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Combatting climate change at Castlefield Viaduct

A view along the top of Castlefield Viaduct before it's transformation, with green vegetation taking over the steel viaduct.
Vegetation growing on Castlefield Viaduct | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Climate change is the single biggest threat to our precious natural and historic landscapes – including those in urban settings like Castlefield Viaduct. Find out about the work we’re doing to ensure the project has environmental sustainability at its heart.

Sustainable planning for the project

In order to secure planning permission for the project, we produced an Environmental Standards Statement, which carefully considered elements such as energy efficiency and weather resilience.

The first phase of the project is limited to a ‘test and learn’ pilot, which has been designed to produce minimal waste and developed using sustainable material wherever possible. The number of temporary elements has been kept to a minimum, and in most cases, we’ll be able to remove and re-use these elements elsewhere.

We’ve also integrated sustainable solutions into the daily running of the viaduct, which you can read about below.

Going green on the viaduct

In the garden, we’ve sourced peat-free compost and all plants have been grown in peat-free environments, supporting the National Trust’s mission to protect peatlands. We’re also harvesting rainwater using water-butts on the deck, which is then used to water the plants.

Increasing biodiversity in another important aim of the project, which is why we’ve created new wildlife habitats within the sky park. We regularly carry out biodiversity monitoring to keep track of the project’s impact in this area, and will continue this work as the project progresses.

Planting begins at Castlefield Viaduct, Manchester


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Our work at Castlefield Viaduct 

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Built in 1892, the Castlefield Viaduct is a core part of Manchester's industrial heritage. Discover more about the area’s history and how the viaduct played a key role in the city’s story.

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