01 07 24 | Community

Stockport’s Thomson Street Bridge aims to connect people to nature

Stockport’s Thomson Street Bridge aims to connect people to nature

Cheshire Wildlife Trust are leading on an ambitious project to transform the Thomson Street Bridge in Stockport into a glorious piece of wildlife art.

Thanks to funding from GMCA’s Green Spaces Fund, the bridge is one of three spaces where artwork and new planting will help to make the town centre more appealing for people and wildlife alike.

The project forms part of the Trusts wider Rewilding Stockport project, funded by the Heritage National Lottery Fund.

The new Thomason Street bridge over the railway line opened in late 2022 and is a key part of a Bee Network Scheme to improve walking and cycling links between Edgeley and Stockport town centre. The segregated route has proved popular for those travelling by bike and on foot.


Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Stockport Council, Avanti and the Crewe to Manchester Community Rail Partnership have been working collectively to introduce some colour to the large metal structure. Working with Arc, Stockport’s Arts and Health charity, the partnership are now transforming the bridge into an art masterpiece.

The top-secret design has been inspired by workshops run by Arc with a number of local community groups and organisations including students from Stockport College. Taking inspiration from what young people of the town had to say Arc’s lead artist Caroline Coates’ design is colourful and exciting and will certainly enhance the look and feel of this key walking and cycling route.

Holly Woosey, Wilder Communities Officer at Cheshire Wildlife Trust said:

“It is going to be so good to see these three areas coming to life through this project. It has been great working with artists from Arc to see what their creativity can bring to the Thomson Street Bridge. I won’t give too much away just yet, but the artwork captures exactly how I envisage Stockport in the future, with wildlife in amongst the town centre. I’d really like for local people to keep an eye on the artwork and see how it develops through the painting sessions coming up.”

Annette Naor Hilton, Creative Wellbeing Lead at Arc said:

“We’re delighted to be involved in the bridge mural project, which has provided an exciting opportunity for Stockport residents to put their mark on their home town in a public piece of art. Arc associate artist, Caroline Coates, worked with a broad range of local people, young and old, to develop the mural design, from school pupils and college students to a wide variety of local families and community groups. The final mural is a wonderful celebration of Stockport green spaces and places, shaped both conceptually and artistically by the local community. “

Lisa Magee, Avanti West Coast Team Leader at Stockport, said:

“We want to champion causes that matter most to the communities we serve, so we’re excited to be joining local people to help transform the bridge and support Cheshire Wildlife Trust in sharing their vision for Stockport. We hope this wonderful mural will brighten the pedestrian and cycle route to the station inspiring people to take small actions that can help the town’s wildlife, and help the charity’s aspirations to become a reality.”

If residents want to get involved in bring the masterpiece to life, join the week’s session on Monday 1st July to create the artwork. 

Booking is essential, so please look at www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/events If you do have some artistic flair, please book on to the second week, when the finder details will be added.

Holly had one last call to locals as well:

“Hopefully this project will get more people in the town talking about their vision for nature across Stockport, and beyond. My role at the Trust is to help people to take their own actions for nature. So if anyone has an idea for what they want to make happen where they live, whether that is a hedgehog network in their street, or a wildflower meadow in the grounds of their office, please get in touch via the Cheshire Wildlife Trust website.”

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