This is an overlay I made of two maps of the area. One is from the 1800s showing the old terraced houses and the other is a modern one. The black outlines Birley Fields
This is part of one of the old Victorian cobbled roads that survived:
Birley Fields from this winter just gone:
Not so pretty I know, because it's winter. But this is what I found when I went there today:
The diggers have moved in. Sad times. I wasn't the only one taking photos either. There was also a very angry and upset looking lady who later went over to a man busy cutting up one of the London Plane trees and looked like she was giving him a hard time.
So here he is cutting up trees:
And here she is, hands on hips, not very happy:
To be fair he was only doing his job. It's not his fault.
So whose fault is it then?
My own university's!
They're building a massive new campus and student accommodation. This is the model of it in our library:
And here are the plans from MMU's website:
It looks like they're trying to be ecologically sensitive but there's no way that what they're proposing could be ecologically better than what exists now. Birley Fields grew naturally out of a pile of rubble, and it's rare (and fascinating) to find a place like this that has been left to its own devices for so long, especially so close to the city centre.
I just think it's a shame because there are so many ways this place could be enhanced ecologically AND for the community.
At least Hulme will still have its Community Garden Centre:
And I leave you with some lovely tulips from their community garden: