Gib Lane Wood On the eastern edge of the park alongside Princess Road, this is a large, well-established woodland with a broad species range and is crossed with paths. Gib Lane boasts a rich diversity of flora, from the prolific Lesser Celandine to the relatively rare Town Hall Clock. Main species here are Oak, Ash, Alder, Beech, Larch, Sycamore and Corsican Pine.

Mere Wood A mature woodland of Scots Pine with some Oak.

Nan Nook Wood: This mature and native woodland mainly consists of Sycamore with Beech, Alder and Willow also present, and there’s also a network of small ponds. The wood skirts Wythenshawe Road along the golf course and running track.

The Oval, the Middle Round and the Big Round: All of these are small, compact areas surrounded by grassland. Their amenity value and habitat value is high: all three are almost identical in character, species composition and age, with the dominant trees being mature Oak, Sycamore and Scots Pine. They also have a dense under-storey made up of Rhododendron with small pockets of mainly Sycamore regeneration with some Beech, which limits access.

Wythenshawe Farm Wood A woodland that is divided into two compartments, running around the east, south and west of the Community Farm. This woodland consists mainly of Holly with some Yew, Sycamore, Oak, Willow and Alder, White Poplar, Hazel, Cherry Laurel, Scots Pine and Rhododendron.

Wythenshawe Hall Wood This is a well established woodland consisting mainly of mature Scots Pine and Oak. The under-storey is made up of dense Holly and Rhododendron with some young Beech, Oak and Sycamore regeneration.

Wythenshawe Park North This woodland runs along the northern boundary of the Park in an east-west direction and consists mainly of mature Scots Pine, mature Oak, Lime, Sycamore coppice re-growth and young Sycamore, Norway Maple and Beech regeneration, as well as Holly, Rhododendron and Cherry Laurel.

Wythenshawe Park East This woodland is situated in the north-eastern corner of the park and contains mature Scots Pine, young Oak, Sycamore, Cherry, Norway Maple, Pin Oak, Lime, Horse Chestnut, Ash and Beech.

Wythenshawe Park South: A mature woodland with limited access and dominated by Crack Willow, Sycamore, Beech, Horse Chestnut, Holly and Oak. Ponds and a stream are present in this woodland, along with an area of amenity grassland south of the stream containing young Norway Maple and Horse Chestnut.

Friends groups

Wythenshawe Park has three dedicated voluntary user groups:

•Horticultural Friends Society
•Wythenshawe Parkwatch Group
•Friends of Wythenshawe Hall

These groups are comprised of local people who take an active interest in the park and hall by making suggestions, volunteering, raising money for projects over and above the remit of existing budgets, and generally providing an important link with the local community.

Horticultural Friends Society

The Horticultural Friends Society is a club for people with an interest in gardening. They arrange visits and trips, talks, a plant exchange scheme, and their active committee supports the Horticultural Centre in the park.

Membership fees:

•£15 April to March
•£7.50 October to March
•£7 for a second family member.

Member benefits include free admissions to talks (usually £2) and a seasonal newsletter.

Further information is available from Gloria Davies, Membership Secretary on 0161 962 8577. See the activities and events page for forthcoming talks.

Friends of Wythenshawe Hall

Wythenshawe Hall was recently re-opened for the Wythenshawe Games, hosting a range of activities such as Tudor Dancing, a Victorian Classroom and textile workshops.

There was a lot of interest in starting a Friends of Wythenshawe Hall group, so we have set a date for anyone interested in coming along to find out more.

Posted by SaffyH on 2014-11-04 21:50:19

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