25 September 2017   |  Last Updated 25-03-2015 05:24

      Work starts to create floating islands in former Manchester boating lake

      MANCHESTER City Council has announced it has started work installing floating islands in one of Manchester’s historic parks.

      Boggart Hole Clough lake. (Picture courtesy FoBHC)

      The council has given £137,140 from its £14.5million Clean City Fund to put in the islands at Boggart Hole Clough’s former boating lake.

      The islands are designed to boost wildlife and biodiversity, as well as improve water quality in the lake.

      Labour Councillor for the Charlestown area of North Manchester, Mark Hackett said: “The work is essential in terms to better manage the Victorian waters. There is a real need - something needs to be done and the council has the money.

      “Boggart Hole Clough is the first municipal park in the UK to have this technology.”

      Though not everyone is happy with the plans. Peter Milner from Friends of Boggart Hole Clough (FoBHC) said: “It’s unlikely they will last very long, I doubt they will last ten years. They are also likely to be prone to vandalism.”

      He added: “They aren’t natural. The original idea put forward was for reed beds on a rubble base, which are permanent and would last forever. What they have gone for is a faddish, fancy quick-fix.”

      Illustration of the Reed Beds favoured by Friends of Boggart Hole Clough. (Picture courtesy of FoBHC)


      Cllr Hackett said he knew that not everyone was pleased with the plans, but said that the floating island are “flexible” and can be moved about if needed.

       

      The islands will be built to form a series of arcs and curves and have been custom designed to reflect the edges of the historic lake.

      The top of the island will be planted with more than 3000 aquatic plants, which it’s hoped will attract more wildlife.

      Underneath, 200 specially built columns will provide a habitat for micro-organisms to improve water quality.

      The fund will also pay for wildflower planting around the lake, with sessions being held through the spring and summer, where children and other residents can find out more about the wildlife at the park.

      Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s Executive member for Culture and Leisure said: “These floating islands will really bring the wow factor to Boggart Hole Clough – providing a haven for wildlife and making the area more attractive for our visitors.

      “This is another example of a project funded by the Clean City fund which will make a huge long term difference to our parks and green spaces, making them more attractive for our residents, while also mean these wonderful facilities will become much cheaper to run in the long-term.”

      You can see examples of the floating islands on the Biomatrix Water Solutions website, www.biomatrixwater.com.

       

      More information about the Friends of Boggart Hole Clough can be found at www.boggart.org.uk.

      Marielle Osmont

       

       

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