Fletcher Moss Park and Gardens
A highly prized Park and Garden, it contains a variety of landscapes from a rockery to a formal pergola garden, from woodland to meadow.
Fletcher Moss Park is part botanic garden and part wildlife habitat. Stretching to the River Mersey in one direction and Stenner Woods in another, it is popular for many activities such as walking, running, tennis or just sitting and enjoying the peacefulness of the gardens.
The only house in the park, The Croft, was inhabited by the Williamson family. Emily Williamson founded the Plumage League in the house in 1889. This became the RSPB. The Croft, gardens and rockery were sold by Mr. Williamson to Alderman Fletcher Moss in 1912. Alderman Moss subsequently donated Fletcher Moss Gardens to the people of Manchester in 1919.
The Croft now houses the popular Alpine Café, which overlooks the rockery.
Celebrated for their beauty, the gardens contain an interesting selection of trees and shrubs, including Chusan palms, tulip tree, mulberry, dawn redwood, swamp cypress, Chinese dogwood, common walnut, oxydendrum arboreum, and a collection of dwarf conifers. Part of the gardens is a rockery originally created by Robert Williamson.
The pond at the foot of the rockery is edged by an assortment of royal ferns, marsh marigolds, skunk cabbage, gunners and some species of iris. A stream down the rockery slope feeds it and there is a naturalness that belies the man-made background to the site. Recently the gardens have been restored but some older plants have been lost to be replaced by others which are more sustainable.
A meadow edged by woodland extends from the gardens a quarter-mile to the River Mersey. Wildflower planting by school groups regularly takes place in the meadow, and the subsequent growth of biodiversity in the area is proving of interest to the naturalist as well as the gardener.
A bowling green which fell out of use has been converted into a pergola garden. This exemplifies the way in which the garden is continually evolving. The shale tennis courts are to be updated to all weather usage.