Assessing the contribution of domestic gardens to urban ecosystem services

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leicester
Department Name: Geography

Abstract

This project will provide a novel citizen science approach to collecting and interpreting data about domestic gardens in order to co-develop an action plan with project partners to prioritise greening solutions within and beyond domestic gardens. Domestic gardens offer a valuable source of green infrastructure (GI) within an urban environment. They are important patches of greenspace that can provide connectivity between larger areas of GI (parks, recreation grounds etc), therefore improving the functioning of ecosystems and the services they provide, such as reducing surface water runoff thereby reducing flood risk, and lowering urban temperatures. While individually, a domestic garden may appear insignificant, collectively domestic gardens contribute up to 30% of greenspace within the urban matrix, which becomes especially important at the city scale. In spite of this, the quantity and quality of green infrastructure provision by domestic gardens is not well-evidenced. This has implications for the future resilience of an urban environment and the health and well-being of its citizens. Current data over-estimates the amount of vegetation within private gardens, which leads to subsequent inaccuracies in environmental model outputs (e.g. surface water runoff in an extreme rainfall event), and in the identification and prioritisation of areas of GI need, inhibiting effective action on-the-ground. Furthermore, the general public are often unaware of the environmental value of their own private garden and how they can improve it.

This project will address these issues directly by:
1. Inviting city residents to complete an online survey about their own garden, the results of which will be amalgamated to create maps of domestic garden greenspace both in terms of quantity and quality. Survey respondents will be given a score for the environmental quality of their garden based on their responses to the survey, together with some information as to how their garden could be improved in relation to biodiversity, climate regulation and improving air quality.
2. Validating the survey responses using high resolution satellite data. The combination of the satellite data with the survey responses will be used to establish a classification scheme for different garden types, which can then be extrapolated to the wider city area.
3. Modelling how the vegetation within a domestic garden impacts surface runoff, temperature reduction and air quality. This will be done across multiple scales, from an individual garden to the neighbourhood-level and eventually at the city-scale.
4. Developing an action plan for GI solutions within the city based on the findings from the previous objectives and existing, larger-scale, green infrastructure datasets.

Manchester is the test city for this project; the proposal has been developed in partnership with Manchester City Council, Red Rose Forest, Southway Housing, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and additional members of the Manchester a Certain Future Green Infrastructure Strategy Group (Environment Agency, BDP, Groundwork, National Trust). The project outputs will allow these end-users to develop a more robust plan for GI under current and future climate scenarios. Consequently, project outputs will contribute to enhancing the quality of life for the local population and to improving the resilience of the Manchester City environment. Further impact will occur at the individual level (improving individual gardens based on the survey feedback, strengthening community cohesion), neighbourhood-level (the evidence created can be used for biodiversity/GI/ES offsetting for new housing developments, housing associations will use the project outputs for improving neighbourhoods and access to green space) and stakeholder-level (private developers can use the outputs to add value to residential areas and development, third sector organisations can use the maps for developing policy recommendations and actions).

