Mobile menu icon
Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Tropical green plants in a botanical conservatory

The Firs environmental research station

The Firs is located on the University’s Fallowfield campus, approximately three miles south of the main campus. Historically, the site was part of Sir Joseph Whitworth’s gardens where he carried out tests during the development of his famous Whitworth rifle. The site houses a suite of facilities for environmental research and monitoring.

The University of Manchester botanical grounds

The Firs environmental research station has recently undergone a major redevelopment with the investment of £2million from the university's endowment fund which has enabled the creation of a state of the art greenhouses facilities that are being used for issues relating to food security and climate change.

The site is made up of fourteen climate controlled growing compartments which are able to produce a range of different environments from tropical to sub-arctic. By doing this they are able to simulate different growing environments to replicate conditions from around the world and conditions as a result of climate change.

Watch the video

Find out more about the latest research that is happening across the site. 

Manchester Air Quality Super Site

The site houses a mobile air quality research laboratory that can gather detailed data on the contents of harmful urban air pollution; working out where the gases and particles that pollute our air are coming from and how they form in the air.

The site was funded as part of a £6m investment into three new air quality supersites (the other sites are in the University Birmingham and King’s College London) established by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Watch the video