Farewell Park Hall Nature Reserve

Wednesday 5th April 2017

Farewell Park Hall Nature Reserve

Today The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country will hand the keys to Park Hall Nature Reserve to High Speed 2 (HS2) following the granting of Royal Assent for the High Speed Rail bill. The construction of the rail line will have a huge impact on local wildlife and ancient woodland.

Park Hall nature reserve has been looked after by The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country since 2007, with staff and volunteers working tirelessly to conserve and enhance it. The site borders the River Tame and includes mosaics of ancient woodland, marsh, meadow, 17 small ponds, swamp and ditch habitat. The loss of this large habitat will also result in significant adverse impact for a range of protected and other important species, including otter, bat species, water vole, great crested newt, grass snake, kingfisher, sand martin, and a range of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates.

The Wildlife Trust, in their role as lead partner for the Nature Improvement Area in which the reserve resides, has campaigned hard for the development to avoid the most ecologically sensitive areas and fought to get the best deal for local wildlife. This has resulted in securing significant concessions from HS2 including an assurance to preserve ancient woodland, a guarantee of improved public access in the future and a mandate for the Trust to be involved in forming the restoration plan for the site.

The Trust is working closely with HS2 to make sure the importance of our natural environment is taken into account at every stage of decision making going forward.

Chief Executive, Georgia Stokes said
‘Of course we are sad to lose this nature reserve; however without our team to defend and advocate for Park Hall the damage would have been much worse. We are working closely with HS2 to make sure our local nature is getting a good deal.’

Because of its location between the M6 and the River Tame this special reserve has rarely been open to the public. 

More images on our Facebook page