Cotton Field, New Islington

Grant Associates was commissioned as lead designer to create a new urban park, Cotton Field. The site forms the heart of the New Islington sustainable community, the third Millennium Village to be created. The aim of the park is to bring together people and nature within an urban environment.

The park consists of a new body of water, a 3 metre-wide boardwalk that forms the main pedestrian route, an urban beach and several distinctive islands. The community island is envisaged as the focal point for public events, and the beach offers activities such as paddling, picnicking and rowing boat hire.

Extensive planting includes an orchard island, a protective grove of Scots pines around the beach, and wildflowers and reed beds, all helping to attract wildlife.

A variety of follies, meeting shelters, bird boxes and floating wildlife islands, as well as an innovative lighting scheme, provide a sequence of focal points that are associated with views and routes across the site.

Design Details

  • Cotton Field WaterPark creates a rich mosaic of wildlife habitats and opportunities to bring delight to its users
  • 3m wide boardwalk that forms the principle pedestrian route
  • A community island envisaged as the focal point for public events
  • A variety of follies, meeting shelters, bird boxes, floating wildlife islands and an innovative lighting scheme
  • A community orchard island and a beach to provide possible activities such as paddling, picnicking and rowing boat hire
  • The beach is lightly enclosed by the tall trunks and lofty canopy of a grove of Scots pine, which act as a landmark for east Manchester
  • EngineersMartin Stockley Associates
  • LocationManchester
  • Site area1.8Ha
  • ClientEnglish Partnerships and Urban Splash
  • Project value£2.8 million

Awards