Share your ideas, have your say!

Northern Roots is an exciting opportunity to create the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park on 160-acres of green space in the heart of Oldham, Greater Manchester.

We’re currently running a fresh phase of creative consultation and invite you to share your ideas, help shape the development of this project and make your voice heard. What would you like to experience, learn or create on the Northern Roots site? What could Northern Roots mean for you, your family, your school community, your organisation or business? How should the project benefit people and communities in Oldham?

This is your opportunity to co-create the activities, businesses and services you want to use and operate on the Northern Roots site – to share your best ideas with us and tell us what matters to you most. Your ideas will directly inform a planning application for the site.

This consultation will run from December 2020 to the end of April 2021. From Growing and Animal Husbandry to Arts, Culture and Events, the consultation invites you to explore and respond to eight different themes. We know the mere mention of a survey can make people switch off (!) so we’ve deliberately kept it short and sweet, and designed it to put your ideas centre-stage.

Whilst we’re keen to hear from residents, businesses and organisations in Oldham, we also welcome ideas and feedback from beyond Oldham. If you’ve got a great idea or creative proposition, we want to hear about it. Please get involved, share around your family, friends, colleagues and networks. We’ll feedback and share some of the ideas and themes to emerge from the consultation with you as we go. We’ll also share the planning application for the site in 2021.


Northern Roots is pioneering the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park on 160-acres of green space in the heart of Oldham, Greater Manchester.  Developed for and with local communities, the vision for Northern Roots is based on creating sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits for those communities. Simply put:

  • How can the Northern Roots project create jobs, training and business opportunities for local people?
  • How can it improve the health and wellbeing of local residents and communities?
  • How can it protect and enhance the habitat, biodiversity and environmental value of the 160-acre Northern Roots site?

Northern Roots was initiated by Oldham Council. Feasibility work started on the project in 2017. Over the last three years the Northern Roots project team has been working with experts in business modelling, ecology, urban farming and green technologies, and consulting with local communities, to explore what could and should be done on the 160-acre Northern Roots site.

Northern Roots is currently working towards achieving independent charitable status. The ambition for the project is that it will become self-financing in the long term through a blend of social investment, enterprise, licensing and commissioning. The project is exploring a wide range of funding sources to kickstart development. These include the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, who have already generously funded the project, Sport England’s ‘Places To Ride’ and the Towns Fund. If Oldham’s bid to the Towns Fund is successful, it will provide £8million capital funding towards Northern Roots. Your participation in this survey will improve our chances of securing this external funding.

Other potential funding streams include emerging new ‘green financing’ opportunities that promote carbon capture and biodiversity enhancement. Northern Roots has just secured funding from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund – a National Heritage Lottery Fund initiative – which will enable the project to start actively managing trees and plants on the Northern Roots site, create jobs and training opportunities, and start progressing biodiversity and carbon neutrality aspirations. Carbon neutrality is a key aim for the Northern Roots project.


Want to find out more about our plans for carbon, biodiversity and green energy on the 160-acre Northern Roots site?

You can find out more about the vision for Northern Roots here:

Or perhaps you’d prefer to watch a short film?

Take a look at the Northern Roots Trainee Beekeeping Programme:

Or come for a visit and discover an urban wilderness in the heart of Oldham:


  • No categories