Sandwell’s urban nature lovers can enjoy more magical meadows

Monday 4th August 2014

Wildflower Meadow photo by Su JamesCreating magical meadows

Five sites in Sandwell are set to be transformed into idyllic wildflower meadows, rich with orchids and other rare species this week.

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country are leading the work through the Nature Improvement Area partnership, which saw 10 meadows created in July this year and 18 meadows last summer. Meadows will be created at four parks in Sandwell as well as at Holly Wood nature reserve.

Hay for these sites is being brought from nearby “donor site” Illey Pastures in Dudley, which is an established and ancient meadow with such a rich mix of wildflowers that it has been designated a site of special scientific interest. The hay will be cut and brought to be strewn by volunteers on the new meadow sites in one day to ensure the seeds reach their destination while they are still fresh.

The Nature Improvement Area was designated in 2012 and, led by The Wildlife Trust, they made improvements to over 150 hectares of wildlife habitat in the first two years – that would cover 210 football pitches! This year looks like it could be even more successful.

Simon Atkinson, Nature Improvement Area programme manager for The Wildlife Trust, said: “Sandwell offers some great opportunities to build on last year’s work and ensure we have an even bigger network of wildflower meadows that are a feast both to the eye and to all kinds of animals who will thrive on them.

“The Nature Improvement Area is focussed on creating as many special sites that are rich in wildlife as possible, so that everyone in Birmingham and the Black Country will have one near where they live. We want people to be proud of the places where they live and enjoy them as spaces to see wonderful plants and animals whilst still in an urban environment.”

Councillor Maria Crompton, cabinet member for highways and environment, said: "This is an excellent project and we are happy to support the Wildlife Trust in their work. There is no doubt that more and more people are getting interested in their local environment and I would urge them to contact the organisers if they want to seek more information or get involved."

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved with the Nature Improvement Area or help with our meadow creation projects, contact Su James: su.j@bbcwildlife.org.uk.

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Tagged with: Nature Improvement Area, NIA, Sandwell, Wildflower meadows

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