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Discover How MCFC Harness Biodiversity Enhancement for Urban Beauty

Biodiversity Enhancement: Preserving Nature's Variety at MCFC

Since 2017, idverde has excelled in delivering landscaping services at Manchester City Football Club, consistently achieving the objectives outlined in the Landscape Management Plan.

Through a partnership approach that emphasises continuous improvement and innovation, idverde has collaborated closely with the MCFC team to implement numerous initiatives that enhance the greenspace environment while supporting the club’s strategic biodiversity and sustainability plans.

This successful partnership has not only met the current standards but also set the stage for future enhancements, aiming to elevate the service quality to meet the demands of a championship training facility.

With a commitment to sustainability, community support, and innovative solutions, idverde proposes to develop this relationship further, ensuring that the high standards of MCFC are consistently met and exceeded.

trees and flowers in front of stadium

During idverde’s tenure as landscape contractors for MCFC, the team has orchestrated a remarkable transformation in planting and maintenance regimes, decisively moving away from conventional industrial-style approaches dictated by rigid schedules.

Instead, they’ve collaborated and passionately championed a transition towards a more biodiverse, pollinator-friendly, and sustainable model. This shift isn’t merely theoretical; it’s a concrete reality that underscores idverde and MCFC’s unwavering commitment to ecological stewardship and innovative practices.

By prioritising biodiversity and adaptability, the partnership not only fosters healthier landscapes but also cultivates dynamic ecosystems that support a rich array of plant and animal species.

This evolution isn’t a fleeting trend; it’s a strategic decision that embodies the collective dedication to sustainable practices and environmental consciousness.

Types of services idverde provide for MCFC

  • Watering and Removal: Water all plants and grasses areas, and removal of biodegradable materials, grass cuttings, tree roots, stumps, and non-biodegradable litter to designated facilities or compost on-site.
  • General Care: Maintain healthy, disease-free turf. Prevent water logging and repair damage. Ornamental lawns should be free from moss, weeds, and debris.
  • Mowing: Regular litter removal, neat and even cuts, careful trimming around obstacles, and appropriate actions during drought or wet conditions.
  • First Cut and Regular Mowing: Specific heights for the first cut (50 mm) and subsequent cuts (25-50 mm).
  • Perennials and Annuals: Stake plants as necessary, refill gaps by replanting, water new and existing plants, trim older stems, remove supports, and cultivate the soil.
  • Establishment and Maintenance: Ensure new plants are weed-free, soil is loose, and maintain watering in the evening. Apply fertiliser in March or April.
  • Tree Stakes and Ties: Inspect and adjust stakes and ties regularly; remove after two years.
2.may 17 22 idverde_MCFC_LARGE-6294
flowers and wooden post
  • Pruning and Trimming: Follow best practices, ensure a balanced appearance, and avoid damaging bark. Pay special attention to removing overhanging growth and maintaining hedge form.
  • Dead Material Removal: Regularly remove dead foliage, branches, and diseased plants, replacing them in the next planting season.
  • Tree Works: Protect surrounding trees and property, follow BS standards, and perform work by certified professionals.
  • Pruning and Crown Work: Ensure clean cuts, remove unsafe branches, and reduce the crown by 15% while maintaining a natural appearance.
  • Root and Stump Management: Handle roots carefully, remove stumps to a depth of 300mm, and backfill holes appropriately.
  • Surfaces Maintenance: Apply herbicides, clear debris, and maintain drainage. Rake gravel areas and repair flexible pavings per specifications.
  • Fencing and Graffiti: Inspect and repair fences, remove graffiti using air abrasion.


This comprehensive plan ensures the continued health and aesthetic quality of the landscaped areas, with clear guidelines for each aspect of maintenance and specific instructions for addressing various conditions and requirements.

How has idverde exceeded expectations and delivered results?

idverde is exceeding expectations and delivering outstanding results for MCFC through its innovative and sustainable landscaping initiatives. One significant achievement is the comprehensive soil replacement and recycling program.

Recognising the poor drainage conditions caused by the heavy clay content in the subsoil of shrub beds, idverde has undertaken a transformative project to replace this subsoil with a freer draining topsoil mix.

By retaining the top organic layer, the company ensures the preservation of high-quality soil. Additionally, idverde has implemented an on-site soil recycling process, enhancing the drainage quality by mixing the soil with horticultural grit, sand, and lime.

This initiative not only improves plant health and establishment but also reduces environmental impact by eliminating the need for waste removal haulage, thereby cutting down on emissions.

