The city nature challenge

Annabel Rushton

Monday 15 April 2019

This year, the City Nature Challenge, a worldwide recording event, comes to Greater Manchester. 


City Nature Challenge is organised on a global scale by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Academy of Sciences


Between the 26th and 29th April, over 150 cities worldwide will be competing to find urban and record wildlife. We will be pitting our wildlife spotting skills against the likes of San Francisco, Rome, Lima, Hong Kong and Liverpool. 


There are two ways to get involved with 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 the local park or the mushrooms you’ve seen on a walk in the countryside. The app is available to download at


You can also get involved by joining one of the many recording events taking place that weekend in parks and greenspaces across Greater Manchester held by Greater Manchester’s leading conservation organisations.


  • On Thursday 25th April, Manchester Museum will be holding a pre-challenge celebration evening for urban wildlife.
  • On Friday 26th April recording events will be held at Moston Fairway in Moston, Sandilands Wood in Wythenshawe, Smithills Estate in Bolton and University of Manchester campus.
  • On Saturday 27th April recording events will be held at Blackley Forest in Blackley, Sandilands Wood in Wythenshawe, Smithills Estate in Bolton, Alexandra Park in Whalley Range and Whitworth Park.
  • On Sunday 28th April recording events will be held at Fletcher Moss in Didsbury, Dove Stone in Saddleworth and Chorlton Water Park.
  • On Monday 29th April 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 the recording events taking place that weekend can be found by heading to 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 reports on protected/priority species for ecological consultants on Planning Applications, and they 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.”


Despite being a built-up, bustling city, there’s a surprising amount of wildlife living in the city alongside us. A number of organisations have come together to help people notice and protect the nature in Greater Manchester including: The Greater Manchester Local Records Centre, Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North, Merseyside, City of Trees, the RSPB, Salford Rangers, The Woodland Trust, Whitworth Art Gallery, Friends of Alexandra Park, Friends of Fletcher Moss, Mersey Valley Rangers, Friends of Chorlton Meadows and Manchester Museum.

Tagged with: Topic: Get involved