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The Boiler House 9 Wilcock Street Manchester M16 7DA
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0161 465 6954
We want to create a greener city where everyone is connected with nature. Nature in cities makes a lot of sense –it helps reduce flooding, tackle climate change, and improve air quality. Plus nature supports our health and wellbeing, and provides opportunities to strengthen communities. Founded in 2009, Sow the City is an award winning, Manchester-based social enterprise, with a mission to create greener cities and connect people with nature. We really believe in: Transforming and repurposing unused and derelict urban sites into useful and attractive greenspace. Encouraging people in urban areas to connect with nature. Involving local people in our projects to develop stronger, more cohesive communities. Running practical horticultural and environmental training courses that provide skills and knowledge for life, learning and employment. Quality greenspace that is attractive and productive and that contributes to the long term future of the planet. Using sustainable materials to minimise the environmental impact of our projects. Teaching organic practices and permaculture and promoting the use of plant species that encourage wildlife. Researching and testing innovative technology and techniques that can be used for urban agriculture. Since we were founded, we have provided courses/ workshops for 17,437 people, facilitated over 11,170 volunteering hours, and transformed 10,257 m2 of unused and derelict land into useful community greenspace and green infrastructure.
About us
Our Vision Our People
Sow the City is a small but hardworking team of seven, supported by a wider team of trusted specialists and contractors who bring expert advice and support for specific projects when required. .
We are proud of the work we do and the communities we work with. We have even won some awards! Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2020 Spirit of Manchester Business Citizenship Award 2017 Northern Enterprise 2016 Health and Wellbeing Category Award Winners. Silver Show Garden award at Dig the City 2015 for our Growing Manchester “Tales from the Plot" installation. Shortlisted in the Manchester Evening News Environment Awards 2014 Environment and Health Project category. Highly commended in the Social Enterprise North West Awards 2013 Environmental Excellence category. About Manchester: “First shoots of Nature Takeover appear in Moss Side as part of city-wide programme” (June 2021) Bury Times: New ‘green health’ walk is launched by Prestwich Hospital (May 2021) BBC Two - Stories of Us: Sow the City help Longsight’s Let’s Keep Growing clean up their neighbourhood to make it a nicer place to live for everyone (Sep 2020) iiNews: “How to get involved in saving the planet right now – in your own back yard” (Sep 2019) About Manchester - Moss Side Repair Café and Longsight project lead the way in raising awareness of sustainability (Sep 2019) Bury Times - Disused plot turned into thriving garden at heart of Springs estate (Sep 2019) Fast Company (US) - Doctors are now prescribing houseplants to help treat anxiety and depression (Sep 2019) Manchester Evening News - Plants and herbs are being prescribed to patients suffering from anxiety, depression and loneliness at a GP surgery (Aug 2019) Manchester Wire - Free fixings: A Repair Café coming to Moss Side (May 2019) Rochdale News - How getting in touch with nature is helping young people to thrive (Dec 2018) Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust - Green-fingered gardeners sow the seeds of success at North Manchester General Hospital (Sep 2018) Bury Times - Red Door celebrates new growing space for Bury's homeless (Jul 2018)
Copyright Sow the City 2020
Sow the City is a CIC registered in England company no. 6872177
Press Coverage 1. Urban fruit tree      planting to      provide shade,     food and reduce     air pollution.  2. City centre dwellers     grow food on roofs      and balconies.  3. Jobs created through     food enterprise.  4. Urban parks and      nature reserves used      as places to forage      for free food.  5. Green infrastructure    used as green setting     for investment and     economic     regeneration.   6. Allotments created      to increase urban     food production     and decrease food     related carbon     emissions.  7. Urban soil protected     and quality improved     through proper care     and management. 8. Schools, hospitals     and public building     grounds used for      growing food &     building education      & training      opportunities.      9. Unused public land     developed into     permanent or      “meanwhile” food     growing sites.  10. Farms in and around       the city used to       provide locally       sourced seasonal       food for city       dwellers.  11. Food growing at        home in gardens        and yards.  12. Community gardens       and allotments        created to provide       local food and build        stronger more
Lucy Moore | Project Assistant Lucy grew up in London Lucy but has lived in Manchester for five years, where she has developed her interst in human environment interactions, through studying Geography at Undergraduate level and a Masters in Green Infrastructure, both at the University of Manchester. Lucy’s placement at the social enterprise ‘Urban Growth’ contibuted to her appreciation of the beneficial impact of nature on wellbeing. She is excited to be part team where she can develop her passion for urban greening at both the community and city scale.