Planned Impact

The project is anticipated to have significant impact at the city-scale. The project will quantify the amount of GI within domestic gardens in a UK urban environment and the role of this GI in relation to regulating ES. This information will feed into the GI Action Plan, to fit within partners' existing delivery mechanisms, and consequently, will provide end-users with the evidence demonstrating the importance of domestic gardens within the greater GI network. Co-creation of the GI Action Plan with project partners is designed to ensure that domestic gardens become integral to GI planning within Manchester City, and beyond, through dissemination of the project outcomes by project partners and the research team. Specific project impacts include:
- Manchester City Council will use the project outcomes (D1.3, D2.2, D3.1, D3.2) and the GI Action Plan (D4.1) to inform the delivery of their Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy. The GI Action Plan (D4.1) will ensure consideration of the contribution of GI in domestic gardens in GI planning.
- Local Authorities (in particular Manchester City Council, but also other UK Local Authorities) can use the project outcomes (D2.1; D4.1) for negotiating planning obligations under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The project outputs will provide the evidence needed for local planning authorities to impose 'developer contributions', particularly in identified areas of GI-ES need.
- Southway Housing Trust will use the project outcomes to inform and engage their residents (D1.2) and improve their green space in areas of GI-need (D3.2). They will also disseminate these outcomes and the GI Action Plan (D4.1) to other housing providers to extend the delivery of GI in particular areas of GI-need.
- The online GI-ES survey feedback (D1.2) provided to residents will allow them to measure the environmental quality of their individual garden and will provide them with clear guidance to improve the environmental value of their garden. This will provide the respondent with an incentive to respond positively to the survey and enhance community cohesion.
- This online GI-ES survey feedback (D1.2) will enable residents to add value to their properties and gain important knowledge on green space in their area to partake in planning consultations.
- Red Rose Forest, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and other third sector organisations will use the project outcomes (D1.3, D2.2, D3.1, D3.2) to evidence and shape their work, and develop policy recommendations and actions (D4.1).
- Project outcomes (D2.1; D4.1) can be used for biodiversity/GI/ES offsetting for new housing developments. Private developers could use the tool to add value to residential areas and development. These end-users will be reached through project partner networks (e.g. Southway Housing, Manchester City Council) and the MACF GI Strategy Group's networks.
- The GI-ES survey (D1.1) and infrastructure created in developing the tool (D1.2) is designed to be fully transferable across the UK (and further afield). Thus, the approach could be applied to other cities, widening these benefits. Indeed, the Mersey Forest intend to extend the approach across North West England in the first instance.
- The project outputs will contribute to enhancing the quality of life for the local population and to improving the resilience of the urban environment (D1.2; D4.1).

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/N017374/1 01/01/2016 30/04/2017 £96,814
NE/N017374/2 Transfer NE/N017374/1 01/05/2017 31/03/2018 £25,244
 
Description This project has generated significant new knowledge on the amount of green and blue (water) space in Manchester's gardens, and enabled a revision to the previously estimated total amount of green and blue infrastructure in Manchester. Domestic gardens cover a significant proportion of the total area of Manchester, with around one fifth of Manchester's land area being gardens (all outdoor space associated with residential property). The average proportion of domestic gardens to total ward area is 22-26%. This ranges between 0.5% (City Centre) to 47% across Manchester's wards. The research findings demonstrate that gardens are not completely green infrastructure (green and blue space), but are also comprised of a significant amount of hard impervious surfaces and other land surfaces. An average garden in the city is only 50% green and blue (water) space. This affects the total estimate of green and blue space cover across Manchester, which is now estimated at 49%. The previous estimate of GI across Manchester that assumed gardens were completely green and blue space was 58%. Less green space in domestic gardens means that the potential benefits they provide to people (ecosystem services) are reduced. The research investigated the natural processes that take place within gardens, including cooling the city and absorbing rainfall, using environmental models. Less green space means that that surface temperatures are increased in some wards during the hottest days in the year, and less rainfall is absorbed during the wettest days in the year, therefore the resilience of the city to heat waves and flooding is less than previously estimated. The benefits also vary spatially across the city. Additionally the research developed a novel methodology to classify land surface cover of urban domestic gardens using citizen science data and high resolution image analysis. This involved the development of an online citizen science survey, which collected estimates of the proportional coverage of 10 garden land surface types from 1031 city residents. The survey had the added benefit of acting as an engagement and education tool. High resolution image analysis was then conducted to validate the estimates from the citizen science survey and to classify seven land surface cover categories for all garden parcels in the city. The validation step discovered that citizens are able to provide valid estimates of garden surface cover. These datasets were combined to produce a final database of the proportion of 10 different garden land surface types in every garden in Manchester. This was combined with public green space data to provide the total amount of green and blue space across the city.
Exploitation Route The findings are being taken forward in the My Back Yard Action Plan, which includes specific actions for four project partners, Manchester City Council, Southway Housing, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Manchester City of Trees, and is being delivered and reported through the Manchester Green Infrastructure Strategy Group. This includes a section in the revised Manchester Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy including the new evidence to ensure consideration of the contribution of gardens in GI planning.. The four project partners are using the research findings to deliver specific actions agreed in the Action Plan, and targetting actions to specific wards where the research findings have shown that there is a need for more green space. For example, Lancashire Wildlife Trust are taking forward the findings in their campaign "My Wild Garden", focused on Manchester. This uses the project findings and engages the respondents of the My Back Yard survey, in addition to citizens across Manchester, to take action on increasing green space and improving wildlife across Manchester's garden spaces. The project findings have enabled the public to be more informed on their gardens and how to take action to maximise the benefits of green space. The novel methodology, incorporating the My Back Yard only citizen science survey and aerial imagery approach, could be used by academics to classify garden land surface coverage at high spatial resolution in other cities.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Environment,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.mmu.ac.uk/mybackyard
 
