Greater Manchester Birding City Region


In Greater Manchester we are looking for innovative ideas so that we can truly call ourselves a world-leading Green City Region and to boost investment in the Natural Capital Plan

Greater Manchester Birding City Region is a project that is a world first, no other city region in the world has promoted itself as a “Birding City Region”

James Walsh, aka The Mancunian Birder, the project originator says, “I have been present at a number of business conferences and conducting meetings with potential partners and investors with a view to making this a project that can put Greater Manchester on the world map

The “Big Five” principles of Greater Manchester Birding City Region are:

1. Birding is an effective activity to connect people to nature, especially in urban areas such as Greater Manchester City Region

2. Birding is a springboard / gateway to an interest in / learning more about the environment

3. Bird populations give us information about the health / state of our environment

4. Birding is now an industry and is a form of maximising Natural Capital, especially including Eco-Tourism

5. Birding has mental health and physical health benefits

2018 has been a very interesting year for birding in Greater Manchester, some of the highlights showing the increase in popularity in urban birding – a singing male Wood Warbler in May in Brookdale Park attracting many birders to urban Manchester, a juvenile Rosy Starling in Timperley in October drawing big crowds to a sub-urban area in the south of the City Region, and throughout the spring and summer Black Redstarts were a constant attraction in central Manchester


Upcoming Events

Beelines Launch


6pm-8pm Tuesday 4th December 2018

@ Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS

Announcement of “The Birds And The Beelines” project

Free tickets:


Natural Capital Conference – Investing To A Green Greater Manchester


9am-4:20pm Wednesday 30th January 2019

@ Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4FP

Free Tickets:

Conference Schedule:


Greater Manchester Green Summit


The second Greater Manchester Green Summit is on Monday 25th March 2019



Natural Course Report on the Greater Manchester Natural Capital Investment Plan

Greater Manchester Natural Capital Investment Plan

Greater Manchester Birding City Region Launch Film

Global Big Day, May 2018

The Birds And The Beelines

Mancunian Birder in the Altrincham/Timperley area

One Day In The Oldham Borough

Oldham Eco-Tour, Alexandra Park




The Beautiful North

The Birds And The Bees

Take A Deeper Look And You’ll See

The Beauty Of The North


Photo: Golden Plovers, Salford Mosses, Greater Manchester


Photo: Tawny Mining Bee, Kersal Moor, Salford, Greater Manchester

Representatives of the people of North came together for the “People’s Powerhouse” Conference, again in Yorkshire, this time in Bradford on Tuesday 20th November 2018, following the successful inaugural event in Doncaster in 2017

A vibrant celebration, this event gives Northern people the opportunity to speak truth to power, to network and to be themselves, especially announcing community projects, it has become a general pow-wow for Northern “tribes” to gather in a relaxed, but formal, business-like environment


The environment was the subject that I was there to talk about, the event organisers had invited me, upon reading my application, to speak at the “Where is nature and the environment in our vision for the North ?” presentation and workshop, with co-speakers Annie Berrington of Get Out More and Sarah Davies of the Environment Agency, and host Graham Duxbury of Groundwork






The North of England has some of the most beautiful wildlife, environment and scenery in the world, the Lake District, the River Eden, Morecambe Bay, Walney Island, the Northumberland coast, the Farne Islands, the North York moors, the Yorkshire coast, the Don Valley in Sheffield, the Lancashire hills, The Fylde, the Peak District and the Mersey Estuary, we have Red Grouse, Ospreys and Otters, millions of birds fly from their African wintering grounds to breed in the North of England in the summer, and millions of birds, waders, swans, geese and ducks fly into the North of England from the Arctic Circle, Iceland, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe to winter on our estuaries, marshes and lakes, and nature thrives even in some of the most urban and industrialised areas – Black Redstarts and Peregrines are in many of our Northern cities and towns


So why is the North still thought of as the “desolate North” ? Why have we not shaken off the image of the Industrial Revolution ? Why is there still not much sign of “mindfulness” of our environment ? Why haven’t we got an organisation promoting Eco-Tourism in the North of England ? Where are all the “green jobs” that we need to secure our climate and our future ?



