Manchester residents have been given more opportunities to get up close to nature after a park was turned into the city’s largest wildlife haven.
A huge area of Wythenshawe Park has been declared as a local nature reserve during a meeting of Manchester City Council's executive group.
The 85 hectare site will now benefit from greater recognition of its wildlife habitats and natural features, while more activities will be held there to make sure residents can find out about the park's wildlife.
The park already features two sites of biological importance - Nan Noon Wood and Gib Lane Wood - along with thousands of trees, more than 2,000 of which were planted in just one hour by volunteers in December 2009.
It also contains a beech tree believed to be more than 450 years old - making it the oldest living tree in the city - while birds including buzzards, owls and woodpeckers have been spotted there.
The site will now become the eighth local nature reserve in the city, along with Chorlton Water Park, Blackley Forest, Clayton Vale, Chorlton Ees and Ivy Green, Boggart Hole Clough, Highfield Country Park, and Stenner Woods with Millgate Fields.
The addition means 392 hectares of the city are now designated as local nature reserves, which have been registered with Natural England as areas of great value to wildlife that also provide opportunities for local people to study and enjoy nature.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for environment, said: "Turning Wythenshawe Park into the city's largest nature reserve means we can build on the excellent work done by the park's strong volunteer groups, and is great news for residents using the park as well as for the park's plants, birds and animals themselves.
"Manchester residents now have plenty of opportunities to see nature up close, and we aim to increase these opportunities by setting up more local nature reserves across the city."