Beacon of hope for a wildlife-rich future

Monday 14th July 2014

Ground being prepared for creating a meadowWildlife Trust staff prepare an area on Sedgley Beacon for meadow creation.

Towering over the Black Country, Sedgley Beacon has long been a landmark site, but now a new partnership project will enhance its wildlife and historical value for generations to come.

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country are working together with South Staffs Water, Dudley Council and the Friends of Sedgley Beacon to restore the historic environment and enhance it for people and wildlife.

The project will see The Wildlife Trust and local volunteers create new wildflower meadows buzzing with bees and butterflies, restore historic hedgerows which provide food and shelter for animals, and expand the area of special grassland which grows on the fossil-rich limestone. Such grassland is incredibly rare in the Black Country, and the largest area thrives in the old quarry at Sedgley Beacon. New areas of limestone will be exposed and hay from the quarry, which is rich in wildflowers, will be spread there to encourage more diverse wildlife. Dudley Council archaeologists will be on hand to see if any evidence of the site’s history is uncovered during the project.

Simon Atkinson, Conservation Projects Manager at The Wildlife Trust, says “The chance to work on such a key site is a great opportunity for us and our partners South Staffs Water. Together with the Friends, volunteers and Dudley Council we’ll be enhancing some great habitats which are of real importance for local people and wildlife.

“There are very few areas of limestone grassland locally and hence the species found here are rare in the Black Country. There are plants such as milkwort and carline thistle which only grow on these sites, as well as butterflies such as marbled white and birds such as whitethroat that thrive in such habitat. For the Black Country to retain such diversity in plants and animals it’s vital that sites like Sedgley Beacon are looked after.”

Commenting on the project, Colin Wayper, Operations Director at South Staffs Water, says “We are delighted to be involved with this important environmental project. Working in partnership sits at the heart of our approach to improving the environment for all the community.”

Funding for the project has been awarded by the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area.

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Tagged with: Living Landscapes, NIA, Sedgley beacon, Wildflower meadows

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