In Greater Manchester we have the ambition and potential to be a world-leading Green City Region and this could be the start of a “green renaissance” in the North of England, with culture change on a massive scale as ecology reaches parity of esteem with economy, maximising Natural Capital, bringing the environment to the fore of people’s conscious and huge investment in the “green jobs of the future”, jobs in renewable energy, jobs as ecologists, jobs monitoring the greenhouse effect, climate change, air quality and species decline, jobs in permaculture, Eco-Tourism, creating and managing nature reserves, and rewilding the countryside – a truly green economy


Let’s think big, how about a “Green Atlantic Gateway” based on linking up the wildlife sites and nature reserves along the Manchester Ship Canal and the Mersey Estuary, a “Fylde Future” project based on promoting Renewable Energy, Sustainable Agriculture and Eco-Tourism on The Fylde in Lancashire and a “North England Eco-Tourism” organisation to promote sustainable tourism that educates people about our unique environment, and shows them the true beauty of the North!


We have the opportunity for culture change (some might say “culture change not climate change!”) on a huge scale, how about we start celebrating the Red Grouse, the one bird species in the UK that is found no-where else in the world ? Rather than celebrating shooting them now that we understand our moorland eco-systems from a much more ecological point of view ? This bird represents some of our most beautiful scenery in the North, the uplands, and provokes images of glorious, rugged heather moorland and I believe if the North had a flag this bird should be on it, perhaps alongside the Northern Lapwing!


Instead of subsidising the fossil fuel industries, let’s subsidise and invest in the green jobs of the future – this is our time! The Northern Greenhouse IS the “People’s Powerhouse”



James Walsh, aka The Mancunian Birder, is the author of “The Northern Greenhouse – A New Vision Of The North”, “The Big 400 – A Personal Journey To 400 UK Bird Species”, “The Birds of Salford Docklands” and “Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona”


“The Northern Greenhouse – A New Vision Of The North”

“The Big 400 – A Personal Journey To 400 UK Bird Species”

“The Birds of Salford Docklands”

“Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona” (now available as a free e-book)

Northern Greenhouse – November 2018 Events


2018 is the year that environmental issues went mainstream with the publication of the United Nations IPCC Report and the World Wildlife Fund Living Planet Report, and increasing evidence of “climate breakdown” and species decline actually making the mainstream news

It is also the year that Greater Manchester announced the intention to be a world-leading Green City Region at the inaugural Green Summit in March, and a second Green Summit is planned for Monday 25th March 2019

In December 2018, world leaders gather for COP24 in Katowice, Poland, at what should be an emergency summit for the global environment

In this context, a series of events on the environment of the North of England are timely, introducing a number of themes such as climate change, the green economy, creating resilient cities, urban nature and celebrating the environment


Northern Greenhouse Presentation and Workshop

Date: Tuesday 20th November

Time: 11:45am-12:45pm

Venue: The People Are The Powerhouse Conference, Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford City FC, Bradford, Yorkshire


northern greenhouse presentation

Speakers: James Walsh (Author, ecologist, freelance journalist)

Annie Berrington (Get Out More)

Sarah Davies (Environment Agency)

Chair: Sarah Longlands (IPPR)

Where is nature and the environment in our vision for the North ?

In all the talk of economy, skills and infrastructure, our environment barely gets a mention. As a “People’s Powerhouse”, we need to put nature at the heart of the discussion

It’s a misconception that we must choose between economic development and sustaining nature. In fact, protecting our natural assets is the only way we will have a North worth living in. From upland trees to mitigate flooding to urban parks that will provide spaces to address our mental health and obesity crises, nature needs to be fought for and celebrated in our campaign to create a better North for everyone

Hear about Get Out More’s experiences and from the Northern Greenhouse which is gaining increasing prominence in mainstream politics


