Manchester set to unveil new biodiversity strategy to protect nature

Manchester City Council is soon set to unveil its new biodiversity strategy to help conserve and protect the area’s natural environment.  

Plans, which have been put together by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust for Greater Manchester, the council and other partners, will be considered by councillors this week. 

A central part to the strategy is the council’s commitment to continue working with partners and to develop new species and habitat action plans. 

The council is also hopeful it can gain permission to create two new Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) in Kenworthy Woods in Northenden and at Broadhurst Clough in Moston.  

brown concrete building near river under blue sky during daytime

The strategy is based on extensive public consultation, builds on biodiversity work begun in 2005 and supports the establishment of National Nature Recovery Networks as part of the government’s 25-year Environment Plan.  

Cllr Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment, said: ‘Putting biodiversity at the heart of plans and development is part of our approach as caretakers of our environment and is part of a wider agenda fitting in with what we’re doing to mitigate the impacts of climate change in the city. 

‘We know that nature is important to our residents, so we need to encourage nature-friendly policies that benefit people and wildlife alike.  However, we can’t do this alone and everyone has a part to play in safeguarding our biodiversity and we’ll only achieve our ambition if everyone from gardeners through to developers work together.     

‘Our plans will form the bedrock of everything that we do; promoting the sustainable growth of the city, improving the health and wellbeing of residents, supporting climate resilience, better sustainable transport, as well as helping to reduce flood risk and improve air quality.’  

Greater Manchester declared a ‘biodiversity emergency’ this March and back in 2021 it was the first city in England to sign the Edinburgh Declaration, an international commitment concerning global biodiversity loss.  

Manchester already has eight LNRs and 37 sites of Biological Importance, as well as its first new city centre park in 100 years, Mayfield Park, which combines elements of the city’s rich industrial heritage.  

A similar venture has also been created in Castlefield, where the steel viaduct has been transformed into a ‘sky park’, in partnership with the National Trust.  

Photo by Matthew Waring


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