The Council and democracy Biodiversity and wildlife

Biodiversity is the variety of wildlife and natural spaces on Earth. Cities are great for wildlife, and Manchester has a wealth of interesting places to explore and creatures to see.

In 2021 Manchester became the first major City in England to sign the Edinburgh Declaration, an International commitment that registers our concerns about global biodiversity loss, and the need for a new Global Biodiversity Framework.  

The new Manchester Biodiversity Strategy is a practical response to this, and focuses on the need to conserve, protect and enhance biodiversity in the City for current and future generations. This is set within the strategic context of delivering a prosperous, modern, sustainable city. 

It is the third Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan to be developed in the City by a strong collaborative partnership. The Strategy references new ideas, practical action and policy changes. It provides a comprehensive, multi- agency 10-year Action Plan of activity and commitments which will support positive citywide biodiversity impact.  As well as the Council, Partners involved directly in strategy development include Natural England, The Environment Agency, The Wildlife Trust for Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Ecology Unit, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, City of Trees, Canal and River Trust, The Conservation Volunteers, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Museum and the University of Manchester 

The new Manchester Biodiversity Strategy document was received at the Council’s Scrutiny Committee on 13 October 2022 with the Strategy endorsed at the City’s Executive on 19 October 2022. 

Download and view the new Biodiversity strategy document

Why Biodiversity should be protected

Biodiversity provides us with many benefits that we often take for granted, or don't even realise. Trees, for example, act as air purifiers, helping improve air quality while at the same time providing shade in hot weather and shelter on rainy days. Parks, greenspaces and gardens are nature's sponges, helping soak up rain water and prevent flooding, and don't forget, just being around nature can help reduce your stress levels and improve your health and wellbeing.

What you can do to help

There are lots of ways to help encounter, increase and protect Biodiversity in Manchester. You can help by:

  • Putting up a nest box
    •  you can encourage birds, bats or even hedgehogs. Put them up in autumn, to allow creatures to get used to them;
  • Putting up a feeder is an excellent way of encouraging birds into your garden as well.
    • You can put feed out year round, but be careful to locate your feeder away from predators such as cats;
  • Leaving an area of your garden to "grow wild".
    • Leaving grasses and wildflowers to grow provide shelter and food for insects and small mammals;
  • If you have space, plant trees, shrubs and hedges and wildflowers;
    • The best time to sow is spring, and they are fantastic for bees, birds and insects. You can even sow in pots or window boxes;
  • Visiting one of Manchester’s fine parks or take a trip down one of the River Valleys - and don't forget your binoculars;
    • While enjoying the scenery, record and tell us what you see - it's important that we have more information about wildlife in Manchester -  record your sightings here via the the local records
  • Supporting your local park or wildlife group, attend an event – or why not become a member?
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