Jon Ross | Founder & Chief Executive Born and raised in Manchester, Jon knows a lot about the soil in this part of the country. Having graduated with a masters in environmental management, he began his career at WSP Environmental doing contaminated land and corporate social responsibility work. He then worked for Transport for Greater Manchester delivering projects including the Rochdale Bus Station Hydroelectric Power Scheme, the Greater Manchester Climate Change Strategy, and he was lead person for biodiversity for the transport authority. Jon founded Sow the City with just a few bags of compost in 2009. Since then he has steered the social enterprise into an award winning organisation. Jon is passionate about the potential for nature to improve his home town and loves to grow his own veg when he’s not helping other people do the same.
Kieron McGlasson | Director Having grown up in the Lake District under the guidance of his Dad, a landscape gardener, Kieron has always thought it normal to grow your own food. After moving to Manchester for university, Kieron spent nine years in the regeneration sector at BDP delivering high profile projects. These often centred on the community engagement and sustainability elements of a city plan or neighbourhood strategy. Kieron then worked for two years in the social enterprise sector helping to build healthier communities in Salford. Joining Sow the City in 2014 has allowed Kieron to combine his roots, experience and personal interests with a career across the public, private and social enterprise sectors. His work combines his passions for food growing, his environmental conscience and his work in community development to create a happier, healthier city.
Laura Weaver | Assistant Manger, the Boiler House Laura    was    born    and    raised    in    Staffordshire    and    has    always    had    a    passion    and connection   to   nature.      She   became   an   adopted   Mancunian   in   2012   when   she   came   to Manchester   to   study   Fine   Art.   Since   leaving   university   Laura   has   been   involved   with projects   with   Blaze   Arts   and   Step   Up,   which   is   where   she   found   her   passion   for running art sessions and bringing creativity to communities. Laura   joined   in   June   2021   and   is   the   Link   Worker   for   our   Nature   for   Health    project whilst also acting as Assistant Building Manager for the Boiler House .
Ciarán McLoughlin | Community Grower Born   in   Liverpool   and   raised   in   Cheshire,   Ciarán   comes   from   a   long   line   of   gardeners and   plant   enthusiasts.   In   his   professional   life,   he   has   worked   in   primary   education   for approximately    10    years    supporting    children    with    special    educational    needs    and disabilities (SEND). Ciarán   leapt   at   the   chance   to   join   the   Sow   the   City   team   when   the   opportunity   arose and   is   employed   as   a   community   grower,   supporting   various   schools,   groups,   and associations   throughout   Greater   Manchester.   In   his   spare   time   Ciarán   can   be   found tending   his   own   allotment   in   Blackley,   North   Manchester,   where   he   lives   with   his   wife, dog and three cats.  
Ladislav Maluch | Project Coordinator L ad    comes    from    the    Slovakian    countryside    where    he    acquired    a    great    wealth    of    skills   in   horticulture,   market   gardening   and   commercial   growing.   Having   lived   in   Manchester for   over   10   years   Lad   has   been   working   on   improving   the   mental   health   and   wellbeing of   local   communities   using   nature,   food   growing,   foraging,   outdoor   cooking   and   nature crafts. Lad has a strong passion for fungi and anything fungi related.  
Please click here to find out how you can volunteer or work for Sow the City.
0161 465 6954