The Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) requiring enhanced biosecurity (declared at 17:00 on 11 November 2020) remains in force across the whole of England. But following a reduction in the risk of avian influenza to both wild and kept birds to ‘medium’. Wednesday 31st March 2021 will be the last day poultry and other captive birds will need to be housed as a requirement of the AIPZ.

Housing restrictions end at 23:59 on the 31st March 2021. All other biosecurity measures in the AIPZ remain in force until further notice and are a legal requirement for all bird keepers in England (whether they have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock).

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Seven Planet Saving Solutions

To help you with your Eco-Street application, this week we’ll be looking at examples of nature-based-solutions (NBS). By installing NBS into your designs you can help reduce the impact of climate change on your neighbourhoods, whilst also supporting people’s health and wellbeing and making new homes for wildlife. 

The seven planet saving solutions outlined below are all backed up by science with most of the statistics mentioned coming from over 1,000 pieces of scientific evidence which have been collected and analysed as part of the IGNITION project. These are just some of the benefits of nature-based-solutions, so click the links in each section to find out more.

Missed our first email on ‘Why are we banging on about green-spaces?’ – check it out HERE.

1. Green roofs

Green roofs are areas of planting positioned on top of structures – this is most commonly roofs of buildings but they can also be installed on sheds, garages and bin stores. Green roofs are heavier than normal roofs so your structure needs to be checked first before these are installed. They come in many different types and sizes with varying benefits.  

What makes a green roof great? 

  • They can extend roof life by an average of 23 years over a conventional roof, by protecting the surface from the sun’s rays.
  • They restore habitats and provide food for insects and other wildlife. 
  • They manage and store rainfall – on average they retain 62% excess rainwater, which reduces the amount of water overloading our drains and sewer systems. Green blue roofs have an additional egg-tray like layer which means they can store even more!  

2. Green walls, living walls and green facades  

Green walls can thrive in both indoor and outdoor environments. They can feature simple planting such as ivy growing from the ground to the roof, or they can be made of more complex structures, where plants are grown directly on the walls in specially made planters.

Why are green walls great?  

  • They improve air quality by absorbing poisonous pollutants (eg. car fumes). 
  • A view of nature like a green wall can increase memory by 12-15%.
  • They reduce energy use in a building (through their added insulation) by up to 15%. 

3. Rain gardens and rain garden planters

Rain gardens and rain garden planters are areas of planting put in place to collect excess rainwater and reduce flooding. Rain gardens at ground level can be positioned in locations to collect excess water and store it temporarily. In a storm situation, water collects within them which slows down the water and stops it from reaching the sewer systems quickly. Rain garden planters work in a similar way and can be placed underneath drainpipes with a pipe fitted underneath to release water slowly to the existing drain.  

4. Permeable surfaces

Around half of Greater Manchester’s greenspaces are private gardens, so simply by not paving over these, or by using permeable surfaces we can make a huge difference! Permeable surfaces allow water to soak through them rather than pool on top and form puddles. Some examples include; gravel, porous surfaces, permeable paving and reinforced grass. Replacing driveways and pathways with this style of surfacing can reduce flooding while still keeping your feet dry! 

5. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)

Permeable surfaces and raingardens are both examples of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (lovingly known as SUDS).  SUDS have the potential to transform our towns and cities, providing environmental and economic benefits including:  

  • A pond with sustainable drainage can increase species richness by 60-80% by providing habitats, refuge and food sources for different plants and animals.
  • SUDS act as a filter, removing pollutants from our water systems and keeping it clean.
  • They can reduce the flow of excess rainwater reaching our water systems by 70%, allowing our water systems more time to recover in storm situations.

6. Street trees

Street trees have a whole range of benefits, from creating more inviting places to live and work, to building resilience to flooding and heat waves.

What’s great about street trees?

  • They improve our health and wellbeing, eg. reducing childhood asthma by 29% .
  • They soak up and store carbon. 5.5kg of carbon is absorbed by every tree each year (the weight of 37 bananas).  
  • When planted in tree pits with SUDS they can store water in times of flash flooding. They also drink lots of water and cool city by ‘sweating’ during a process called transpiration.  
  • They reduce surrounding air temperatures by 3 degrees – keeping us cool in heat waves and cooling down global temperatures. They also reduce wind speed!  

7. Water butts

Keeping it simple by retrofitting a water butt as a ‘mini leaky dam’ you can capture extra water in stormy conditions and ensure it is released slowly to relieve pressure on our sewer systems. Simply leave the tap open slightly or add a tap half way up to keep some of the water in all year round. Small wildlife ponds also help to retain water, cool the air and increase biodiversity.  

Don’t forget, you can still register for one of our online workshops for more ideas and an opportunity to ask questions. These take place on:

  • 23rd March 2021, 10:00am – 11:00am 
  • 25th March 2021, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
  • 31st March 2021, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Please email our Community Coordinator Amy for instructions on how to join.

