We approached the New Islington Free School earlier this year about working on an art project which would brighten up the surrounding area of their new building in Ancoats. Creative Programmes Manager, Graham initially came up with the idea of fusing nature and city life together by creating an art installation called the ‘The Trees of Ancoats’. In collaboration with the school, pupils and teachers drew pictures of trees in class and at Mustard Tree which were transferred onto large wooden boards by Freedom Project Supervisor Anoushka, fellow participants Jayne, David and Granace and local artist Duncan. Pupils and teachers also had a helping hand in painting some of the boards using their hand prints to create leaves of the trees. In addition to this, Graham talked to pupils about the importance of the environment, what trees do and why they are vital to every living creature on the planet. In total, 34 trees have been placed on the fences of the New Islington Free School which we hope will give Ancoats a fresh identity and encourage community spirit.