£2m investment into green and open spaces in Telford and Wrekin
Telford & Wrekin Council is investing £2m into enhancing the borough’s precious green and open spaces.
The announcement comes amid a raft of significant investments from the council, totalling more than £16m, which have been designed to make the borough cleaner, greener, safer and more enjoyable for all residents and visitors.
The council’s investment into green spaces will focus on designating more Local Nature Reserves and Green Guarantee sites, supporting and mobilising ‘friends’ groups, improving access to green spaces, making sites more welcoming, and enhancing wildlife and recreational value.
The borough’s recognised Local Nature Reserves, which include popular sites such as Granville Country Park, Apley Woods, Dawley Hamlets, Rough Park and Lime Kiln Woods, incorporate a range of habitats and support a diverse array of priority species of birds, bats, insects, amphibians and plants. They are popular destinations for local residents and visitors, with many providing a good network of paths ideal for dog walkers, casual walkers, horse riders and school children.
Cllr Carolyn Healy, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historic Environment, said:
“Our green spaces are so valuable, not only in terms of helping us address the climate emergency, but also because they also offer huge benefits to the physical and mental health of our residents. As we recover from the legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic, our enhanced green spaces help us look forward to the brighter times that lie ahead.
“Each time we designate a Green Guarantee site or achieve formal Local Nature Reserve status for a green space in Telford and Wrekin, it means that space is afforded protection from future development, securing the area for the preservation of wildlife and offering people opportunities to study, learn about and simply enjoy nature.
“I’m so proud that people living in the majority of our borough towns now have a Local Nature Reserve within walking distance of their home. In addition to more than 200 Green Guarantee sites, we also currently have 17 Local Nature Reserves in Telford and Wrekin which receive approximately 3.5 million visits a year and cover a combined area of more than 550ha – triple the minimum recommended standard per capita set by Natural England.
“It is a fantastic achievement, but we want to do more. So, with the support of community partners, we are looking to declare further sites and are also exploring opportunities to expand our existing Local Nature Reserves into other adjoining ecologically rich habitats.
“We will also be looking to improve access to our green spaces, for example, fixing timber steps that have deteriorated and improving signage to clearly mark all the spaces available for public access. We will enhance wildlife through tree planting and meadow creation and will create informative signage to highlight the biodiversity of sites.
“Ultimately, we are making this investment to give residents greater access to green spaces which are protected and enhanced, allowing wildlife to thrive and enabling all to enjoy. We’re investing in creating a better borough for today and for the future.”