A climate action campaign in Manchester has created a high street pop-up to provide shoppers with an immersive experience in a nature-filled oasis.
Created by In Our Nature, the pop-up is hidden within what appears to be an everyday shop in St Ann’s Arcade in the heart of the city. Once shoppers step inside, they are invited to relax on real grass, be surrounded by plants, the smells of nature and projections of green spaces from around the city.
At the centre of the experience is a sound installation, featuring ‘the sound of Manchester’s nature’ – a series of tracks created in collaboration with sound artist and composer Jason Singh and Manchester’s spoken word collective, Young Identity. Before leaving the shop, customers are offered information about tangible actions everybody can take to support nature and the environment in their local area.
The popup is part of the In Our Nature’s programme of activities with communities in Manchester, which are designed to help find creative solutions to the climate crisis. All the projects use nature as a gateway to inspire positive climate action, with a big focus on removing barriers for those with limited access to spend time in nature.
Research from Natural England shows a positive link between feeling connected to nature and behaving in a way that is better for the environment.
Jason Singh, Sound Artist and Nature Beatboxer, said:
People and nature are an endless source of inspiration for me. This project has been a wonderful exploration of poetry, technology, landscape and nature. Manchester is huge part of my life and I truly love both the wide range of people that inhabit all parts of the city as well as the landscape that makes Manchester what it is. This new installation celebrates peoples’ connection with nature as well as thinking about the surroundings in which we live, work and play. It has been an absolute pleasure working on In Our Nature.
Lisa Lingard, Community Lead at Manchester Climate Change Agency, said:
Nature plays a central part in helping the city fight the climate crisis. Plants and trees are brilliant at soaking up the carbon emissions that lead to extreme weather and help cool urban areas in hot weather. It’s wonderful to see people across Manchester coming together for the good of the planet, and we’re excited to inspire more people to join as they visit this beautiful nature experience.
Manchester residents are encouraged to visit and sign up to the In Our Nature online hub at: www.inournaturemcr.co.uk and to follow @InOurNatureMCR on social media for tips, ideas, and inspiration on greener living in Manchester.