New nature reserves plan to boost green spaces commitment

Telford & Wrekin Council is set to demonstrate its continued commitment to protecting green spaces by declaring three new Local Nature Reserves.

New nature reserves plan to boost green spaces commitment
The move has come about as a result of close partnership working with town and parish councils and voluntary groups and will increase the number of nature reserves in the borough to 11.

Subject to cabinet approval, the three new reserves will be at the following sites: 

Apley Woods including woodland, meadows and the lake south of the A442 Queensway and north of the Princess Royal Hospital
Ketley Paddock Mound including woodland, grassland and pools between Holyhead Road and Shepherds Lane, Ketley
The Beeches including a meadow with pond and a wooded pitmound to the south and east of the former Beeches Hospital site in Ironbridge:

This will complement the Council’s Green Guarantee which earlier this year gave protection from development for 104 public open spaces  across the borough covering 407 hectares.

These three new Local Natures Reserve sites are in addition to this.

Going forward,  the public will also be asked to nominate another 50 sites to come under the Green Guarantee.

The proposal to designate the three areas as new Local Nature Reserves has been developed with the local community and will involve local volunteers carrying small scale conservation tasks as part of the management of the sites.

Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Housing, Leisure and Health, said: “The declaration of additional Local Nature Reserves reflects the council’s commitment to protect and enhance green spaces and recognises the value these spaces play in local communities and helping people to stay fit and well.

“These sites play an important role in maintaining a healthy balance between the built environment and green open space.

“It has been shown that living close to accessible green spaces can improve health and help reduce levels of obesity, heart disease, stress and levels of depression.

“We also know that the green and natural environment across our borough is one of the reasons most often given when people are asked why they live in, visit or locate their business here.”

Telford and Wrekin currently has eight Local Nature Reserves covering over 334 hectares, meaning the borough already has two hectares of reserves for every 1000 people. The Natural England recommendation is that there should be one hectare.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet, which meets on 21 July, is being asked to approve the declaration of the three reserves.