Community garden gets cash and a clear out courtesy of United Utilities

United Utilities' employees have pitched in to help a community garden in Urmston become dementia-friendly and more appealing to its younger visitors.

Staff from United Utilities, and its engineering contractor, Laing O’Rourke, joined Terry Morford, from Christ Church Community Garden, to help clear a large patch of brambles so the garden can be extended and improved.Picture of a gardener

The water company has also awarded IDEA, the environmental group that looks after the garden, a grant of £3,000 to help it develop the garden further. IDEA plans to add more raised planting beds, and improve the habitats created, to appeal to younger visitors. It will also introduce more sensory features, comfortable seating and safe walking routes for older people to enjoy, including those suffering with dementia.

Christ Church Community Garden, in Davyhulme, is currently used by its own weekly play and stay preschool playgroup, the children at Canterbury Road Day Nursery and the 5th Davyhulme Brownies.

Fairs, open days and social events are also regularly held in the garden which has four raised beds, a grassy area, vegetable patch, fruit bushes, poly-tunnel to grow tomatoes, benches and a picnic table.

Terry Morford, chair of IDEA, said: “The cheerfulness of the volunteers, and their hard work, made it a very enjoyable day and resulted in the whole area, originally covered in brambles and saplings, being cleared. It represents a huge step forward for us in developing the garden. We greatly appreciate it, as we do the award of the grant, which will mean we can develop the garden so that it’s as appealing to older people as it is to children.”

This latest community investment in Urmston is part of United Utilities’ £200 million project to refurbish and improve its Davyhulme wastewater treatment works so that it returns a better quality of treated wastewater to the environment and can meet the needs of the growing population of Manchester.

United Utilities’ community investment fund, United Futures, run in partnership with community charity, Groundwork, has awarded £48,000 to seven community projects located close to its Davyhulme wastewater treatment works - one of the biggest in the UK. The seven community projects receiving investment are:

  • Broadway Park - to create a community orchard. 
  • Golden Hill Park - for a mass bulb planting to brighten up the park.
  • Christ Church Community Garden - to extend the garden, create a bog garden, more seating and improve its habitats, including a bug hotel.
  • Cheeky Cherubs community learning centre - to create multi-functional community room.
  • Mossfield Allotments - to bring its pond back to its former glory.
  • Davyhulme Park - to create a new sculpture.
  • A Groundwork training and assistance programme for community groups in Davyhulme.


Keith Haslett, from United Utilities, said: “We want to be a good neighbour and believe it’s important to play an active part in the communities where we operate, and where our customers and employees live and work, as they’re vital to our business.”

United Utilities

United Utilities is the UK’s largest listed water company and manages the regulated water and wastewater network in North West England - which includes Cumbria, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside with a combined population of nearly seven million. United Utilities' headquarters are in Warrington. Its shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE 100 Index.

Improving Davyhulme Environmental Awareness (IDEA)

IDEA’s aim is to raise local and global environmental awareness within the Davyhulme area of Greater Manchester. It was founded in 2006 by members of the congregation of Christ Church in Davyhulme, with the aim of gaining ‘eco congregation’ status for their church, which was first awarded in 2008. A further two eco-congregation awards resulted in Christ Church receiving its third, and lifetime award, in 2014 - one of only ten churches in the UK to achieve that standard.  In 2012 IDEA received a grant from Trafford Council to develop a community garden with Canterbury Road Day Nursery.


For more information visit our website or contact the United Utilities press office on: 0345 072 0822.