As well as the workshops there will be a Live Q&A on Instagram on Monday 29th March from 5.30pm:

This project has been funded through IGNITION, which is looking to create a greener, more climate resilient Greater Manchester through finding innovative ways of financing and implementing nature-based solutions in our cities.

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Transform Your Community With Eco Streets

Design Your Own Eco-Street is a new and exciting opportunity from Groundwork Greater Manchester giving communities the chance to win £6,000 funding to transform an unused area into an exciting green space. 

Our previous project in Old Trafford used 328 planters, 3327 plants and 142 bird houses.

The Eco-Streets competition seeks to transform two un-used, un-loved areas in Greater Manchester into spaces that feature nature-based-solutions to climate change. Each design will receive £6,000 in funding and support from Groundwork’s Community Enablers to transform their spaces in 2021.

With support from Groundwork, Eco-Streets will equip communities with the skills to design, install and maintain natural features to create vibrant, green community spaces to benefit people while tackling climate change.   

Who Can Apply

Applications are open for Greater Manchester community groups or groups of residents, consisting of at least 3 people from different households. We want to make sure that the project is sustainable, and having a core group of people ensures that different tasks can be shared out and one person isn’t burdened with designing and delivering their project alone. 

Transformable spaces could include Alleyways or ‘Ginnels’, Small Streets, Courtyards, Dis-used Allotments or Abandoned Park areas. If you recognise an area similar to those in the picture below then we encourage you to apply.

Unused areas Eco Streets
How to apply

Applications are welcome from all across Greater Manchester, with a particular focus on applications from communities with limited access to high quality green space. Funded through the IGNITION project, Eco-Streets seeks to showcase how Greater Manchester can become greener and more climate resilient.  

To apply, simply sign up to our Eco-Streets mailing list:


Once you have received your first e-mail, follow the instructions and carefully read the eligibility criteria to check you are happy with the terms and conditions. This is the first stage of the application process, and everything else will be outlined in future emails.

Next Steps

Throughout March 2021 you’ll receive a number of emails which explain more about nature based solutions and provide inspiring designs for your space. They’ll also be a number of workshops you can attend to ask more questions and ways you can get involved online

  • Workshop One: 23rd March 2021, 10:00am – 11:00am 
  • Workshop Two: 25th March 2021, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Workshop Three: 31st March 2021, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

At the end of March you will be sent details on how to complete your application, which includes a paragraph on why your location should be picked, the features you’d like to include and images of the space you want to transform. Applicants must also provide proof of Landowner consent to proceed with the project. 

Carol Robson‘s neighbours transformed their alley during lockdown.

The prize

Two winning projects will be awarded £6,000 to bring their idea to life. These projects will be selected by a panel of judges at the end of April 2021. Prior to construction, the winning projects will also have access to a ‘Seeing is Believing’ tour at one of Greater Manchester’s new pioneering nature-based solutions sites for inspiration, and a design session with one of Groundwork’s Landscape Architects to help you to map out your ideas.

Once a plan for your space has been created, Groundwork will support with multiple volunteer days, where we can help you to build your new site and provide hands-on support and advice. Now you’re part of the family, we’ll also provide future support with funding, maintenance and monitoring so you know how to apply for funding to care for your space in the long-term. 

Eco-Streets will target areas currently lacking in natural features and those that combat climate change to address inequalities in Greater Manchester. With this in mind, the judging panel will be prioritising applications based on:  

  • Local need (e.g. places that have less access to green-space)
  • Community Support
  • Use of nature based solutions within the design 
  • Group creativity  

Harpurhey Meanwhile Site

Harpurhey’s Meanwhile Site was created on one of Manchester’s busiest roads.

Landowner Permissions: 

You will need to speak to the landowner of your proposed space before submitting your final application. If you are unsure about who owns the piece of land then approaching your local authority is a great place to start.  The Community Land Advisory Service also have a list of resources which could help you https://www.farmgarden.org.uk/negotiating-land-owners  

You can also search the Land Registry, there is a cost for this service – https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry  

If you have any problems with this, please get in touch and we’ll see how we can help. 


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If anyone needs any wood chippings, contact Lee Henderson on 07849775189

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Due to the risk of avian influenza, new housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds will come into force on 14 December in England, Scotland and Wales. It will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures.

More at GOV.​UKhttps://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-national-prevention-zone-declared

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Please click on the link below to take part in the



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Avian influenza (bird flu) national prevention zone declared

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been declared across the whole of England to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss has confirmed today (11 November).This means it is a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.

The prevention zone means bird keepers across the country must:

  • Ensure the areas where birds are kept are unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources;
  • Feed and water your birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds;
  • Minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures;
  • Clean and disinfect footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy;
  • Reduce any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas.

The prevention zone will be in place until further notice and will be kept under regular review as part of our work to monitor the threat of bird flu.

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