Description The My Back Yard online citizen science survey was promoted from July-December 2016 through numerous channels including: academic and stakeholder networks, social media (Facebook and Twitter), print and online news articles (Manchester Evening News and On The Platform), and, through outreach events with local community groups (including NERC Into the Blue, Manchester Science Festival, Manchester Museum Climate Control). After data cleaning to remove incomplete and duplicate responses, over 1000 survey responses for Manchester were obtained. On completion of the survey, participants were given a summary of the results to date for their ward (in relation to garden composition), in addition to feedback on how they can improve the ecosystem service regulating functions in their own gardens. The intention here was to educate the public about the impact that domestic greenspace can have at the local and regional level, in relation to climate impacts, biodiversity and air quality. Respondents were also asked if they were willing to pledge their support by agreeing to take action in order to improve the ecosystem services of their garden. Of the respondents, 252 agreed to plant a variety of plant types to help attract and support a range of wildlife, 228 pledged to use drought-resistant plants and collect water in their garden to use for watering during hot dry spells, around 150 households agreed to plant trees to provide shade and to help cool the air in summer and to improve local air quality and 119 pledged to replace existing hard surfaces with surfaces that water can drain through. An Action Plan was co-developed with four project partners, Manchester City Council, Southway Housing, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Manchester City of Trees. This was achieved through an iterative process comprising (1) online discussions, (2) bilateral meetings, and (3) workshops amongst the project partners; alongside reviewing the project key findings. This Action Plan brings together and complements existing activities that the project partners undertake to improve green space in gardens and creates the groundwork for future garden projects. The actions for improving green space and wildlife in gardens, include: promoting actions that increase green space and wildlife in gardens; undertake on the ground garden related projects; engage in garden related policy development; undertake research on gardens; provide training and practical skills relating to gardens; and, promote the value of gardens. The Action Plan outlines specific actions for each project partner, and the delivery mechanisms (e.g. data collection, events, information packs, lobbying, on the ground projects), which will be delivered and reported through the Manchester Green Infrastructure Strategy Group. Southway Housing have implemented a number of policy changes to promote actions in gardens - including a new policy to use grass crete for all new driveways. Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Manchester City Council secured £300K funding from Esmee Fairburn Foundation for a 4-year project officer, My Wild City, to deliver a range of outcomes in Manchester City, including renewing the Biodiversity Strategy and re-engaging people with nature in gardens. The garden database has been used in a number of policy reports including The Nature of Manchester Local Action Project City-Lab Report and The Nature of Hulme report.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Influence on Southway Housing Trust practice
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Policy & practice changes were implemented by Southway Housing Trust to increase their garden greenspace (including influencing void properties policy, boundaries policy, new developments, and tenant education).
 
Description My Wild Garden #2
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The project provided evidence for the importance of gardens for wildlife. A citation to the project publications and data image was included in the publication for the public, created by Lancashire Wildlife Trust. This was sent out to 100s of addresses mainly in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. The environmental benefits will include improved wildlife in gardens since seed packs were also included.
URL https://www.lancswt.org.uk/our-work/projects/my-wild-city
 
Description The Nature of Hulme
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Data from the project is directly used in this Nature of Hulme Evidence Review, which will be used to develop short-, medium- and long-term actions that improve the experiences of nature and the environment in Hulme for people from across the local community. The results from the Nature of Hulme Evidence Review are now being taken forward by the Neighbourhood team (Manchester City Council) as part of the area Plan for Hulme.
URL http://science.wrt.org.uk/docs/Nature-of-Hulme-2018-Summary-Web.pdf
 
