Hulme Air Quality Report
Hulme Youth Climate Initiative saw a number of fantastic projects take place this year. These were led by Youth Leaders who creatively came up with ways that they could engage the community and its younger residents/visitors to take action on a number of environmental issues.
Grace Ferris was particularly interested in what local residents thought of Hulme’s air quality and so with the support of staff from Manchester Climate Change Agency she conducted a public air quality consultation. The majority of those who contributed stated that they felt the air quality was ‘getting worse’ and many feel it is ‘currently impacting’ their life. For more information about the consultation results read here.
This consultation inspired another Youth Leader, David Fawcett, to test for the presence of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) within Hulme. Through Manchester Friends of the Earth, he purchased 6 test tubes and installed them in various areas of Hulme. NO2 is a pollutant from burning fossil fuels and is often found in areas which a large number of vehicles travel through daily. For health purposes, DEFRA states that average NO2 levels should be no more than 40µg-3 per annum. More information on NO2 can be found in this report.
One test tube was placed by the Princess Parkway slip road by the Redbricks estate and it's reading came back as 47.09 µg-3. Two tubes that were placed by the Hulme Arch and the crossroads of Old Birley street and Stretford road also recorded levels above 40µg-3. These are areas of high vehicle use and so it is no surprise that the results for NO2 are high here but these are also areas close to residents. It is important to note that these results were taken from tubes that were placed in their locations for two weeks and so they are only a snapshot into emissions, they do not reflect the annual mean result. There are no Manchester City Council monitors in Hulme to base annual readings on but the closest ones are on the top of Oxford Road and they have given annual results that have been over 40µg-3.
One test tube was placed in the centre of Hulme Community Garden Centre which produced a reading of 26.35µg-3 which is considerably lower than the ones at Hulme Arch and the Stretford Road crossroads. This is an indication of how vital green spaces within communities can act to mitigate air pollution. A reading in Hulme park by Webster Primary School also produce a much lower result of 30.34µg-3 again highlighting the importance of green spaces. You can see the full results of the air quality testing in the attached report.
As Manchester eagerly awaits the results of the Greater Manchester congestion conversation led by Andy Burnham to see what will happen next, it is clear that action must be taken to provide cleaner air and there is a lot you can do! If you are inspired by the readings from Hulme Park and Hulme Community Garden Centre there are ways to further green your area. Links below are grants you can apply to with ideas of how to improve the environment in your local area.