Once the site of bustling docks and industry, now the site of nature reasserting herself, this hidden gem straddling the boroughs of Salford and Trafford seems the only place left in central Greater Manchester that is wild. Having lain dormant since the closure of the docks in the 70s, now lichen, moss and wildflowers adorn Pomona’s concrete, bringing with them all manner of wildlife which is thought to be fleeing our cities.

Pomona

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But this sanctuary is under threat. Two apartment blocks are being proposed by the Peel Group with the promise of further development to come. Opposition to the plans is fierce but fair, with campaigners recognising that “there must be some form of change made, but [… it] must be done in such a manner that limits, as much as possible, the negative environmental and social impact”.

Hayley Flynn, an active campaigner who has written about the area in an article for The Guardian, notes on her blog that “a flora report of the area identifies the presence of 33 biologically important species including the bee orchid, which is listed as rare in Greater Manchester and found only at four other sites”, further supporting the notion that these plans are rushed and have profit as a priority, rather than preservation.

Although resistance to the plans is unlikely to waver, developments in our fair city tend to win regardless of the importance of the lands surrounding them. Beetham Tower is believed to have, in the words of John Punter, “torpedoed” any chance of Manchester becoming a World Heritage City and there is every chance we could lose the ecological marvel of Pomona at the behest of a much less impressive design.

Photos by David Ewing

David Ewing