House sparrows are one of the species included in the My Wild City initiative © Andia / UIG / Getty
At the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Green Summit, the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside revealed the first phase of the My Wild City plan.
My Wild Garden, one aspect of the My Wild City initiative, aims to encourage residents of Manchester to make their garden into nature reserves and offer homes to a variety of wildlife.
“This is an opportunity for Manchester to lead the fightback for our urban wildlife, but we need the help of everyone who lives there,” says Anne Selby, the chief executive of the Wildlife Trust.
“If we can persuade people to provide havens for nature in their own gardens then it will create streets which will become nature reserves, and then towns where everyone will have access to wildlife.”
As part of the project, the Wildlife Trust will advise people on how to provide shelters for mammals and amphibians, to grow flowers and other plants that are suitable for insects and birds to feed on, and to connect gardens.
Other aspects of the My Wild City initiative will include My Wild School, My Wild Office and My Wild Health Service.
“My Wild Garden is now helping to raise awareness of the crucial role gardens play in creating a wildlife-friendly Manchester,” says James Hall, manager of My Wild City.
“We are aiming to improve the habitat quality of at least 15,000 gardens across the city by 2025. By enticing wildlife into your garden with a few simple changes, you can be part of a nature reserve covering the whole of Manchester and beyond. And you will be providing a home for millions of beautiful and diverse creatures.”
The My Wild City scheme is already running in Bristol, Cardiff, London and Leeds.
Read more wildlife news stories in BBC Wildlife Magazine