Save Ryebank Fields

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On hearing that Councillor Bev Craig was appointed as leader of Manchester City Council from 1 December 2021, a group of local people came together to create a congratulations gift to help raise awareness of Ryebank Fields.

Ryebank Fields is a beautiful, safe, wild space in a built-up suburban area that is under threat from development. Manchester Metropolitan University, who were given the fields by Manchester Council to use as student playing fields, now want to cash in by selling the land to housing developpers. Find out more in this short article in Open Up magazine, then join the campaign run by the Friends of Ryebank Fields.  Although Manchester Council do not own the fields, they have approved the 2017 Development Framework submitted by Manchester Metropolitan University. We are appealing to them to refuse any building plans so the area can be saved.


We enjoyed planning and creating gifts made 'from the heart' for presenting to Cllr Bev Craig. Many were made with materials from Ryebanks Fields - a felled tree, fallen leaves, foraged nettles. Others were inspired by time spent in the fields - pictures, decorated pebbles, haikus, photographs. Big thank you to Jay, Ayako, Anna, Lisa, Zac, Sydney, Sam, Rose, Catherine, Kath, Nicky and Danielle.

 

We delivered our gift to the town hall reception, and were delighted to receive a friendly response a few days later. Here is an extract from the email "Thank you for the gift, a box of very thoughtful things- so thank you. The Chorlton Councillors speak very highly of you and your group! Look forward to hearing from you in the future. Best wishes, Councillor Bev Craig, Leader- Elect" 

What's next? In our letter that you can read below we asked Cllr Bev Craig to connect with our friends running the long-standing campaign, Save Ryebank Fields. We hope you enjoy perusing photos of the gifts we crafted and perhaps feel inspired to find your own creative ways to save Ryebank Fields. Do join us all in the effort to preserve this special green space for wildlife and humans.

With thanks to Jay Clarke for photographs.                                                                                                               
November 2021

The gift box
The gift box

Gift box delivered to Councillor Bev Craig, wreath made by Melissa Daniel of Sustainable Mad Design

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Letter-from-Chorlton-Craftivists
Letter-from-Chorlton-Craftivists

We wrote a letter congratulating Councillor Bev Craig on her appointment as leader of Manchester City Council.

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Wooden heart
Wooden heart

Kath, worker in wood, carved a heart specially for you from a small elm cut in recent tree felling, reason for cutting down unknown.

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Rose's notecards
Rose's notecards

Rose, local singer and artists who has written a song specially for Ryebank Fields, has written a hand-made card, and given you some blanks for your own use.

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Zac's picture and painted pebbles
Zac's picture and painted pebbles

Zac’s flag design was chosen for display in Rye Bank Community Gardens. He wrote his Christmas wish on the reverse.

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Zac's letter
Zac's letter

Zac’s flag design was chosen for display in Rye Bank Community Gardens. He wrote his Christmas wish on the reverse.

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Nicky's photo album
Nicky's photo album

Nicky, local teacher and artist, custom-made the album that holds Jay’s photos and other small gifts.

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Opening page of the album
Opening page of the album

Jay, nature-based therapist and photographer, offers you a selection of her beautiful images of many aspects of the fields.

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Flooding
Flooding

Flooding makes for lovely reflections but in reality causes problems for nearby housing where some residents have had to have water pumps installed to removed water ingress in very wet weather. What will happen when the area is concreted over…? Will insurance companies offer cover for houses where the ground floods?

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Please save Ryebank Fields
Please save Ryebank Fields

The final two of Jay's stunning photography in the album.

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Ryebank Haikus
Ryebank Haikus

This crafter finds a spiritual home in Ryebank Fields on her daily walks and has written you 7 haikus to share this sacred feeling.

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Ryebank Fields original artwork
Ryebank Fields original artwork

Anna, local artist, captivated by the treelines and inspired by the fields work as a carbon store, created a painting of the fields. She has embellished a postcard of the artwork for you.

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Ryebank Fields artwork
Ryebank Fields artwork

Anna, local artist, captivated by the treelines and inspired by the fields work as a carbon store, created a painting of the fields. She has embellished a postcard of the artwork for you.

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Lisa and Zac's pebbles_edited
Lisa and Zac's pebbles_edited

Zac (age 9) painted a Save Ryebank Fields pebble; and his mum Lisa painted one in the shape of the aspen grove.

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Ryebank embroidery
Ryebank embroidery

Catherine, textile artist, created an embroidery of the fields—too large for your gift box, but shown as an image in the enclosed card.

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Ryebank embroidery
Ryebank embroidery

Catherine, textile artist, created an embroidery of the fields—too large for your gift box, but shown as an image in the enclosed card.

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Running free in the fields
Running free in the fields

Sydney (age 9). Has drawn her picture of the fields where she loves climbing trees. She is really interested in the history of the Nico Ditch, identifying mushrooms and running free with her little brother.

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Wild nettle tea
Wild nettle tea

Danielle likes to inspire people to learn about and love wild plants so she has made you a bag of refreshing nettle tea harvested from Ryebank Fields.

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Rainbows
Rainbows

Sam (age 5) loves playing hide and seek in the long grass and the aspen tree grove with his big sister and swinging on the rope swings. The open aspect of the fields offers stunning rainbows one of which he drew for you.

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Article in Open Up magazine
Article in Open Up magazine

Danielle shared her journey through Ryebank Fields, from barely registering some humdrum fields to feeling passionately attached to this haven for people and wildlife.

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Our Green Chorlton map
Our Green Chorlton map

This is a map of cherished green spaces in Chorlton: Please help us keep Ryebank Fields on the map

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Filling the gift box in Ryebank Fields
Filling the gift box in Ryebank Fields

Ryebank Fields - a place to meet friends and an concoct plans

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Danielle and Anna with their Our Green Chorlton map
Danielle and Anna with their Our Green Chorlton map
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Reading haikus
Reading haikus

Reading haikus about Ryebank Fields

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