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SAVE POMONA FESTIVAL SEES FLORA AND WILDLIFE FLOURISH
 

Star date: 16th August 2015

PEEL HOLDINGS HAS FIGHT ON ITS HANDS AS SAVE POMONA CAMPAIGN STRENGTHENS

Yesterday, the Save Pomona campaign held a Pomona Festival to show the community the wildlife and flora that is thriving in the abandoned dockland, just across the border of Salford into Trafford.

Peel Holdings wants to build two incredibly ugly blocks of flats on the site but campaigners are fighting the plans and running urban safaris around the land. During yesterday's Festival, bees, butterflies, rare species of plants and birds were spotted as the fight to Save Pomona intensifies.

Full details here...


Save Pomona Festival Save Pomona Festival Save Pomona Festival
Save Pomona Festival Save Pomona Festival Save Pomona Festival
Save Pomona Festival Save Pomona Festival Save Pomona Festival
Save Pomona Festival Save Pomona Festival Save Pomona Festival
Save Pomona Festival Save Pomona Festival Save Pomona Festival
Save Pomona Festival Peel Holdings' Pomona
click image to enlarge

Last Thursday, campaigners aiming to save the old dockland site across the Manchester Ship Canal from Ordsall held a Pomona Day, and yesterday it was the Pomona Festival as the community turned out to view the wildlife and flora that has sprung up on the abandoned dockland site.

Developer, Peel Holdings, which owns the land, wants to concrete over what is now an urban oasis and build two unbelievably ugly blocks of flats on Pomona – but ecologists, bird spotters and the local community want to preserve what they call our `Garden of Eden', which sits right on the boundaries of Salford and Trafford, next to Manchester City Centre.

For years Pomona has been a kind of hidden unofficial green park used by bird spotters, joggers, ecologists, dog walkers, blackberry pickers and casual walkers, all now horrified that Peel can destroy it to build yet more profits. Yesterday's urban safari highlighted the amount of bees, butterflies, birds and plant species that have homed on the land.

"On wasteland areas like this it seems like there's not a lot going on, that they're just scrubby kinds of plants and bits of concrete and things, but because it's undisturbed means that there's actually a huge variety of plants here and wildlife that visits" explained Molly Bushell, a plant science student at the University of Manchester

"It's an important habitat for migrating birds and a refuge for bees and butterflies" she added "There are bee orchids here and yellow-wort, and there's maybe only two places in Manchester where they are found. The last thing they should do is concrete it and put flats on it. They should preserve it as either a Site of Biological Importance or biologically protect it as an interesting place to visit."

The Greater Manchester Ecology Unit hasn't deemed Pomona a Site of Biological Importance (SBI), despite very detailed reports that have been submitted on the amount of breeding bird sites, wildlife and flora present, including 150 plant species.

"We are here to show our love for Pomona Docks and also because Manchester is the European City of Science we are basically promoting Pomona as a wildlife site, rather than a concrete jungle like everywhere else" explained James Walsh of the Manchester Ship Canal World Heritage Group

"There's swifts and sand martins here from Africa, cormorants and mute swans, both part of the Big Five...there's kingfishers; people are seeing otters here, people are reporting water voles; there's warblers passing through, hundreds of house sparrows using the site, hundreds of starlings, lots of goldfinches, a rare bird called the garden warbler has just been seen; there's a spotted fly catcher too..." he said

"There's also loads and loads of flowers... heather, sea buckthorn; really unusual flowers to have in an urban setting and that's always the point – it's an urban site and it's amazing to see these sort of things, and to see skylarks and breeding lapwings so close to a city centre" James added "We want to try and preserve it for future generations of Salfordians, Mancunians and people from Trafford. We're getting in touch with the Eden project in Cornwall; they've got one down south why can't we have one in the north? This is an ecologist's paradise, our Garden of Eden..."

The Heritage Group is calling for a Public Inquiry into Pomona (see here). In the meantime, Peel Holdings' plans are due to be considered by Trafford Council in the coming weeks and people can send in objections to...

Richard gore (Planning Officer) Richard.gore@trafford.gov.uk

Development Control development.control@trafford.gov.uk

Strategic Planning strategic.planning@trafford.gov.uk

There's also a petition with over 1,500 signatures calling on the plans to be put on hold "until viable social and environmentally sustainable alternatives can be put forward" – sign it here.


• For more background see previous Salford Star article – click here


Photos by Anya S Kingston

Norfolkandgood wrote
at 07:26:13 on 21 August 2015
Find those great crested newts...they are a protected species!
 
caroline gray wrote
at 06:42:53 on 19 August 2015
i agee with nofolk..if they are bats u win ....the flats will be rubbish bulit as they do now..no one needs this
 
Nofolkandgood wrote
at 07:39:25 on 18 August 2015
It's an unknown piece of Manchester that should be left to nature. There is hardly any green spaces between Manchester and Salford. Another pair of unaffordable flats that ordinary people can't afford and ultimately end up unsold or go to buy to let investors who'll charge an absolute fortune in rents. It's a breath a fresh air to see Pomona turned over to a nature reserve. Leave it be.
 
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