The Firs Botanical Grounds are tucked away between Owens Park and the Armitage Sports Centre in Fallowfield, on land that previously formed part of Joseph Whitworth’s estate – the house of the estate is now known as Chancellors, but Whitworth had a long brick firing range on the grounds, and part of this was converted into greenhouses. Further greenhouses have since been built on the site, as well as a specialist section for mosses and ferns.
The Firs Experimental Gardens provide both facilities for studies on plant biology and also a resource for the education of students and the wider public. The site is open to the public by arrangement with the manager and is visited through the year by groups ranging from primary school children to amateur botany societies. The site possesses an extensive collection of plants, including a growing collection of rare ferns and some magnificent succulents. A classroom is available, with projector facilities, and staff have prepared various activities suitable for different age groups. For further details, contact the manager, Mr David Grantham.