The Pioneer of this venture was Professor F E Weiss, who held the George Harrison Chair of Botany between 1892 and 1930. In the beginning, the ground owned by Sir Joseph Whitworth, an inventor of the Whitworth rifle and Whitworth thread. After he died, he bequeathed the site for the university to function as commercial fruit and vegetable nursery. However, during the First World War, the ground produced the Atropa belladonna plant for making the atropine ( a potential nerve-agent antidote) to help the community. The Firs decided to produce the plant because there was over-harvested in Croatia and Slovenia although the plants growing wild in there.
In the early 1920s, the Empire Cotton Growing Corporation asked for help to investigate a bacterial disease-causing problem on its crops in Sudan. Because everyone in Manchester and most of Lancashire put more effort and focus on this textile industry, the local trade was affected.
This place needs to be preserved because it became a ground base for several plant research from biochemistry and biotechnology, ecology, genetics, and biological control. Furthermore, the firs have so many fascinating rare botanical plant from around the world.
Welcomecollection. Potrait of F.E.Weiss, professor of botany. [Online Image] [Accessed 18th March 2020]
Wikipedia. Atropa Belladonna. [Online Image] [Accessed 18th March 2020]
Posted 19 Mar 2020 12:48
INTRODUCING THE SITE
The University of Manchester Botanical gardens in Fallowfield or known as The Firs is situated between the student halls and the Armitage centre. Currently being run by The Faculty of Life Sciences. It has so many fascinating rare botanical specimens from around the world which have been cultivated there for decades. The botanical experimental grounds moved to the current site in 1922 and have 0.6 ha. Today, the first is below the School of Biological Sciences and have a wide range of research projects for several areas of science.
A place where we can preserve many kinds of plants from around the world for research and education purpose. They will put the plants based on their groups. For example, they will put the tropical plants in group with the same temperature as the origin climate.
Today, botanical garden is very important for serving research and education purposes at universities and other institutes of education. The researchers may get something from the plants and develop experiments with the pollen of a specific species. It is very important for the researchers to have the accurate background and climate to study
We did the site visit on 15th January to have a better understanding of the project aim. On the first site visit, Professor Giles Johnson as our collaborator explained to us what is the botanical garden and how they operate the garden. There is a construction site inside the site thus we need permission to enter the site.
We entered the greenhouse which has different room for a different type of plants. We can see the different types of plants based on their own climate. As we walked around the site, Giles explains there will be a possibility to have a connection to the next-door hotel.
From our first site visit, we understand that we need to make a landscape and architecture design proposal to provide the botanical gardens and teaching activities.