Manchester City Council seeks to create new contemplative peace garden

June 2018 [Manchester, UK]

Report by Sean Morris, UK & Ireland Mayors for Peace Chapter Secretary

A Vice President of Mayors for Peace, Manchester City Council, has announced a £4 million joint investment to develop a new contemplative Peace Garden at a site close to Manchester Town Hall. The previous Peace Garden had been on a site behind the Town Hall, but had to make way for a major expansion of the city centre tram. After extensive discussion with local groups to find a new location, a report and planning application is now going through the Council to locate the new garden in Lincoln Square.

The new garden will be anchored by the city’s Abraham Lincoln statue, which marks the city’s close and long-term involvement in the international movement to abolish slavery. It will also include two of Manchester’s ginkgo trees provided to it by the City of Hiroshima, which derive from a tree close to the hypocentre of the 1945 atomic bomb, that managed to regrow the following spring. The seeds from this tree have been sent around the world as positive symbols of peace, and Manchester is one of seven UK Mayors for Peace members who are growing such seeds. Some of Manchester’s other gingko trees have been planted at schools who have taken part in the peace education scheme, ‘Project G’, and also at Manchester Children’s Hospital.

The peace garden will provide a quiet oasis of calm in the city centre, and will include plaques and symbols which are reminders of Manchester’s long involvement as a city of peace. The garden will be developed over the next few years as part of a major renovation of the square and buildings around it. The peace garden will also be incorporated into the Manchester City Centre Peace Trail, of which a newly updated Children’s Peace Trail is in production.

>Further information on Manchester Evening News website

>Further information on Manchester Peace Trail (European Discovering Peace website)