Spring is here and we’re a bit more inclined to get outside to explore. Adding to our go-to green spaces is Broadhurst Clough, located in the north of Manchester, which has become the city’s newest designated Local Nature Reserve (LNR) following approval at the Executive committee on March 22.
Biodiversity is one of the key principles of the council’s strategy to improve green spaces and improve connectivity across green corridors in the city. Conserving, protecting and enhancing the city’s green spaces and woodlands supports the city’s commitment and ambition to preserve and enhance biodiversity in the city.
Broadhurst Clough in Moston joins the likes of Chorlton Water Park, Blackley Forest, Clayton Vale, Wythenshawe Park and Kenworthy Woods in being a Local Nature Reserve. Broadhurst Clough, part of the Irk Valley Corridor, has become the tenth LNR in Manchester, forming part of the North Manchester nature network linking to Moston Fairway and Boggart Hole Clough.
The 14-hectare area contains Dean Brook which trickles through the lower level of the Clough in a steep-sided woodland ravine. The area consists of a mosaic of amenity grassland, species-rich rough grassland and marshland. Mature poplars here sit alongside young copses of birch and alder woodland which have been planted in partnership with the City of Trees. Extensive stands of flag iris can be found in the marshy areas and seasonal ponds, providing ideal cover for common frogs and toads, as well as rest stops for dragonflies.
Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment, said: “We want to get the right balance between people and nature and by developing the city’s natural environment, it’s woodlands, rivers and meadows for residents and visitors to enjoy, it helps to preserve the precious eco-systems that we already have and contribute to an increasing and diverse wildlife, flora and fauna in our natural environment. It is also another step in our journey and ambition to not just mitigate the impacts of climate change but to become a zero-carbon city by 2038.”
Regular events such as bat walks, nature walks, pond dipping, and fungal foraging events along with general clean up events take place at Broadhurst Clough organised by the active Friends of group alongside the Parks team that manage the green space.
The status as a LNR will help to protect natural features and wildlife habitats and increase local involvement where people can learn and study in nature with all the added health and wellbeing that this brings. It also increases the opportunity to bid for additional funding to enhance and improve the area.