Birley Fields is a brownfield site in Hulme, central Manchester, which has remained undeveloped for about 15 years. It is mainly open grassland and trees. The open space has evolved its own interesting wildlife ecology.
Local residents, like it just how it is not least because of the benefits it provides in supporting the health and well being of the local community.
[Significant research supports the notion that urban open spaces offer health benefits to city residents through exposure to a natural environment….Urban open spaces offer citizens relief from the strains of urban environments and everyday demands…. A recent study in Sheffield, UK, found that the psychological benefits gained by visitors to urban green spaces increased with their biodiversity, indicating that ‘green’ alone is not sufficient; the quality of that green is important in delivering the health benefits. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_open_space]
Many residents would like to see it used for social, or ecological activities. Some suggested uses include
- A City Farm
- A green enterprise centre
- Sites left as ‘wild’ open space eg. a nature reserve
- A Village Green
- A play area
Birley Fields has been used by the local community to host ad-hoc activities and events such as
to name a few.