Description The Nature of Manchester
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Data from the project was directly used in The Nature of Manchester evidence report. The Nature of Manchester was a pilot application of Defra's Local Action Project in collaboration with Manchester City Council: a local, collaborative, natural capital approach designed to work with local communities and practitioners to enhance the value of nature in their local landscape, build community resilience, improve people's quality of life, enhance the local environment and increase local economic prosperity. LAP takes an integrated, collaborative approach designed to enable local communities and civil society groups to discover their vision for where they live and to help them form effective stakeholder-partnerships through which to realise that vision.
URL http://science.wrt.org.uk/docs/LAP-EnRoute-MCC-Nature-of-Manchester.pdf
 
Description Esmee Fairburn Foundation
Amount £300,000 (GBP)
Organisation Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Title MBY methods 
Description The research developed an innovative methodology that combines citizen science data with high resolution image analysis to create a garden dataset in the case study city of Manchester, UK. The novel methodology involved the development of an online citizen science survey, which collected estimates of the proportional coverage of 10 garden land surface types from 1031 city residents. The survey had the added benefit of acting as an engagement and education tool. High resolution image analysis was then conducted to validate the estimates from the citizen science survey and to classify seven land surface cover categories for all garden parcels in the city. The validation step discovered that citizens are able to provide valid estimates of garden surface cover. These datasets were combined to produce a final database of the proportion of 10 different garden land surface types in every garden in Manchester. This was combined with public green space data to provide the total amount of green and blue space across the city. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This led to improved understanding of the garden greenspace in the case study city of Manchester, which fed into the My Back Yard Action Plan to increase greenspace and wildlife in Manchester. This could also be used by academics to classify garden land surface coverage at high spatial resolution in other cities. 
URL https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040537
 
Title Garden datasets mapped at ward level 
Description This research database includes several geospatial datasets about Manchester's gardens and green infrastructure (GI, including green and blue space). This includes the following specific datasets (all ArcGIS ESRI shapefiles): percentage of ward that is gardens; percentage of ward that is garden GI; percentage of ward that is non-GI; average garden size; amount of GI in an average garden; amount of non-GI in an average garden; land surface composition in an average garden (10 surface cover proportions); percentage of GI; cooling potential of GI; rainfall absorption potential of GI. Mapped outputs at ward level are available for non-commercial use provided a citation to the database is provided. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This database is being used to deliver GI action to increase green space and enhance wildlife in gardens - see the Action Plan. For example, it is used to target GI interventions to particular wards, based on the new evidence of GI in gardens across Manchester. 
URL http://www.mmu.ac.uk/mybackyard
 
Title Garden datasets raw data 
Description This research database is an ESRI shapefile containing the percentage cover of ten land surface cover proportions (trees, mown grass, rough grass, shrubs, buildings, bare soil, cultivated land, hard surfaces, hard permeable surfaces, water) for every domestic garden polygon area in Manchester (the entire district). The polygon areas are bound to OS Mastermap copyright and therefore the data cannot be shared with others in its raw format. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This data has been used to produce the ward level outputs that are being used by project partners in delivery of the Action Plan. 
 
Title My Backyard Survey Results 
Description Database of 1000+ responses from the My Back yard survey, containing details about individual garden composition and qualitative and quantitative data about garden use. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This database is the result of a novel crowd sourcing method. The results of the survey are currently being validated through the use of high resolution remote sensing imagery. The database has been used to revise down the percentage (by 42-48%) of greenspace currently attributed to domestic gardens within Manchester's green infrastructure database. Given that around 22% of Manchester is garden space, this means the current overestimate for the whole of Manchester's greenspace translates to around 8-10%. These data corrections are being integrated into the green infrastructure database for Manchester which is used by our Project Partners and stakeholders beyond the research team. 
URL http://mybackyard.org.uk/
 
Description Article in Croner's Environment Magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The article "Gardens: making us more resilient", written by Laura King, to explain the importance of gardens for supplying urban ecosystem services appeared in the magazine. The article included many details from this project e.g. the five top tips from the My Back Yard website, and a number of quotes from the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Building Prosperous Cities conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was an invited poster presentation with oral pitch. This was an opportunity to showcase the research, promote the survey and present preliminary findings. This was a successful networking exercise and researchers from 2 other Universities have approached us about potential future use of the data.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://ecosystemsknowledge.net/events/building-prosperous-cities
 
