Northern Roots Newsletter October 2020

Hello from the Northern Roots team and welcome to our first newsletter – a chance to update you on how the project is developing and how you can get involved.

Northern Roots is creating the UK’s largest urban farm and eco park on 160-acres of stunning green space in the heart of Oldham.  Developed for and with local communities, the project will generate jobs, skills and business opportunities for local people, whilst preserving and enhancing the biodiversity of this very special landscape.

Northern Roots Trainee Beekeeping programme is headed up by Oldham-based beekeeper Cath Charnock. Twenty people from across the borough – including Rachel and Hayley Barker featured opposite – have been chosen to take part in the free, year-long training course. We’ll be sharing their stories on our social platforms in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned!

In November we’ll be launching the next phase of the Northern Roots consultation. Building on sessions that have included bespoke consultation with equestrians, mountain-bikers and outdoor education providers earlier this year, this is your chance to share your ideas and help shape this project.

We’re super excited to be teaming up with Mahdlo and GM Walking on a young persons’ walking project. This will see young people from across Oldham explore the 160-acre Northern Roots site and design new walking routes and maps. This autumn we’re also working with the Alexandra Park Hub to create a new growing project on the Northern Roots site. Involving schools and volunteers from across the borough, the project will grow food that is redistributed across Oldham.

And finally, we’re thrilled to be collaborating with Oldham Libraries on the first ever Northern Roots Creative Writing competition – your chance to explore the beauty and magic of the Northern Roots site and get creative! Open to anyone living, working or studying in Oldham. Launches 12th October.

Follow us on Twitter (@NorthernRootsOL), Facebook (@NorthernRootsCoop) and Instagram (@northernrootsoldham) for daily project updates and share your ideas and your photos of the Northern Roots site.

Find out more about the project at and start a conversation with us at

'We’ve got an awful long way to go before we can call ourselves beekeepers, but we’re SO excited!’ Rachel & Hayley Barker, Northern Roots Trainee Beekeepers
Northern Roots mountain biking consultation, March 2020.