This is quite a pleasant area, in the so called Northern Quarter of Manchester. All around you have bars, shops, cars and roads, then a large space here where you can sit beside the canal. Not far from here it seems the canal is going to be closed off at certain times. If I lived nearby I’d be annoyed, because I’d use the path for walking and cycling and feel it was my right to do so. There are two reported problems. It’s a homosexual area where men engage in acts which are illegal in public, which appears to be well known but tolerated. There’s drinking, drugs, and violence too, with occasional deaths when people fall or are pushed into the water. The Ramblers Association and others have protested. Control the behaviour, they say, don’t penalise everyone. Greater Manchester Police recently said the city centre is out of control: a dangerous place around midnight and after when the crowds leave the pubs and clubs and the inevitable occurs. Manchester council has denied this. A councillor went out one night with a photographer, comic book style, and produced a report saying look, see, there’s no problem. The night time industry in Manchester is immense. It must be worth a great deal of money. Wild flowers console wherever they are. This place is not Helvellyn, Torridon, Kinder Scout, or Posets in the Pyrenees. It’s a pleasant canal side, scruffy but some reminder of nature in the heart of the problematic city. Wild flowers aren’t subject to city nonsense. They grow regardless.


Manchester Wild Flowers: City Canal

Monday August 11, 2014