This year the City Nature Challenge comes to Greater Manchester. This is a worldwide biological recording event, organised globally by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences.
Between 26th and 29th April, over 150 cities worldwide will be competing to find and record urban wildlife. We will be pitting our wildlife spotting skills against the likes of San Francisco, Rome, Lima, Hong Kong, Liverpool and London.
There are two ways to get involved in this fun and friendly competition. You can take part independently using the iNaturalist app to record any wildlife you spot over that weekend. You could record the ladybirds living on your balcony, the birds in your local park or the mushrooms you’ve seen on a walk in the countryside. The app is available to download at www.inaturalist.org.
You can also get involved by joining us at one of the many wildlife recording events taking place that weekend in parks and greenspaces across Greater Manchester; held by some of the region’s leading conservation organisations.
On Thursday 25th April, Manchester Museum will be holding a pre-challenge evening celebrating urban wildlife. On Friday 26th recording events will be held at Moston Fairway, Sandilands Wood, Smithills Estate and University of Manchester campus. On Saturday 27th there will be recording events at Blackley Forest, Sandilands Woods, Smithills Estate, Alexandra Park and Whitworth Park. On Sunday 28th recording events will be held at Fletcher Moss Park and Dove Stone reservoir. Finally on Monday 29th recording events will be held at University of Manchester campus and Chorlton Ees.
Anyone is welcome to come along and have a go. More information on events taking place that weekend can be found by heading to www.eventbrite.org and searching for ‘Greater Manchester City Nature Challenge‘.
Anyone who joins in will be helping to make a difference, mapping where wildlife lives in the city. The information from this weekend will be added to the UK’s biodiversity database, becoming part of the data used to protect nature.
Stuart Fraser, Environmental Records Officer for Greater Manchester Local Records Centre (GMLRC) said: “Recording your nature sightings is a great way for anyone to contribute to conservation. GMLRC uses records to highlight important areas for wildlife in the region; we produce protected/priority species reports for ecological consultants on Planning Applications, and they can help identify sites to be considered by GM districts for regional SBI status (Sites of Biological Importance). Records also help owners and organisations manage land for all species, and track how climate change, habitat management and other changes affect biodiversity over time – locally and nationally, as our records feed into the national NBN database.”