Image of a wildflower field

Developing our plan

Developing our plan for nature recovery

Why is this strategy needed?

Like the rest of the country, Greater Manchester faces closely linked climate and biodiversity emergencies, with the abundance and diversity of many of our key species now in long term decline. This means that our natural environment is becoming less resilient and less able to provide us with the benefits we often take for granted. This includes defence against climate change and the extreme weather that we are already experiencing, as our natural environment helps reduce flood risk, reduce the impact of heatwaves in urban areas, and store carbon that would otherwise contribute to global warming.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, declared a biodiversity emergency in the city-region in March 2022, acknowledging – both locally and nationally – that we need to do more to support the recovery of nature and increase the benefits it provides to our people and our economy.

How will the strategy be developed and what will it cover?

Working with stakeholders from across the city-region, the new strategy will go beyond simply showing how and where we will bring nature back into Greater Manchester – it will set out a blueprint for a more liveable city-region, with fairer access to green space for all. It will identify areas already important for nature and people, alongside pinpointing opportunities to create a new network for nature that connects people to green spaces across the city-region.

Our Local Nature Recovery Strategy will capture ambitions for nature from people across the city-region, alongside reflecting existing key priorities for nature recovery including:

  • Managing our land for people, nature and our economy, including planting 1m trees by 2024
  • Managing our water and its environment to improve nature and water quality for all
  • Achieving a net gain in biodiversity for new development to help nature recover
  • Increasing investment in our natural environment for people, business and nature
  • Improving access to our natural environment for a wide range of communities and visitors

Read more in our overview and frequently asked questions brief.

What is being done already to help nature recover?

We are already seeing green shoots around Greater Manchester, with several initiatives underway to boost nature recovery including:

  • The declaration of a new National Nature Reserve, Pennington Flashes, in Wigan and Leigh.
  • The creation of Mayfield, Manchester’s first new park in 100 years.
  • The development of the Eden building in Salford, which features Europe's largest green wall.
  • The £2.6m Green Spaces Fund, which has supported 52 community-led projects to date.
  • The opening of the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct, which has transformed the historic viaduct into a park in the sky.
  • Undertaking surveys of all the main rivers and surrounding areas within the River Irwell catchment to understand the impact of invasive, non-native species and propose measures to tackle them.