Naturalising the Borough

In July 2019, Wigan Council declared a climate emergency (external link) in response to the global climate crisis.

As a result of this, Wigan Council has developed a Climate Change Strategy that sets out the actions we will take as an organisation and how we will work with residents and businesses in our borough to jointly tackle this crisis.

A key part of the council’s plan is our Naturalising the Borough (NTB) project, a very exciting and ambitious initiative.

How will it tackle the climate crisis?

Naturalising the Borough aims to tackle the climate crisis by:

  • Increasing areas of species rich grasslands
  • Increasing the boroughs tree stock
  • Restoring peatland
  • Restoring heathland
  • Creating new habitats
  • Increasing perennial planting schemes
  • Reducing the use of herbicides
  • Improving the management of ponds, wetlands and Local Nature Reserves.

Through these actions we aim to increase biodiversity across the borough, as well as reduce the negative impact on the environment. We are working closely with community groups, schools and other organisations to achieve these aims.

Tree planting

A key part of our plan is tree planting, so that we can increase the number of trees in our borough.

However, it's just as important to recognise that a species rich grassland is not only better than woodland from an ecological point of view, e.g. food for pollinators, but the grasslands are also far better at carbon sequestration and will lock the CO2 in the soil.

We will therefore always take these factors into consideration when identifying areas for tree planting.

What we’ve done so far

The Naturalising the Borough project began at the end of January 2020 and, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve made a fantastic start by working with various community groups and other organisations.

We’ve already planted over 30,000 trees across the borough and created nearly 60,000 m2 of wildflower meadows.

How to get involved

We’re keen to work with residents and community groups to identify and deliver projects such as community gardens, community orchards or any other ideas around naturalising the borough that you may have.

If you want to get involved with our Naturalising the Borough project, you will need to contact the streetscene team.

© Wigan Council