Greater Manchester Ecology Unit
Biodiversity encompasses the whole variety of life on Earth. It includes all species of plants and animals, but also their genetic variation, and the complex ecosystems of which they are part. It is not restricted to rare or threatened species but includes the whole of the natural world from the commonplace to the critically endangered.
The world is losing biodiversity at an ever-increasing rate as a result of human activity. In the UK we have lost over 100 species during the last century, with many more species and habitats in danger of disappearing, especially at the local level. On a world scale the rate of loss is now recognised to be a cause for serious concern, requiring concerted international action to prevent continued loss of biodiversity. Local Authorities recognise their responsibilities for contributing to the effective conservation of biodiversity at a local level, to maintain an attractive natural environment and to ensure that the basic ecological services and resources necessary to sustain the well-being, not only of current, but also future generations, are maintained.
The Greater Manchester Ecology Unit (GMEU) provides specialist advice to, and on behalf of, the ten district councils that make up Greater Manchester on biodiversity, nature conservation and wildlife issues. Although hosted by Tameside MBC, GMEU works across the whole of Greater Manchester.
The Ecology Unit:
- Prepares and helps to implement the Greater Manchester Biodiversity Action Plan.
- Comments on the ecological impact of development proposals on behalf of planning departments, and provides advice on safeguarding wildlife on development sites.
- Identifies, surveys and designates Sites of Biological Importance in Greater Manchester.
- Advises other council departments and the general public on wildlife issues.
- Provides specialist ecological advice for, and presentation of evidence at, public inquiries.
- Inputs into the preparation of Local Development Frameworks and other plans and strategies.
- Provides advice on national and international legislation and planning guidance relating to wildlife and nature conservation, including protected species.
- Advises on the management of local authority owned land, including the preparation of site management plans.
- Provides training for local authority staff and others.