One unexpected side-effect of the COVID crisis is a significant uptick in wildlife activity.
With fewer people out and about, Salford wildlife have been given room to explore, leading to an increase in confidence.
Local plants and green spaces have also benefited. Without as many people to trample them, seasonal flowers are in full bloom all across Salford.
Councillor David Lancaster, the lead member for environment and community safety, said: “with less traffic on the roads, people have commented on how clean the air is and how loud and varied birdsong is. We can hear blackbirds, treecreepers, goldfinches, nuthatches and robins which are normally resident in our parks and the songs of summer migrants which include chiffchaffs, blackcaps and swifts.
“The exceptionally dry and warm weather has brought out a superb display of springtime flowers such as lesser celandines, bluebells and red campion and this is beneficial for bees and butterflies.
“With fewer people and dogs around in parks, wildlife is less timid and more visible. One of our volunteers has set up a new Facebook group called Salford Wildlife for people to photograph the wildlife they have seen in the city. It is proving very popular and already has over 500 members.”
While regular litter has been less common, there have been flytipping incidents across Salford over the course of lockdown.
On this, Councillor Lancaster said: “The council has had messages of thanks and appreciation for the wonderful parks and nature reserves in the city which has delighted our staff and volunteers who work very hard to maintain them.
“Sadly we have had a few incidences of flytipping, for which there is no excuse, but our staff and volunteers have dealt with this swiftly.
“If we have evidence of who is responsible we will have no hesitation in prosecuting them.”
Since Lockdown has been eased, people are free to enjoy local parks provided they use appropriate social distancing measures.
Councillor Lancaster encourages people to enjoy Salford’s green spaces, saying: “We welcome people into our parks but please do continue to maintain social distancing to avoid spreading the virus and observe any restrictions which are in place for your safety.”
At time of writing, Salford has 950 confirmed cases of Covid-19.