Green Infrastructure

Date: Wednesday 21st November

Time: 8:30am-3:30pm

Venue: The Pier 8 Room, The Lowry, Salford Quays, Greater Manchester



The contribution of trees and Green Infrastructure to creating resilient cities


“Salford Wetland” Film Screening

Date: Thursday 22nd November

Time: 7pm-9pm

Venue: The Star Inn, 2 Back Hope Street, Salford, Greater Manchester M7 2FR

salford wetland

A screening of the recently premiered, new Nature In Salford film looking at the brand new Castle Irwell Urban Wetlands nature reserve, a quality production from wildlife film-maker and presenter, Luke Blazejewski

“Salford Wetland”, the follow-up to “Stories of the River Irwell” and “The Birds of Peel Park” shows what can be achieved when people work together and gives an insight into a unique urban environment, the Irwell Valley


North-West Bird Fair 2018

Dates: Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th November

nw bird fair 2018

A two day celebration of the birds and the environment of North-West England at the Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust nature reserve in Lancashire



“Understanding Climate Change”

Monday 26th November

Time: 7:30pm

St Pauls Kersal and St Andrews Carr Clough, Moor Lane, City of Salford, Greater Manchester M7 3PZ

A “Friends of Kersal Moor” Event


“Salford Wetland” Film Screening

Date: Wednesday 28th November

Time: 7pm-8:30pm

Venue: Bread and Roses, 14 North Parade, Bradford, Yorkshire BD1 3HT


Wildlife film-maker and presenter Luke Blazejewski takes the film “Salford Wetland”, a quality production highlighting the wildlife of the Castle Irwell Urban Wetlands nature reserve, on tour to a co-operative café in Bradford, Yorkshire



Photo: Singing Wood Warbler, Brookdale Park, Greater Manchester, Spring 2018 – birdwatching can be a large part of building Greater Manchester Green City Region



“The Northern Greenhouse – A New Vision Of The North”

Salford Star article on “The Northern Greenhouse” book

“The Northern Greenhouse” Promotional Film

“The Journey To Zero Carbon”


IPCC Climate Change Report Calls For Urgent Action To Phase Out Fossil Fuels

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report

Here’s What It Would Take To Stop Climate Change Sooner

The Living Planet Report

Greater Manchester Green City Region

Stories Of The River Irwell



Salford Wetland Film Premiere

salford wetland


Nature In Salford wildlife presenter Luke Blazejewski premieres “Salford Wetland”, a film on the ecology of the new Castle Irwell Urban Wetlands Nature Reserve


6:30pm-8:30pm Monday 22nd October 2018

Venue: Salford Council Chambers, Salford Civic Centre, Swinton M27 5AW

Doors open at 6:30pm and show starts at 7pm

“Salford Wetland” is the third in a trilogy of films on the Irwell Valley, the follow-up to “Stories of the River Irwell” and “The Birds Of Peel Park”

birds of peel park

Luke is a specialist on the River Irwell and has an intimate knowledge of the flora and fauna of this fascinating, urban wildlife corridor

little egret 1

Having worked with Luke on several projects, including “Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona”, a book about the ecology and potential of Salford’s docklands, I can vouch for Luke’s deep understanding of wildlife, attention to detail, work ethic and ability to communicate scientific themes


Therefore, I have no doubts at all that “Salford Wetland” should be a very interesting film, looking at an exciting new nature reserve that launched on World Wetlands Day in February 2018

All the tickets have been snapped up very quickly so I look forward to watching this film with a packed house



Twitter: @NatureInSalford

Instagram: @luke_blazejewski

Twitter: @MancunianBirder

Instagram: @mancunianbirder



The launch of Castle Irwell Urban Wetlands Nature Reserve

mb river irwell

“Stories Of The River Irwell”

“Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona”

That’s Manchester – Pomona Island Explored In New Book


mb congrats to luke




Mancunian Birder To Cycle The Tour de Greater Manchester


Photo: James Walsh, aka The Mancunian Birder, is cycling a “Tour de Greater Manchester” to raise money for charity and raise awareness about the environment


Image: Global Big Day, on Saturday 6th October 2018, birders around the world are in the field attempting to record as many bird species as possible


