Rylands' Longford legacy could be lost

The eastern skyline of the Longford Park Conservation Area is dominated by a row of tall, impressive boundary trees which not only mark the perimeter of the Longford estate but also the line of the Parliamentary and local authority boundaries between Manchester and Trafford. There are 10 of these mature trees in total. They stand proud, overshadowing the surrounding foliage, reaching a grand height of approximately 100 feet. Their sturdy trunks are about 4 feet in diameter and, from historical maps of the estate, these trees can be dated to between 1885 and 1892, making them around 130 years old.

Response to MMU site investigations

The Friends of Ryebank Fields’ have produced a leaflet in response to Manchester Metropolitan University’s site investigation reports. We will be delivering copies of the leaflet to the surrounding area in both Chorlton and Firswood. The contaminated and unstable state of the land should be a material consideration at the planning stage. Please share this information far and wide and if you can help deliver leaflets please let us know.

MMU site investigation reports

Manchester Metropolitan University have now published their site investigation reports for Ryebank Fields as follows: Human Health Report Asbestos Management Report Bulk analysis Air monitoring test Arboricultural Impact Assessment Ecological Appraisal Archaeological Assessment Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Utilities Assessment Flood Risk Statement and Drainage Strategy Geoenvironmental assessment I Geoenvironmental assessment II Topographical surveys

University of Manchester report on Ryebank Fields

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) have now stated that they will commence marketing Ryebank Fields sometime in Autumn/Winter 2020 and their preferred developer will then submit a planning application at some point. We would like to share the following document, “A Working Research Report on Ryebank Fields: Its uses and impacts”. It has been written by Dr. Jenna C. Ashton of Manchester University in association with the Friends of Ryebank Fields and was presented to the MMU board in March this year as an alternative to the sale of the land for housing.

Local Plan Consultation

Thank you to everyone who responded to Manchester City Council’s Local Plan Consultation. We have written confirmation that over 30% of all responses received requested that Ryebank Fields be designated as a Local Green Space or otherwise preserved from development. The council are currently sending out acknowledgement emails to respondents. If you sent a response either by email, letter or online submission and you don’t receive an acknowledgment please contact the council at planningstrategy@manchester.

Asbestos found in Ryebank Fields

It has come to our attention that the site investigations conducted by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), at Ryebank Fields in December 2019, have exposed potentially asbestos containing material in a publicly accessible area. This material has been left discarded for 6 months in areas of land disturbed by their bore holes. MMU were given notice that asbestos and other landfill is buried under Ryebank Fields as early as September 2019. They were fully aware that any intrusive works could unearth asbestos containing materials, yet they have confirmed that they did not commission a separate Asbestos Survey as part of their site investigations.

Millennium Oaks

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. In 1999, in the middle of a campaign to preserve Ryebank Fields as a public amenity and green space, we were all encouraged, by the government and others, to plant trees for the millennium to combat global warming, now more accurately referred to as climate change. Even The Archers (Radio 4) planted a millennium wood.

Local Green Space application

Please help the Save Ryebank Fields campaign by responding to Manchester City Council’s consultation on the ‘Manchester Local Plan’ and encourage everyone you know to do so aswell. This could be our best chance to save Ryebank Fields. You don’t have to live in the Manchester borough to do this. We need as many people as possible to respond to the Council’s consultation before the deadline of 5pm on Friday 3 April 2020, but please do it NOW.

Our campaign on BBC Radio Four

BBC Radio 4 featured our Ryebank Fields campaign on Open Country on January 23rd. Please follow the link to hear our story.

Community Walks

All are welcome to join our community walks, every Sunday at 12.30pm, on Ryebank Fields. Come along to meet new friends and find out more about this special place. We’ll be looking at its unique features including the Nico Ditch, Aspen Grove and Millennium Oaks; listening to bird song and taking time to breathe. You can use our Community Walks leaflet - download here - for a self-led walk on Sundays or at any other time.