Description Castleton Fieldtrip 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A workshop activity was run to engage undergraduate students with the topic. This involved an interactive session to create 'lego gardens' and a talk about the research. This sparked questions and discussion afterwards and the students were engaged in learning more about climate change particularly signing up to further training.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Ecobuild 2017 (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation at the Ecobuild 2017 Green Infrastructure Seminar Stream, Leading the future - case studies from communities. The aim of this event was to disseminate our ongoing research to an alternative audience, particularly one outside of the case study area of Manchester, with a view to potential replication of the survey.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ecobuild.co.uk/
 
Description Environmental and Geographical Sciences Research Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A research seminar was delivered within the School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University. This was attended by staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students. This sparked many questions and discussion afterwards, and a number of students who were particularly engaged by the seminar chose to investigate this topic for their assignment. Colleagues also asked for the seminar to be given to a cross-faculty group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description European Conference on Climate Change Adaptation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A talk was given to participants at the conference, which includes a wide range of audiences, not only academics. This sparked questions and discussion afterwards and requests for information were made subsequently.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ecca2019.eu/
 
Description Facebook page: My Back Yard Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A facebook page was established to inform the public about the value of domestic gardens and encourage them to respond to the 'My Back Yard' online survey. Regular posts were also posted on over 10 local Facebook group pages to encourage responses. Our main post on 22nd July 2016 was shared 58 times and reached over 15,000 people. Each time this was shared/posted on local pages, it boosted responses to the online survey significantly.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.facebook.com/mybackyardmcr/
 
Description GM Natural Capital Group Annual Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An invited talk was given in the main conference session on My Back Yard research findings to stimulate up-take of research project findings and raise awareness of the project. This stimulated discussion afterwards and led to requests for further information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://naturegreatermanchester.co.uk/natural-capital-group-annual-conference-2020-presentations/
 
Description Green Spaces and Health Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A short presentation about the project was given at a "Green Spaces and Health" event on 4th July 2016, organised by the Manchester Climate Change Agency, which sparked questions and discussion, and boosted support for the project, in particular from Manchester Museum who invited the project to participate in the Big Saturday event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Hong Kong University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A talk on the research was given to postgraduate students and staff. The intended purpose was to stimulate future plans and ideas for this topic with collaborations between the universities. The outcomes are ongoing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description IPM Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A talk was given at the Institute of Place Management Research Seminar. This was attended by practitioners, university research staff, and postgraduate students. This led to a discussion about the issues surrounding gaining representative samples from public surveys (e.g. including hard to reach groups), and ideas sharing about design of projects to mitigate these issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Into the blue Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project ran a stand at the NERC into the blue outreach event over 2 days, with the aim of highlighting the importance of domestic greenspace and encouraging participants to complete the online survey. We had 4 devices available for people to complete the survey with our assistance. This significantly boosted the number of survey respondents.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://intotheblue.nerc.ac.uk/manchester/
 
Description MACF AGM and Climate Change Strategy Launch event stand 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The project ran a stand at Manchester A Certain Future AGM and Climate Change Strategy Consultation Launch event at Manchester Town Hall on 19th July 2016, with the aim of highlighting the importance of domestic greenspace in adapting cities to climate change and encouraging participants to complete the online survey. This boosted the number of survey respondents and raised awareness among policymakers and practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description MACF Green Infrastructure Group Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The project progress was presented at three of the Manchester A Certain Future (MACF) Green Infrastructure Strategy Group meetings. This is an expert group consisting of around 20 policymakers, practitioners, business and third sector organisations. This sparked questions and discussion, and raised support for the project, particularly ideas to boost online survey responses, dissemination and impact.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description MBY Action Plan Dissemination Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The final dissemination event for the project was a 4-hour event which involved presentations to summarise the project and key findings from the project team, followed by presentations from each of the four partner organisations to outline their actions that contribute to the Action Plan as a result of the project, and further thoughts on the research outcomes. An evaluation form was given to participants after the event. This demonstrated that all participants (completing the survey) found the event informative and enjoyed it. Furthermore, many reported how the results will be used in their work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.mmu.ac.uk/mybackyard
 
