Cotteridge Park Enhancements

With the support of the Birmingham & Black Country Nature Improvement Area, during July 2013, works began to create and diversify habitats across Cotteridge Park.

Cotteridge Park is located in the south of Birmingham which is mostly formal and frequently dominated by amenity grassland. Within the park there are two areas of woodland that The Friends of Cotteridge Park wanted to improve for both biodiversity and amenity:

The first was an area of semi-mature Sycamore woodland occupying a steep slope on the boundary of the park. The other was an area of predominantly native broad-leaved species which was about 15 years old (known as Millennium Wood).

Towards the end of 2013 crown-lifting and thinning of the Millennium Wood was carried out, whilst some of the young and semi-mature Sycamore in the secondary woodland was removed. Both areas were under-planted with native trees, plug plants and seeds provided through the Growing Local Flora to create field-layer flora such as primrose, red campion and fox glove, making the wood more species-rich

Meanwhile, an historic line of alder trees was re-introduced when six multi-stemmed alder trees were planted in the wettest bit of the park. The trees reflect one of the ancient hedge lines that existed when the park was just fields. However over the years, these trees slowly disappeared and the area has become very wet and muddy. Alder trees like the wet, and their planting will help to dry out this area and make access to this area easier. 

Volunteers were actively involved in  the project. These included Years 5&6 at Cotteridge School, students from Kings Norton Boys' School and Friends of Cotteridge Park volunteers.

The volunteers gained skills and confidence as a result of this project and more work to improve biodiversity is taking place in the park as a result. The project has also resulted in more people becoming volunteers and existing volunteers giving more time and undertaking more complex tasks.

This project compliments the NIA’s objectives as not only has it aided the creation of new species-rich woodland, work on Cotteridge Park has encouraged community engagement and helped local school children to learn about nature.