• Open Days
  • How You Study
  • Apply
  • UA92 Business School
  • Health, Exercise and Sport
  • World of Digital
  • Sports Journalism

5 Ways to Connect With Nature On and Around Your Campus



Manchester is a bold and vibrant place to live, with bustling streets lined with high-street favourites, chic boutiques and unique places to eat and drink. With its busy transport networks connecting all corners of the city and a skyline filled with hi-rise office and apartment buildings, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s not much opportunity to connect with nature.

But, in fact a recent study shows that over 50% of urban Manchester is greenspace* and you don’t have to look very hard to find ways to enjoy it! There’s evidence to suggests a link between good mental health and nature, so we’re taking a look at some of the best ways to connect with nature both on and around the UA92 campuses.

1. Take a stroll in the park

There are over 150 public parks and open spaces across Manchester. You could make it your mission to visit them all but here’s some to try first.

  • Gorse Hill park is the closest to Old Trafford campus and just a 2-minute walk from Academy Apartments. With a large open green space, it’s a great place to find a small piece of tranquillity after a hectic day.
  • Seymour Park is just a short stroll from Old Trafford campus and has plenty of sports facilities including a skate park, football pitch and basketball court. Worth heading down there with some friends for a kick-around after class.
  • Heaton Park is a short ride on the Metrolink but is well worth a visit. Covering over 600 acres and with great views of the city it is one of the biggest and most loved parks in the area.

2. Explore the Waterways

Canals were at the heart of the industrial revolution and with a sprawling network of waterways, marinas and ports across the city it’s no wonder some refer to Manchester as the Venice of the North.

Now a focal point for recreation and leisure activity, Manchester has invested in regenerating its waterways over recent years. Lucky for us, the UA92 campus is just a short walk from the Bridgewater Way and the many miles of walking and cycle routes connecting communities across the city.

Looking to make a splash? The water sports centres at Salford Quays and Sale Water Park offer a number of in water activities such as Open Water swimming and boating.

3. Bring nature into your home

And we don’t mean invite the local wildlife population into your student accommodation. We think your landlord may have something to say about that!

The safest way to bring nature indoors is buying or growing a plant, or if you enjoy cooking then maybe even start a small herb garden. Studies show that having plants in the house can make you feel more calm and relaxed while nurturing a plant can have a positive impact on your mood.

4. Volunteer for a community project

All over Manchester you’ll come across greenspace in the most unlikely places. Secret allotments, community gardens and organic farms appear where you least expect them. Just a short distance from campus you’ll find Longford Park Community Gardens, Friends of Victoria Park and The Limelight Residents Garden looking for volunteers to roll up their sleeves and get involved.

You can find a local community gardening project looking for volunteers using this handy map by Good to Grow.

5. Plan a trip

If you’re feeling more adventurous why not plan a trip further afield. Pack a picnic and escape to one of the many beauty spots that surround Manchester. You can hop on public transport and be in the countryside or by the sea in less than an hour. Take time to reflect in the natural beauty of the stunning landscapes, beautiful forests and natural habitats for a real boost to your mental health.