Description Manchester City Council Learning Lunch 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A seminar was given to Manchester City Council at a lunchtime 'learning lunch' session. Attendees were from various departments across the City Council, including: Performance Team Adults Providers, Data Governance Team, Public Intelligence Team, Reform and Innovation Team, Performance Team Adults, and Performance Team Place and Core. This sparked questions and discussion afterwards and participants noted how the new information may inform their work and their own personal action in their gardens. Requests for the data were made for updating MCC databases.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Manchester City Council Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A presentation was given at the Manchester City Council annual Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee. The Scrutiny Committees are an essential part of the democratic process, and allow elected members (Councillors) to scrutinise citywide activity and budget recommendations, including, strategic developments. This is a public meeting, so press and the public can attend but not contribute unless invited, and it is live streamed for political transparency. An overarching update report highlighting progress against the key objectives of the Manchester Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy in 2017 was provided to members in advance to the Committee. Councillors ask for partners to showcase their work that contributes to the agenda. At this event, I was invited to present key findings of the My Back Yard project, as well as highlight the importance GI brings to the City and the importance of collaborative working. Councillors were interested in the research which sparked questions and discussion afterwards, and Councillors expressed an interest in a separate engagement event to learn more about the project. They were subsequently invited to a showcase event and the final project dissemination event in March.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.manchester.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/3040/neighbourhoods_and_environment_scrutiny_committee
 
Description Manchester Festival of Nature 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project had an interactive stand at the Manchester Festival of Nature. The intended purpose was to engage the public in the research findings through participation in an interactive 'lego gardening' activity. This stimulated discussion about the changes they can make in their gardens to enhance biodiversity and address climate hazards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.lancswt.org.uk/events/manchester-festival-of-nature
 
Description Manchester Housing Providers Partnership Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A talk was given at the Manchester Housing Providers Partnership to explain the My Back Yard findings and what the housing providers can do to contribute to change. Discussion focused on the housing providers committing to adopt Southway Housing's commitments in the action plan. Impacts are ongoing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Manchester Museum Big Saturday: Climate Control 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project ran a stand at the Big Saturday: Climate Control event at the Manchester Museum on Saturday 30 July, with the aim of highlighting the importance of domestic greenspace in adapting cities to climate change and encouraging participants to complete the online survey. We had 4 devices available for people to complete the online survey with our assistance. This significantly boosted the number of survey respondents.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://events.manchester.ac.uk/event/event:rbc-iptsie8y-s7zhg1/big-saturday-climate-control
 
Description Mapping Climate Disadvantage for London's Care Provision Workshop, UCL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A talk was given at the Mapping Climate Disadvantage for London's Care Provision Workshop at University College London on 10th May 2018. Around 80 participants attended, from a wide range of organisations. The talk sparked questions and debate afterwards, and there are discussions about future project work and collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://wiki.ucl.ac.uk/display/~ucfteoi/Mapping+Climate+Disadvantage+for+London%27s+Care+Provision++...
 
Description Media coverage in MEN newspapers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An article about the project, "Nature in your back yard", to inform the public about the value of their gardens and promote the online citizen science survey, appeared in 5 MEN newspapers in November 2016, including:
Manchester Evening News; reach: 23,794 people
Manchester Weekly News (Stockport West); reach: 27,457 people
Rochdale Observer; reach: 10,300 people
Macclesfield Express; reach: 7,839 people
Manchester Weekly News (Salford); reach: 57,197 people
This resulted in a significant boost in survey responses.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description My Back Yard Project Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A project webpage was created with the purpose to host the final project resources for dissemination of the project results. This includes the final report, presentations from the dissemination event, and the mapped outputs which can be viewed interactively. Since there is no evaluation of this page (e.g. comments are not allowed), we cannot record impact other than visits to the site.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.mmu.ac.uk/mybackyard
 
Description My Back Yard website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The 'My Back Yard' project website was primarily established to collect survey responses for the project as well as to inform the public about the benefits of domestic gardens and enable viewing of survey responses. In responding to the survey, respondents pledged their support for taking action in order to improve the ecosystem services of their garden. Of the respondents, 252 agreed to plant a variety of plant types to help attract and support a range of wildlife, 228 pledged to use drought-resistant plants and collect water in their garden to use for watering during hot dry spells, around 150 households agreed to plant trees to provide shade and to help cool the air in summer and to improve local air quality and over 100 pledged to replace existing hard surfaces with surfaces that water can drain through.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://mybackyard.org.uk/
 
