Friends of Whitworth Park have been involved with Park Management since 2006 in preparing and updating the Whitworth Park Management Plan which is the template for the repair and improvement of the Park to bring it into line with the needs of its 21st century community. The main stages in the implementation of this follow, significant other events are noted in italics:-

  • 2006 Fencing, gates, lecterns, cycle path resurfacing.
  • 2007 Picnic Area – four tables and benches near Oxford Road, design by FoWP.
  • 2008 Main Path renewal and re-construction of Centre Circle, benches, bins.
  • 2009 Centre Circle perennial planting, design by FoWP and installation by Glendales.
  • 2009-10 Natural Play Area, layout by FoWP.
  • 2009 Gallery fence removed to reconnect the Gallery the Park.


  • 2010 Poster cases.
  • 2010 “i-trees” project installed on Denmark Street side of Park, by Red Rose Forest.
  • 2010 New fence and gates erected on line of park side of the Oxford Rd perimeter path/cycleway to enable the Park to be closed at dusk.
  • 2010 Gallery successful application for HLF funds to enable extension into and entrance from the Park. MUMA appointed Architect.
  • 2010 “The Whitworth Park Obelisk” by Cyprien Gaillard erected in by Gallery.
  • 2010 onwards -Biodiversity project- first stage, Wildlife Area and planting of mixed hedge and wildflowers, designed and led by FoWP, installation by student and Museum volunteers. Hedge material donated by Woodland Trust. Bioblitz survey led by University Museum to set up database.
  • 2011 Western Tree Belt, 100 oaks, 60 silver birch, 80 beech planted to layout by FoWP by student volunteers. Trees donated by The Conservation Volunteers.
  • 2011 Further wildlife planting, bioblitz and “Museum Big Saturday” event.
  •  2011 New Park Management structure adopted involving reduced mowing in Park.
  • 2011-13 Community Archaeology and History Project- partnership project led by University of Manchester Archaeology Department involving FoWP, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre. Two archaeological digs, archive research, collecting and recording of people memories, bio-blitz survey of flora and fauna, archive research. Exhibition May-October 2014 with booklet, interpretation board in Park.  Full record of archaeological findings and other material stored in Manchester Museum.  Many volunteers involved in digs and visitors received and entertained, 2 open days in park with tours of dig and demonstrations, exhibits of findings and historical records. Funded by a “Your Heritage” grant from HLF with back up from CBA and others to produce reports on findings and support the exhibition.   Find out more at:
  • 2011 onwards – Biodiversity project – second stage, underplanting Western Tree Belt. Enhancement of un-mown grass areas on edge of tree belt by plug planting of compatible species on the line of a new grass path linking Academy Gate with Greenheys Gate via Wildlife Area. Planting by Gallery and Museum staff plus volunteers in short monthly sessions spring – autumn.
  • 2012 Bioblitz in Park.
  • 2013 Gallery closed for works to build extension.  Closing event “Whitworth Weekending over full weekend 31 Oct-2 Sept in Park.
  • 2013 Second Diagonal Path renewal and new path towards Ducie Gate via Gallery Art Garden and new entrance.
  • 2014 Woodland anemone planting near Circle next to Rusholme Path.
  • 2014 Work on Gallery forecourt commenced and existing sculptures relocated in Park
  • 2014 Bulb planting next to grass path and new path near Gallery and Centre Circle
  • 2015 Second Diagonal Path, benches, bins.  Toddlers picnic area and play space, outdoor gym, clearance of derelict ball court and play area paving, new interpretation boards. Fencing to the Centre Circle.
  • 2015 The Whitworth re-opened with a weekend of activity and events.

After more than hundred years of separation, the extension and refurbishment of the Gallery is bringing new life and activity into the Park through its Community Engagement programme. We will be working with the Cultural Park Keeper, Francine Hayfron, and the Landscape and Sustainability Technician, Patrick Osborn, to contribute to this whilst developing our own plans to increase biodiversity and attraction through providing additional scope for exercise, walks and nature studies.





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