Campaign for Meadows at the Houses of Parliament, 1991
The Wildlife Trust stands up for local wildlife, and we help local communities find their voice to protect their local environment.
Thirty years ago the Wildlife Trust was established as the Urban Wildlife Group. Among our first camapaigns were one to end landfilling of Queslett Quarry in Great Barr and to protect Moseley Bog in south Birmingham. Today both of these sites are still important green spaces, and Moseley Bog and Joy's Wood is one of our own nature reserves.
Over the years we have opposed many damaging development proposals which otherwise would have chipped away at Wildlife Sites across Birmingham and the Black Country. We have led the way in encouraging all of our local authorities to establish urban ranger services to look after their green spaces.
Not all our campaigns are for big or important wildlife sites. One small but important victory was the saving of the Tettenhall Lime, a huge old tree and one of the oldest in the Black Country. Threatened with being felled we successfully argued for remedial tree work to be carried out and for a small area below the tree to be closed off for public safety.
When cable TV came to Birmingham and the Black Country our vice-president Chris Baines led a campaign to stop the use of trenching machines from damaging the roots of street trees, with the result that a code of practice that promoted hand-digging around street trees was adopted by the cable companies. We have even acted to make sure that nesting peregrine falcons were left undisturbed when the Telecom Tower got its purple makeover!
On a national level we have campaigned (and still do) against the culling of badgers, to protect threatened hay meadows and grassland and for improvements to laws to protect the natural environment. We have also supported national campaigns to protect the seas around the UK around the UK.
We don't win every time - one notable defeat was the destruction of wildlife-rich land at Vincent Drive during the construction of the new Queen Elizabeth hospital. A more enlightened approach to laying out the development could have saved more wildlife and preserved the green surroundings that we now know can help patients make a rapid and successful recovery.
Currently we are campaigning to stop the government from continuing with culling badgers. We are also pressing to minimise the environmental impact of High Speed Rail - which will cross our Park Hall Nature Reserve, as well as many other important sites for nature conservation.
Also, we campaigned to protect the grasslands of the Rowley Hills, a prominent Black Country landmark, from being sold off in a piecemeal fashion as potential development land, and secure this vital wildlife site as somewhere everyone can enjoy.
The Wildlife Trust is always happy to offer advice and guidance to community groups wishing to protect their local wildlife sites, whether their aim is to stop a damaging development or abuse of a site, or to get involved in managing and caring for a greenspace. If there is a wildlife site you feel needs protection - please let us know.