Natural Capital

Natural capital is the stock of “environmental assets” - the elements of the natural world such as land, forests, water, soil, air, minerals and oceans that provide benefits to people. Natural capital identifies and places a value upon these assets. 

Natural Capital Investment Plan

Greater Manchester is the first city-region in the UK to develop a Natural Capital Investment Plan - a plan that will help us encourage investment in our natural environment to secure financial and social returns. The plan has been developed as a result of the Mayor's Green Summit. The development of innovative finance models to support natural capital investment is a key aim of the Greater Manchester Urban Pioneer programme.

Urban Pioneer

The Urban Pioneer is one of four three–year Defra Pioneer projects designed to support and inform the development of central government’s approach in its 25-year environment plan. The aspiration is that: within a generation (25 years), our country will be the healthiest and most beautiful place to live, work and bring up a family. With the vision for this country to be cleaner, greener, healthier and a more prosperous place to live and work. “To be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it.”

The Urban Pioneer will explore the links between environment, society and economy, focusing on improving the natural environment through improved decision making to support the health, wellbeing and prosperity of Greater Manchester’s residents. 

Defra has asked the "pioneers" to:

  • Test new tools and methods as part of applying a natural capital approach in practice
  • Demonstrate a joined-up integrated approach to delivery
  • Pioneer and ‘scale-up’ the use of new funding opportunities 
  • Grow our understanding of ‘what works’, sharing lessons and best practice.

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Connect With Nature

Greater Manchester's Local Nature Partnership – Natural Capital Group – has launched a new website to help people get closer to nature and make the most of Greater Manchester’s natural green spaces. The site includes info on local walks, volunteering opportunities and local nature events. 

Natural Course

The 20m Euro project aims to integrate water management approaches to deliver the North West England River Basin Management Plan. Specifically it will address barriers holding back the achievement of “good” ecological status for the region’s water bodies, as required by the Water Framework Directive. We will now be working with other organisations including The Environment Agency, United Utilities, Natural England, and Rivers Trust to deliver a better environment for communities in the North West.


The RESIN project is bringing European cities and scientists together to investigate climate resilience and develop more effective strategies. The project combines existing approaches to climate change and disaster risk assessment to develop guidelines that can used by project cities and ultimately shared with a wider circle of cities. It is an interdisciplinary research project investigating climate resilience in European cities, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union. The consortium includes core cities (Manchester, Bratislava, Bilbao and Paris) and research partners.

Each project research institution works closely with its local city to together develop tools to support cities in designing and implementing climate adaptation strategies for their local contexts. Greater Manchester is working closely with the University of Manchester. Cooperation between researchers and cities functions in a cycle of development, pilot trials and evaluation. Workshops are held in each project city to share knowledge with partners from the project cities and their stakeholders.

City of Trees

City of Trees is an innovative and exciting movement set to re-invigorate Greater Manchester’s landscape by transforming underused, unloved woodland and planting a tree for every man, woman and child who lives there, within a generation.