New haven for wildlife announced: Birmingham & the Black Country

Monday 27th February 2012

Secretary of State Caroline Spelman, Sir John Lawton and Neil Wyatt of the WildlSecretary of State Caroline Spelman, Sir John Lawton and Neil Wyatt of the Wildlife Trust at Moorcroft Wood LNR

New nature zones covering hundreds of thousands of hectares are to be set up across England, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman revealed today at a launch event in Moxley, Walsall hosted by The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and The Black Country.

The 12 Nature Improvement Areas (NIA) announced today will each get a share of £7.5 million to create wildlife havens, restore habitats and encourage local people to get involved with nature. In Birmingham & the Black Country £650K will help to create a step change in the recovery of the natural environment of the region to benefit people, the local economy and wildlife.

Mrs Spelman said: “Each of these projects has something different to offer – from the urban areas of Birmingham and the Black Country to the rivers and woods of North Devon; from marshes, coalfields and wetlands to woodland and arable chalkland and grassland. The exciting wildlife projects are the result of different organisations all working together with a common purpose – to safeguard our wildlife for generations to come.”

The NIAs were awarded funding by a panel of experts, led by Professor Sir John Lawton, and were a key commitment of the Natural Environment White Paper.

Sir John Lawton said: “For more than 40 years I have had the privilege of working on nature-conservation issues in the UK, both as a professional scientist, and in the voluntary sector. Never in all that time have I seen the sort of creativity, partnership working and sheer enthusiasm that the NIA competition has released in consortia that want to deliver more effective conservation for England’s wonderful wildlife in their area. Choosing 12 winners from 76 bids was an awfully difficult task, but I believe we have 12 outstanding NIAs, each unique in what it is setting out to achieve, for the benefits of people and wildlife.”

Neil Wyatt, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and The Black Country, said: “This is wonderful news, the wildlife across Birmingham and the Black Country will be one of the first parts of a green network that will one day link across the whole of England . The success of the NIA bid is down to an amazing partnership of nearly 50 organisations who will be working together to join up and improve wildlife sites across the area.”
 

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Nature Improvement Area for Birmingham and the Black Country.pdf121.26 KB

Tagged with: Caroline spelman, Defra, Nature Improvement Areas, Wildlife