Moreover, idverde’s creation of the Blue Moon Meadow exemplifies their commitment to enhancing urban biodiversity and public engagement. Transforming over 5000m² of amenity grass into one of Greater Manchester’s largest wildflower meadows, this project significantly boosts local green infrastructure.


Strategically located along prominent routes to the Etihad Stadium, the meadow connects the public, MCFC supporters, and the local community with the training academy grounds.

The bespoke wildflower mixes ensure an impressive display during peak visibility times, fostering greater public interest and support. Additionally, the development of the grass area behind Pitch 14 demonstrates idverde’s dedication to improving site conditions and increasing biodiversity.

These initiatives collectively highlight idverde’s success in meeting and surpassing MCFC’s aspirations for horticultural excellence, urban biodiversity, and sustainable environmental management.

idverde's Biodiversity and Sustainability Enhancement at MCFC:

idverde has significantly transformed the Manchester City Football Academy estate through comprehensive biodiversity enhancement initiatives.

They have created diverse new habitats, including wildlife ponds, fruit orchards, invertebrate habitats, and deadwood piles, contributing to a richer ecological environment.

Annual improvements to ornamental planting areas have shifted towards more sustainable schemes, moving away from low biodiversity commercial plants to species that benefit wildlife and require fewer resources.

Notable achievements include the establishment of a wildlife pond attracting dragonflies and damselflies, extensive wildflower meadows, and a small fruit orchard that not only provides a new habitat but also supports on-site food production.


A key aspect of idverde’s impact is the ongoing biological recording program, which has identified 462 species of plants and animals, engaging local volunteers and staff in monitoring activities.

This program has facilitated the discovery of new species and contributed valuable data for site management. idverde has also focused on creating technical habitats for invertebrates, particularly bees, installing bee posts and creating sand mounds and bee banks using waste materials from pitch renovations.

These efforts have led to the recording of 28 bee species, showcasing the site as a model for pollinator-friendly practices. Additionally, the creation of deadwood habitats and the expansion of long grass and meadow areas have further enhanced biodiversity by providing essential resources and habitats for various species.

Sustainability has been a cornerstone of idverde’s approach, with initiatives aimed at reducing chemical use, repurposing materials, and employing electric equipment.

Collaborations with organisations like the RSPB and Niche Environmental have bolstered biodiversity efforts through workshops and expert support.

The introduction of innovative monitoring techniques, such as acoustic bird and bat devices, has provided valuable insights into the presence of different species, informing habitat management strategies.

flower bed

By engaging staff through guided walks and educational signage, idverde has fostered a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainability within the MCFC community, ensuring long-term ecological and aesthetic benefits for the site.

Examples of idverde’s enhancement of sustainability and biodiversity at MCFC can be demonstrated in the installation of swift boxes on the new media studio building, which supports the local swift population by providing essential nesting sites.

Additionally, the upcoming landscape development projects include the planting of black poplar trees, a native species crucial for local biodiversity, demonstrating idverde’s commitment to conservation focused landscaping.

picture of a flying swift

On the sustainability front, the idverde team has begun transitioning from fossil fuels to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel for their vehicle fleet and machinery.

This shift, which is currently underway, is a key step towards decarbonising their operations and reducing their carbon footprint.

Moreover, idverde is pioneering circularity practices by reusing site-won materials. For instance, sand from pitch renovations is being repurposed to create habitats for invertebrates.

This innovative approach not only reduces waste but also enhances the ecological value of the site, setting a benchmark in sustainable landscaping practices that few others in the industry are currently achieving.

Evidence of works undergone to enhance biodiversity in the area are attached to this submission in the form of a variety of biodiversity monitoring reports.


idverde's Social Value and Community Projects:

idverde adds significant social value to the local community through projects like the supporter’s fun day, “Big Day Out!” on March 22nd, 2024.

Collaborating with City of Trees, idverde and MCFC has facilitated the planting of a variety of tree species around key locations such as the first team pitch at the academy, Connell College, and Bridge College.

By preparing these areas in advance, idverde ensures a safe and engaging environment for volunteers to plant and seed, enhancing their sense of involvement and achievement. This initiative not only beautifies the community spaces but also fosters a spirit of collaboration and continuous improvement.

Furthermore, idverde’s commitment extends beyond the event, as they plan to work with Manchester City and the broader community on future projects, ensuring long-term social and environmental benefits.


With BALI judging underway, we are excited about our submission of MCFC’s incredible biodiversity and sustainable approach to grounds maintenance.