Green space boost: New Local Nature Reserves (LNR) set for go ahead
Telford & Wrekin Council is set to enhance its existing commitment to the retention of green spaces by designating two new Local Nature Reserves.
This is more than double Natural England’s target of one hectare of Local Nature Reserve per 1,000 people.
Councillor John Minor, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Leisure, Green Spaces and Parks, said: ““People have the perception of Telford as predominantly urban but in actual fact 89 per cent of households are within 300 metres of accessible natural green space.
“We are committed to extending the areas that are protected – recognising their value to local communities and reflecting the importance these are areas have promoting health and wellbeing.
“It has been demonstrated that living close to accessible green spaces can reduce levels of obesity, heart disease, reduce stress and levels of depression.
“We have developed policies through the borough’s adopted Local Plan and the Green Guarantee which support the formal designation of sites with recognized nature conservation value.
“The Local Plan will guide future planning decisions until 2031 and during that time we expect to designate at least another eight local nature reserves.
“The proposals for Rough Park and Randlay Valley have been developed in conjunction with the local community including the relevant parish councils.
“They will involve local friends groups and volunteers carrying out small scale conservation tasks as part of the management of the sites.
“These proposed designations will form part of a wider legacy of biodiversity projects which will be launched as part of Telford’s 50th year celebrations.”
Rough Park is north of Woodside and features grassland and woodland habitats of considerable value to wildlife such as butterflies, woodland birds and bats.
It is designated as part of Telford and Wrekin’s Green Network and sits within a wider landscape of locally designated sites including two adjacent Local Wildlife Sites.
Randlay Valley is surrounded by residential areas including Hollinswood, Randlay, Brookside and Stirchley.
The site features woodland, grassland, and areas of water and connects the Town Park Local Nature Reserve with Nedge Hill.
Both sites encompass a number of rights of way and the proposed designations of Local Nature Reserves will provide opportunities to increase their use with partners like My Options and Healthy Telford.
The other nature reserves in the borough are Telford Town Park, The Granville, Lodge Field, The Ercall and St Lawrence’s Hill, Limekiln Wood, Madebrook and Stirchley Dingle, Dothill, Madeley Pitmounds, The Beeches, Ketley Paddock Mound and Apley Woods.
Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet, which meets on 15 February, is being asked to formally approve the declaration of the tow Local Nature Reserves.
Subject to that approval, the next step is to progress the sites through Natural England’s formal process prior to final legal declaration.