Description Nanning University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The activity was a presentation of the research outcomes. The intended purpose was to establish a collaborative PhD programme and attract PhD students for this topic to the UK. These outcomes are still in progress.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Natural England Urban Recovery Network meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This meeting held by Natural England was to discuss the Urban Nature Recovery (a delivery mechanism in Defra's 25 year environment plan). The purpose was to collate mapping evidence from the Greater Manchester City Region, understand what evidence was available and where the gaps were. 25 people attended the meeting (from Natural England, Defra, City of Trees, Ordnance Survey, University of Manchester, Forestry Commission, etc.). This was an invited presentation, which sparked questions and discussion afterwards and highlighted how important gardens are to green infrastructure in cities, as well as data gaps.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description On the Platform article: How does your garden grow? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An article was written for On The Platform - an online knowledge sharing platform for Greater Manchester - to inform professional practitioners, the public, and other audiences about the value of domestic gardens and to encourage them to complete the online 'My Back Yard' survey. The article boosted responses to the survey.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://ontheplatform.org.uk/article/how-does-your-garden-grow-0
 
Description Press release - final project results and Action Plan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact A press release was written for the media (as a channel to wider audiences). So far, there has been interest for a pre-recorded interview for That's Manchester, a local TV channel.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/story/7369/
 
Description Press release: Manchester garden project maps city's green spaces 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact A press release was distributed to external press about the project to encourage the public to complete the 'My Back Yard' online survey and inform them about the benefits of urban domestic gardens. This help to boost responses to the online survey.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.mmu.ac.uk/news/news-items/4755/
 
Description RHS Flower Show 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The "Future Gardens in a Crowded World" event was organised by RHS and Bruntwood on Tuesday 17th July 2018 at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park Knutsford, Cheshire. This short conference in partnership with Bruntwood, aims to bring the RHS's Greening Grey Britain campaign to a new audience involved in development in the North West. It aimed to draw the attention of planners, policymakers and landscapers to the problems of rapidly growing grey space in front gardens across the UK, with a local focus on the North West and enlist their help in finding solutions since it takes collaboration between policymakers, homeowners, landlords, developers and planners, gardener designers and landscapers to create a big change. The short presentation highlighted findings from the My Back Yard project. Event outcomes included: to influence planners to take more action to educate and influence the developers they are working with to add green space to new developments, and to influence developers so that they understand the importance of green space and incorporate it into their future developments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Tweets about the final project results 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Many tweets were posted to disseminate the final project key results and highlight the link to the final report. Some tweets had >1000 impressions and ~50 interactions. This raised awareness of the project and raised the number of visitors to the website containing the final report and final results.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://twitter.com/GinaMCavan/status/971001624750673925
 
Description Tweets about the project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Many tweets were posted to inform the public about the value of their gardens and gather responses to the online 'My Back Yard' survey. Some tweets had >1000 impressions and ~50 interactions. This raised awareness of the project and boosted survey responses.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://twitter.com/GinaMCavan/status/806557749828087808
 
Description Tyndall Manchester Seminar, 22 Jan 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was an invited talk to Tyndall Centre Manchester, including Professor Kevin Anderson and his group. Whilst it was primarily academics and post-graduate students, they are all citizens of Manchester, and the subject area was completely new (the group focus on carbon reduction research). This talk stimulated increased interest in the research and changed public attitudes about green space in Manchester - some participants felt differently about their garden spaces and pledged to take action to improve green space in their gardens.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Wildlife Trust Conservation Volunteers Annual Conference 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A workshop was run jointly with the My Wild Garden project to engage volunteers in the research findings. This began with a presentation of the research findings, followed by an interactive activity to facilitate discussion around climate and wildlife friendly gardens, created using lego. This sparked lots of discussion around what individuals can do in their own gardens. Participants completed a survey committing action to make changes in their own gardens.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.lancswt.org.uk/events/manchester-festival-of-nature