United Utilities funds new sculpture for Davyhulme Park

9 February 2017

Picture of a park

A brand new sculpture is being specially created as the centre piece of a £40,000 makeover of Davyhulme Park in Urmston.

Local schools will be given the chance to help choose the final design from a range of options including metal seeds (acorn, sycamore and horse chestnut) on a raised plinth, provided by Manchester-based sculptor Mike Green.

United Utilities has given the Friends of Davyhulme a grant of £10,000 to help pay for the sculpture which will replace a mosaic damaged by fire. The Friends have commissioned a sculpture that’s visible when approaching from some distance, acts as a focal point from the Winchester Road entrance and from the children’s play areas and can’t be hidden behind or easily climbed on.

United Utilities’ grant is also being put towards landscaping, horticultural work and new seating and has helped the Friends unlock a further £30,000 of funding from One Trafford, a partnership between Trafford Council and Amey.

Work started on the park’s revamp at the beginning of February. It includes:

  • Reducing the height of Rhododendron and Laurel shrubs surrounding the sunken gardens.
  • Redefining an original 1933 feature path by realigning the stone steps and removing vegetation to allow access.
  • Removing some overgrown areas of shrub and bramble. The cutting back will initially seem quite extreme but the mature shrubs will  be invigorated and quickly bush up and provide better views across the park  and improved nesting places for birds and  other wildlife.
  • The damaged mosaic and existing steel seating will be replaced with the new sculpture and an outward-looking bench.

Rachael Burton, chair of the Friends of Davyhulme Park, said: “We’re really pleased United Utilities has chosen to support our park and fund a new centrepiece sculpture. In replacing the damaged mosaic it continues the park’s history of having a significant feature at this location. When the park was opened to the public in 1933 this location afforded excellent views of the whole park that the project will once again make available to park visitors.”

Dave Sykes, from One Trafford, who’s managing the project, said: “The pruning work we’ve undertaken looks drastic at this early stage but the strong root systems will quickly see the Rhododendron and Laurel bush back and at a height the garden maintenance teams can begin to once again maintain. They’ll also provide much better nesting and habitat for wildlife with the much more dense crowns providing better protection from predators than the open crowns of the overgrown shrubs. I also expect them to produce more flowers next year as they settle into their new shapes.”

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 and improve habitats.
  • Cheeky Cherubs community learning centre - to install netting across its roof terrace
  • Mossfield Allotments - to bring its pond back to its former glory.
  • Davyhulme Park - to create a new sculpture.
  • The local Groundwork trust has also been funded to offer a range of free, practical training opportunities to community groups. Contact Liz or Rebecca at Groundwork on 0161 220 1000 or email elizabeth.edwards@groundwork.org.uk to receive more information.  

This 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.


Davyhulme wastewater treatment works opened in 1894 and drains the entire western side of Manchester from Chadderton in the north to Bramhall in the south.


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