First RHS Urban Show set for Manchester

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is bringing its first Urban Show to Manchester’s Mayfield Depot from 18th to 21st April, 2024, to celebrate the growing movement of urban gardeners in the city.

The RHS singled out the Mayfield Depot for the indoor Show because of its enticing proximity to the new Mayfield Park, giving show visitors the chance to experience this rare gem in the heart of the city centre as well as tapping into its rich horticultural offering.

Free guided park tours will be available led by the team behind the award-winning Mayfield Park and guests will be able to hear from designers, architects and developers responsible for Mayfield’s ongoing regeneration with the chance to hear about the future of the area.

RHS Show Manager, Lex Falleyn comments: “We are really excited to be bringing the new RHS Urban Show to the centre of Manchester and to support the growing urban gardening movement already underway across Manchester, as we celebrate city gardening in all its forms. The location of the show venue, Depot Mayfield being right next door to Mayfield Park, is one of the reasons why we chose it.  It is a fantastic example of ‘urban gardening’ and how disused areas in cities across the UK can be transformed into incredible public green spaces benefiting both wildlife and city dwellers, as well as having a positive impact on the environment.”

Mayfield Park is the first city park in Manchester for 100 years and has been described as “an inspiring benchmark for the park of the future”. Transformed from a derelict, former industrial site, in a densely populated part of Manchester, the park now offers a diverse landscape providing a nature-filled haven for visitors to enjoy.

The park comprises a mixture of water and wetlands, trees and wildflowers, play areas and rain gardens. A stretch of the previously concealed River Medlock, that runs through the park, has been opened up. The soft, almost wild planting design follows a naturalistic aesthetic that crosses the line between civic space and urban garden, something that is completely at odds with the average UK park.

Laura Percy, Development Director at Mayfield comments that it is the green lung of the city centre: “It is the space that urban Manchester has been crying out and it’s shaping the future of this part of the city. Mayfield comes alive in spring and we’re excited to share our tranquil oasis with visitors to the first RHS Urban Show.

The Mayfield Partnership, developers of the park, is a public-private partnership comprising Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester, regeneration specialist LCR and U+I, Landsec’s regeneration company.

Images: credit: Richard Bloom