EP’s New Islington waterpark nominated for national award

A wildlife habitat established by English Partnerships in New Islington, Manchester, has been nominated for a biodiversity landscaping award, in the first Sustainable Housing Awards.

Cotton Field is a five-acre waterpark with islands, boardwalks and bridges built into the design of a lake framed by a reed bed. The park also features a beach, follies and an area of public open space containing a range of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers that creates a variety of habitats for wildlife. Nest boxes are designed to attract a range of birds including kingfishers, and low-level lighting illuminates the space without impacting on the wildlife. A huge living wall of wire mesh covered with native plants will attract bats and birds while baskets have been installed in the water to provide a habitat for white-clawed crayfish.

David Chilton, EP's area director, speaking on behalf of the partners, said: "Landscaping work has so often been an afterthought in the past, but here the ecological aspect of regeneration was paramount right from the start. When the waterpark habitat was planned for New Islington it was unique in the UK, and we are extremely proud of the way it has been developed."

The partners involved in delivering New Islington, Manchester's Millennium Community are EP, developer Urban Splash and urban regeneration agency New East Manchester together with Manchester Methodist Housing Association.

The awards will be presented in London on 11 November.

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