Dig the City ‘thrills’ Manchester

Urban gardening is coming to the fore in Manchester as Dig the City continues to attract scores of interested parties. 

Running between August 3rd and 11th, it is the first event of its kind for the city and seeks to encourage those interested in gardening to come along, speak to experts and find out some useful tips. 

Monty Don, Matt James – better known as the City Gardener – and Rachel de Thame are among the TV gardeners making an appearance at Festival Hub, which is located at Exchange Square near the Arndale Shopping Centre. King Street, St Ann's Square, New Cathedral Street and Cathedral Yard will all be hosting events too.

This site has been transformed into a pop-up forest with 70 trees – 16 varieties are on display – and organisers will be on-hand throughout the festival to make sure the vegetation is always looking its best. 

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for the environment, said: "A pop-up forest in the heart of our city is a real first and will be an amazing sight, providing a welcome shady retreat for residents and visitors. 

"We are making Manchester a greener place all the time by planting trees across the city and encouraging groups to plant flowers and shrubs in whatever spaces are available to them."

There are activities for all of the family, as kids are given the opportunity to get creative by building bird boxes and taking advantage of the various potting sheds that have been put up around the city centre.

As part of the National Trust's 50 Things to Do Before you are 11 & 3/4 campaign, a special tree house has been created and kids can get scrapbooks and take part in pastimes such as den building, mud-pie making and a barefoot walk. 

It is hoped Dig the City will encourage more people to be more green fingered and take a keener interest in their gardens.

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