Despite being a large urban area, Salford contains a surprising amount of wildlife: sites of nature conservation importance; priority habitats; important species; and semi-natural greenspaces providing access to nature within the urban fabric. All of these contribute towards the city's biological diversity (or biodiversity for short).
Biodiversity is simply the variety of life on earth, and the government requires that the natural and semi-natural habitats and wild species used to measure it, should be maintained, restored to a good condition, and where possible expanded.
Salford does not have any nature conservation sites of international importance. However, Astley and Bedford Mosses (part of the Manchester Mosslands special area of conservation) within Wigan lies close to Salford's boundary, and parts of the Chat Moss mosslands may have the potential to be restored to such a level.
Whilst there are no nationally important sites in Salford, a proposed site of special scientific interest is currently under consideration within Botany Bay Wood.
There are a number of nature conservation sites of local importance - these include the sites of biological importance (SBIs); local nature reserves; and sites supporting priority habitats. Further detail and guidance is provided in the nature conservation and biodiversity SPD. More detail on UK priority habitats can be found in the UK biodiversity action plan and Greater Manchester biodiversity project provides more information on local priority habitats and species.
Wildlife corridors provide areas of continuous open land, providing habitats for wildlife to move and breed within the urban area. Features as diverse as canals, rivers, railways, and woods can all make a significant contribution, particularly where they contribute towards a continual link between habitats and green spaces. Some of the city's parks and open spaces are being managed to improve their attractiveness for wildlife.
In addition, Salford has wild species, some protected by European legislation (for example, bats, great crested newts) and some protected by national legislation (for example water voles, badgers).