Sites of biological importance (SBI) are identified by the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit (GMEU), which provides an advisory service to and on behalf of the ten local authorities in Greater Manchester.
SBIs do not have statutory protection, but those in Salford are protected by saved policy EN8 of the unitary development plan. The SBIs are shown on the unitary development plan (UDP) proposals map.
SBIs are selected mainly on the basis of their ecological value (for example, if they represent a particularly good example of a habitat type, or contain a large number of species or particularly rare species). The appeal of sites to people and the extent to which they enable people to learn about and appreciate nature can also contribute to sites being selected as sites of biological importance.
Depending on their condition and relative importance in their local contaxt, SBIs are given one of three grades: