Kirkholt's Rhodes Ravine awarded high-level accolade for community greenspace

Date published: 23 November 2021

Rhodes Ravine, a valued greenspace in Kirkholt, has been awarded Level 4 status of ‘Thriving’ in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ assessment, the second highest level a community greenspace can achieve.

The once-derelict area has recently been transformed into a vibrant green-space thanks to the Kirkholt Million partnership, who commissioned local charity Groundwork to deliver the Kirkholt Estate Rangers programme, employing and training three local people to work on the site for an 18-month period.

The Kirkholt Ranger team, made up of Phil, Coriena and Michael, carried out several physical improvements at Rhodes Ravine throughout 2020/21 including:

  • Creating a new footpath network across the site including a stone bridge across the river
  • Constructing new entrances at each end of the ravine
  • Installing a sunken garden seating area
  • Improving the woodland throughout the site

The team’s contract has now concluded; however, all three members have left the programme with qualifications including an NVQ level 2 in construction operations, brushcutter and woodchipper use, health and safety awareness and CSCS cards.

Before receiving the commendation, Rhodes Ravine was assessed by the Royal Horticultural Society on the following criteria: community participation; environmental responsibility and gardening achievements.

Moving forward, Rhodes Ravine will be maintained by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, a key partner in the Kirkholt Million Rhodes Ravine project, ensuring the green space can be enjoyed by the local community for years to come.

Linda Mills, chair of Kirkholt Millions, said: “It has taken a while to create Rhodes Ravine, from the derelict piece of land but I am delighted with the outcome.

“The Ravine, a special project close to my heart, has been a team effort between Kirkholt Millions, Big Local, Groundwork, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing and local councillors.

“We hope the community love it as much as we do.”

Phil Treaton, Head of Neighbourhoods at Groundwork Greater Manchester added: “It is fantastic that the work by the Kirkholt Million partnership and the estate rangers has been recognised in this way by the NW In Bloom panel of judges, the site has seen a vast improvement in both wildlife and community use since the work began and I hope that this award is the catalyst for further improvements to Rhodes Ravine in future years.”

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