“We live in a finite world. Ultimately we rely upon the natural world for every mouthful of food that we eat and indeed every lungful of air that we breathe” Sir David Attenborough

Why is nature crucial to fight the climate crisis?

  1. Healthy ecosystems boost biodiversity and can help to rapidly and cheaply absorb carbon emissions.
  2. Nature can help provide inbuilt safety nets and protection against evens like flooding and heat waves which will become increasingly common as a result of the climate crisis.
  3. Healthy ecosystems provide more secure sources of food and water.

Biodiversity in Bury

The UK is said to be one of the most nature depleted countries in the world, and like many similar towns biodiversity under Bury is under ever increasing pressure.

The Borough has a good range of semi-natural habitats such as blanket bog, heathland, ancient woodland, wetlands and unimproved grassland. It also has many man-made habitats such as ponds, lodges and canals that are the result of past industrial development or historic land management practices.

Some of them have been retained within reclaimed public open spaces. Through all of this the Irwell Valley providing a valuable ecological networkthrough the Borough It includes:

  • Six Local Nature Reserves, at Philips Park, Chesham, Hollins Vale, Redisher Woods, the Kirklees Valley and Chapelfield.
  • 50 Sites of Biological Importance (SBIs) which are assessed by the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit
  • Bury has 2 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs): the West Pennine Moors is designated for the quality of its mosaic of upland and upland fringe habitats. Ash Clough is a river cliff important for the geology exposed.

Woodland in Bury

9% of Bury is woodland. The highest per cent in similar local authorities is 13%. The UK is one of the least wooded areas of Europe, with just 11.7% woodland cover compared to around 37% for EU. Source

Opportunities: 1953 hectares of land may be suitable for new woodlands in Bury. Of this new woodland opportunity area, 30.8% could be delivered through rewilding (natural regeneration). Source

Improving access to nature

Many residents in Bury don’t have easy access to green spaces. Four neighbourhoods within the area are rated E or D which means they are the most deprived of the green space essential for physical or mental health. Source

This is something which continues to be a focus of plans for Greater Manchester to become a Green City Region.


What can I do in my community

Find out what’s happening in your local area and across Bury for ideas. Get involved or start something (however small) in your own neighbourhood.







Borough-wide projects

City of Trees: Look out for events in your area by the City of Trees project, that aims to plant 3 million trees, one for every person across Greater Manchester, within 5 years

Greater Manchester Wildlife Trust

Bury Volunteer Rangers

South Lancashire Bat Group

Access to nature

The Sunnywood Project is a non-profit arts and nature education consultancy / provider and outdoor events organiser. ​

What are the Council doing for nature?

The Council has set a number of action around nature in its Climate Action Plan (pg 25):

  • Doubling tree cover on council owned land
  • Having bid-ready projects relating to urban-greening initiatives
  • Reducing water and energy use associated with the green spaces
  • Protect existing trees, hedgerows and peatlands throughout the borough
  • Producing a Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy that will demonstrate how we will protect, enhance, and develop our existing natural environment and greenspace
  • Protecting existing public open space, sport and recreational facilities and enhance natural capital
  • Maintaining our Green Flag parks
  • Encouraging beekeeping where appropriate within the borough and implementing practices to support
  • Encouraging local communities to further connect with our natural environments
  • Developing new high-quality green spaces in areas where there currently are none
  • Managing Council owned land and road verges to increase biodiversity and draw down carbon pollution, including pesticide reduction and increased planting of wildflowers
  • Working with the Places for Everyone Strategy so that our new developments encourage progress towards carbon neutrality
  • Engaging with the public more around local decisions relating to green spaces
  • Investigating the potential of rewilding and how best to incorporate
  • Working with schools to better use green spaces to promote biodiversity
  • Investigating how best to promote and improve our blue infrastructure

Many of these actions are in early stages or yet to start. Contact your local Councillor to find out what they are doing to support these actions.

What we could do in Bury

Organise and plant a tiny forests. A Tiny Forest is a dense fast-growing native woodland, based on an established forest management method developed in the 1970s by Dr Akira Miyawaki. Earthwatch aims to establish over 150 forests in the UK by 2023.


Nature journalism