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Rhododendrons take a bashing

23 May 2014

Division of Communications and Marketing help Heaton Park

Give and Gain Day

Staff from the Division of Communications and Marketing went into battle with the invasive rhododendron at Europe’s biggest municipal park to help reclaim an area for wildlife as part of Give and Gain Day.

Planted by the Victorians, the trees at Heaton Park, in Prestwich, have taken over parts of the park stifling other plants and animal life and blocking the views of the boating lake.

Around 25 colleagues armed with clippers and saws cleared an area the size of a football pitch, 20 feet high, in a day-long onslaught on the rhododendrons. 

The park, popular with local residents and families and visitors from further afield, only has four wardens and covers 600 acres so relies on help from volunteers.

Team leader for the Division’s challenge Linda Callaghan said: “The work was quite strenuous at times, particularly on such a hot day, but when we’d finished people walking along the footpath had a view right down to the lake – one that’s probably not been seen for decades. It was quite a rewarding feeling.”

Team member Jon Keighren said: “It was a fantastic day and a great opportunity to mix with colleagues away from the office - apart from a few bruises, aches and pains the following morning, we all went away feeling we’d done something truly beneficial for the community.”

Jacqui Manley, Community Impact Account Manager at Business in the Community, who organised the national day, said: “The Heaton Park team was delighted with the work undertaken and the impact the teams have had on the park helping to improve biodiversity and enhance the environment.”