Get your walking boots on this New Year and discover the great outdoors, at one of Tamworth’s 14 wildlife sites. If you have a New Year’s resolution to get fit, to enjoy more activities with the family, or to simply spend more time outdoors, then your free local parks and reserves are a great place to start.
Tamworth boasts seven designated Local Nature Reserves (LNRs), plus additional wildlife sites within the borough. All offer beautiful country walks and are managed by community conservation groups.
What better way to explore local wild spaces and enjoy nature at its best? Volunteers all over Tamworth Borough have been working hard to improve local spaces, thanks to the Wild About Tamworth project that started in 2003 in partnership with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Tamworth Borough Council.
The project has involved various activities including building bird boxes, constructing benches, footpath maintenance, environmental education with local schools, tree thinning and preservation, habitat management, hedge-laying, community events and much more!
The eight main wildlife sites are:
- Broad Meadow - This 25-hectares LNR is situated on the island between the two channels of the River Tame, off Lichfield Road near to the Moor Street traffic island. It is recognised as a site of biological importance, as it is a prime example of lowland meadow – a floodplain grassland habitat which is becoming increasingly rare in Staffordshire and across the UK. Broad Meadow is also one of only two sites in the county where the rare Snake’s Head Fritillary can be found growing wild. More details can be found here: www.tamworth.gov.uk/broad-meadow
- Dosthill Park – A popular 12-hectare park featuring a children’s play area, walk-ways and a new ‘Wind in the Willows’ sculpture trail. Since becoming an LNR in 2010, volunteers work hard to manage and improve large areas of valuable wildlife habitat within the park, including woodland, grassland, a network of ditches and watercourses, and a stretch of habitat along the River Tame. Work has also been ongoing to build a boardwalk through the wet woodland area so visitors can access the site without getting their shoes or boots muddy.
- Hodge Lane – The 4.55 hectare LNR is accessed from Chandler’s Drive, Amington. It is a great place to explore a range of wildlife pathways, grassland areas, canal tow path and perfect picnic locations.
- Kettle Brook – This LNR stretches from Glascote to Wilnecote and runs through Belgrave. There are various access points to the reserve including Lakeside from Jowett, off Leyland Road, Fossdale Road and at Belgrave by the dance studio on Bird’s Bush Road. This site has so much to offer and is managed by Wildlife Conservation Groups and Friends of Belgrave and Stonydelph Lakes.
- Tameside – Formed as an LNR in March 2006 with a man-made lake, Tameside is located on the Fazeley Road between Tamworth and Fazeley. The lake has four small islands that provide valuable meeting sites for bird life.
- Town Wall – Located off the Hockley Road, Wilnecote and adjacent to a small playing field, this LNR is a great place for all the family to enjoy. There are a range of paths, trees and areas with piles of branches and deadwood to encourage children to build dens and play. The meadow and grassland area provide a lovely picnic area, surrounded by flowers and wildlife.
- Warwickshire Moor – Situated off Moor Lane, Bolehall, this LNR developed through funding from the Central Rivers Initiative in 2006, has a series of pools, pathways, a boardwalk and bird boxes that families have built across the site; making this a brilliant place to see wildflowers and habitants including water dock, common reed and small mammals.
- Wigginton Park – Home of Tamworth Rugby Club, this large park of more than 20 hectares, is also host to a Tree Trail, wildflower meadow, a community orchard, children’s play area and offers a variety of activities such as bat walks and bird survey’s. A popular place for families, walkers and sporting activities.
More information about the parks can be found at: www.tamworth.gov.uk/wild-about-tamworth .
Cllr John Chesworth, Cabinet member for Culture and Operational Services, said: “We have some amazing parks and LNR’s on our doorstep, which are managed by local conservation groups.
“The sites are open all year round and offer the ideal opportunity to get out and enjoy wildlife and beauty without having to travel far or spend any money.
“What better way to start the new year than enjoying these free open spaces and maybe getting fit for 2020?”
Anyone who would like more information about getting involved as a volunteer at any of the Local Nature Reserves should contact the Wild About Tamworth Project Officer on 07970 067711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.