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News Update March 2018


Sir Gerald was not only the local MP but Patron of the Friends of Debdale Park, a position he had held since the foundation of the Friends in 2000. It was a position to which he devoted great attention and was always on call to speak up in the interests of the park which he loved.


In appreciation of his inspirational dedication to the local community it was agree to erect a memorial in the park in the form of an engraved stone. The Friends raised £1150 to make this possible.


The stone was unveiled on 25 February by the deputy Lord Mayor at a special service attended by the local MP Afzal Khan, local councilors and many other local people.

1. Memorial to Sir Gerald Kaufman:

2. Playground Development:

The new playground which was installed last year has been extremely well used. So much so that often there is insufficient space or equipment for everyone to use.


As a result the Friends have been looking at ways expand its capacity. Recently a new seesaw has been added.


We have also been offered the use of a set of outdoor exercise and fitness frames which are ideal for climbing and swinging on.

The plan is to place these on the field adjoining the playground – the old golf course area – so that they will be easily accessible from the playground.


The Friends are currently arranging for this to happen with the Tesco grant of £2K we received last year.

The Deputy Lord Mayor and MP, Afzal Khan, unveil the memorial with Chair of the Friends, Allan Grafton, and family relatives in attendance

3. Heroes Wood:

The project is being directed by a volunteer group in partnership with City of Trees and has attracted widespread support with significant input from Wright-Robinson Academy.


The initial groundwork of laying the memorial stones, creation of an access path and planting the first trees was completed in October 2017. The inauguration ceremony took place at a memorial event on 11 November 2017.

The tree planting of 54 trees took place on 15-16 February 2018 by Volunteers under the direction of City of Trees

4. Pathways:

The pathways around the park are an important feature of the area and are well used on a regular basis. Unfortunately there is no designated maintenance for the paths outside the park so the Friends have had to provide where possible.


For example the access to Favourite Walk from Green Fold was becoming extremely hazardous with extensive potholes opening up but after extensive enquiries it was clear no one would take responsibility for this merely passing the problem on to other parties. The Friends have now sorted this out with support from the Donkey Sanctuary.

Another concern is the path around the lower reservoir. In part this is restricted by the overgrowth of brambles pushing to path dangerously close to the reservoir edge. Also the surface of the path is quite muddy in parts and at the Gorton end at the beginning of the path is a large muddy pothole which makes access impossible to anyone with walking difficulties or a pram.

Four years ago the same situation was addressed by the Friends who engaged a contractor to make the path sound and accessible we were planning to raise the funds to repeat this exercise when we heard from Allianz Insurance who were looking for a work project in the community for their staff. They accepted the challenge of refurbishing the path and this work is now planned for Friday 27 April.

5. Gorton Carnival & Parade:

This year’s  parade and carnival are all set to take place on Sunday 8th July.


This fantastic family event sees over 6000 people coming together to celebrate everything that is great about Gorton.


Planning is in full swing now, with lots of people, organisations and schools already signed up to take part in the parade and join in with the festivities in Debdale Park. There will be the usual market stalls, fun fair and a wide range of family entertainment; everything from singing and dancing to a dog display. It’s sure to be an absolutely fantastic day and it’s not too late to get involved!


Email vicki.heap.gorton@gmail.com for more information.

Carnival parade 2017

6. Gorton Pagan Moot:

The Gorton Pagan Moot is the latest addition to the Friends. A moot is a gathering of like-minded people sharing stories, knowledge and information. The Gorton Pagan Moot has more of a focus on events in the community and talks on spiritual themes. During the year it has planned a series of monthly activities for children and families based in the Aviary Community Rooms. These have included a sunflower planting event and an Easter Egg Hunt is planned for Sunday 1 April.

The first Moot - Ostara Bring and Share in the Aviary Building

Sunflower Seed Planting & Pot Decorating - Gorton Pagan Moot is working with Gorton Horticultural Society and Debdale Park Management to provide activities in the Park during School Holidays