• Alison Kershaw

Park Life

Manchester's parks have always meant a lot to me. They are an important part of my life. I walk in parks every day because I have always had a dog. When I walk in the park, my mind relaxes and opens up and is filled with the sights smells and sounds of the park. Walking through the gates of a park are like entering a special part of the city, contained, well worn and gentle. Known best to those who mark out its paths every day. I feel as if parks connect me to people of another time, of many other times and of now: those who came up with the idea that because of the working population's exposure to harmful polluted air from Manchester's industries, that fresh air and open green spaces were important for the authorities to provide; to the park keepers who looked after the plants and trees and to those who felt that paths and benches and litter bins and bowling greens; information posts and gates and railings were important. Those that designed the play areas, the ponds and the footpaths were needed. And the myriad of more recent innovations such as sculptures, outdoor gyms or heritage information that have been added. Parks are really busy, social places where people innovate and create. They bring picnics, make goals for an impromptu game of football or tennis. They feed the wildlife, break or climb trees, they spray graffiti or walk tightropes. With Pool Arts, we have been working on a project called Human|Nature and for me parks are the urban spaces where they come together. Last week we ventured on a Park Life walk to Platt Fields in Rusholme and here are my photographs from the walk.

Alison Kershaw


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