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'In Focus' is our monthly feature introduced to shine a spotlight on a local group or individual who are delivering necessary, interesting or impressive work in the community or across our city that is making a difference, helping our city move more and our residents to lead healthier and happier lives.
We’re always on the look out for our next feature – if you are or know of a group, individual, coach, community leader, talented youngster, supporting mentor or similar that’s making a difference, we’d love to be able to help provide some additional focus and raise awareness of all their great work. Get in touch with us at

We asked Manchester based walking group 'City of Trees' a few questions to learn a little more about why he walks, the work City of Trees do in the local area and how others can get involved. Read on to find out more...

1. Where do you walk in Manchester?
We currently run a series of events mainly at Whitworth Park in Central Manchester.

2. Tell us about your walks

Our upcoming walk is open to the public and is for all ages. Walks such as these in the past have attracted city tourists, families, keen conservationists and amazing individuals that want to learn more about nature in order to make a difference in their everyday lifestyle. As these are site-based walks, Whitworth Park is regularly ‘passed by’ by commuters, university students and residents. We always aim to walk at a leisurely pace ensuring our participants get the chance to ask any questions about a specific part of the park or just stop and connect to nature, it has been useful to point out and highlight the importance of nature through sound, colour, smell. As this site is a public park, it has all the amenities to make it accessible for all. Access points are quite easily identified, there are pathways leading on to other facilities and we would say this walk would be very easy.

3. How do your walkers benefit from the walks?
The benefits of connecting to nature is dependant entirely on the individual, through our partnership with the Whitworth Art Gallery on the Natural Cultural Health Service programme. Our wellbeing surveys have highlighted that participants feel a lot better after the events but emotions can vary. Nature for sure has a positive effect on wellbeing, but there is also knowledge exchange, learning, empowering others to do better, sense of belonging and friendship!

4. What do you love about walking?
Walking on your own is positively peaceful, but walking as part of a group is even better. You get to meet new people, listen to the colourful memories and learn new things. Walking in itself especially within local greenspaces is incredibly rewarding, you’re getting exercise, sensory fun, fresh air and a great excuse to nip into a local café for a coffee and some cake?

5. Anything else you want to share about your walks?
Come join us on our walks, we have a brilliant team that are always happy to help or answer any questions regarding any upcoming walks. At City of Trees, we strive to make sure our walkers are happy when they leave and always aim to improve access for participants!

You can find out more information about City of Trees here, or find out more about the walk here.

We recently spoke with Mohammed Ali, who works for north Manchester based organisation Communities for All (Khizra Mosque). We asked Mohammed about why he walks, the work Communities for All do in the local area and how others can get involved. Read on to find out more...
1. Where do you walk in Manchester? 

We walk in the neighbourhood, all known parks and those unknown hidden gems in Manchester and surrounding

2. Tell us a bit about your walks - who do they attract, how far, how easy, or do you walk independently?
We have weekly walks open to all and include the local councillors and local partners and the community.  We also go out further afar and on special walks to enjoy green spaces and nature reserves and lakes with a bit  of scenery. It attracts young and old and open to all but with prior notice so we can make arrangements. We cater for the person walking and generally if need be go at the slowest pace if needed depending on those attended the walk. We can walk anything from 1km to 10km. From flat surfaces to more adventurous walks in the hills.   
3. What do your walkers get from the walks (benefits)?
Enjoyment, making friends/tackling isolation, socialising, better mental health and wellbeing, better physical health, trying something new and a good cup of pink tea or a soup.
4. What do you love about walking?
Meeting and getting out and about to benefit yourself and others, the great outdoors has so much benefits for everyone.
5. Anything else you want to share about your walks?   
It’s a great way for a healthy life style and exploring the local area and more. I would recommend to all and the best about think I like is walking which I found out is the walks are more enjoyable in the winter just as they are in the summer if not more so.  
We try report on fly tipping when and where we can, and we try invite local key people to join our walks. Also whilst on our walks we try to educate many of the people we come face to face with on how to report issues and easy methods to report such as using an app called ‘Fix my street’ along with offering on hands on help where needed. 

We visit the local businesses and discuss issues of concern and also it is a great way of meeting new people and meeting others on our walks which has many known benefits. We also bring services and councillors out to the people.

Contact info;
Name: Mohammed Ali
Tel: 01612056663
Twitter: @Communities4All