Image: Greater Manchester Birding City Region

James Walsh, also known as The Mancunian Birder, is cycling a “Tour de Greater Manchester” on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October 2018 to raise money for charity and to promote the environment of Greater Manchester

“I’m participating in Global Big Day on Saturday 6th October and in the Manchester 50 Kidneys For Life cycle ride on Sunday 7th October”

“These 2 events just happened, through co-incidence, to be happening on consecutive days, so I’m combining the two in a celebration of cycling and the environment”

“I’m participating in these events as a supporter of the Mayor’s “Greater Manchester Green City Region” project, Oldham Council’s “Green Oldham” project and also “Beelines”, Chris Boardman’s walking & cycling project”

“In effect there are 2 stages, on Stage 1 on the Saturday I’ll be cycling around the picturesque, upland reservoirs in the North of Greater Manchester and on Stage 2 on the Sunday I’ll be cycling the Manchester 50 around the suburbs of Southern Greater Manchester”

“Stage 1 has an international vibe as I’ll be participating in Global Big Day in Greater Manchester, the world’s first Birding City Region”

“Stage 2 is the “Kidneys For Life” Manchester 50 event celebrating 50 years of Kidney Transplantation at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, cycling 50 kilometres through the Mersey Valley, Dunham Massey and Carrington Moss”

“In effect these events are about the birds and the beelines!”



Global Big Day – 6th October 2018

Global Big Day – May 2018

Greater Manchester’s Natural Capital

Greater Manchester Represented On Global Big Day, Saturday 5th May 2018

Greater Manchester Birding City Region

Green Oldham

One Day In The Oldham Borough

Trafford Eco-Tourism Potential

Manchester 50 Cycle Ride

Chris Boardman – Statement on Beelines / Made To Move


Made To Move


Mancunian Birder Now On Instagram


Photo: A VIEW FROM THE NORTH ! James Walsh, author, ecologist and birder, is now on Instagram

Follow on Instagram: @mancunianbirder

James Walsh, aka The Mancunian Birder, is the author of “Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona”, “The Birds of Salford Docklands”, “The Big 400” and “Northern Greenhouse”

James says “I’m looking forward to joining the Instagram scene, I’ll be sharing content, giving “A View From The North”, and bringing birding to the masses”

“Fruiftul Futures: Imagining Pomona” now available as a free e-book


“The Birds of Salford Docklands” now available on Amazon Kindle

“The Big 400 – A Personal Journey To 400 UK Bird Species” now available on Amazon Kindle

“The Northern Greenhouse – A New Vision Of The North” now available on Amazon Kindle


The Peoples Walk For Wildlife


Photo: James Walsh, The Mancunian Birder, at the “Peoples Walk For Wildlife” banner, British Bird Fair 2018

(Credit: Shaun Hargreaves)



James Walsh, also known as The Mancunian Birder, is to join the “Peoples Walk For Wildlife” on Saturday 22nd September 2018 in London

James, the author of “The Northern Greenhouse – A New Vision of the North”, is representing the North of England on the Peoples Walk For Wildlife, and is encouraging all Northerners who care about our wildlife, and the big issues of our time such as climate change, species decline, pollution and habitat loss to participate

“The Peoples Walk For Wildlife is not a protest, it is a polite, very firm request for urgent action from all of society, including government”

“I’ll be using all my experience as an event promoter to publicise the Peoples Walk For Wildlife”

“In my book The Northern Greenhouse, I call for a new approach, for a transition to a green economy based on EcoTourism, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture”

“Initiatives such as Greater Manchester Green City Region and the Green Oldham project are encouraging, but we need urgent change in the way that we treat our wildlife and the environment”



Film: Mancunian Birder “The Peoples Walk For Wildlife”

“The Northern Greenhouse – A New Vision Of The North”

“Northern Greenhouse” Promotional Film

James Walsh “Green Oldham” Promotional Film

Greater Manchester Birding City Region

One Day In The Oldham Borough

The event host is Chris Packham, from BBC’s Springwatch

National Park City London – Join The “Peoples Walk For Wildlife”