Council awards protected status to more than 100 neighbourhood green spaces

Telford & Wrekin Council has this week awarded Green Guarantee Site status to 107 green spaces across the borough. This status recognises the community and ecological value of these sites and confers protection against any potential future development.

Council awards protected status to more than 100 neighbourhood green spaces

The addition of these new sites means that the council now officially recognises 306 sites under its Green Guarantee scheme across Telford and Wrekin, with sites ranging in size and usage, from small patches of land like the small site off Hawkstone Avenue in Newport to the much larger Pool Hill site in Dawley.

The declaration is part of the council’s commitment to promote accessible green space, a policy which has also seen six new large Local Nature Reserves declared in the borough earlier this year.

Whilst Telford and Wrekin is often considered an urban area, in fact approximately 90% of the borough is composed of ‘green infrastructure’ with only 10% comprising buildings, roofs, roads, footpaths, town squares and carparks. The Telford Green Network covers approximately 2,500ha in total.

The council says these smaller Green Guarantee Sites provide a green walking route by which residents can access larger sites such as the Local Nature Reserves, or simply provide a green view or a wildlife oasis within the built up area, bringing people into closer contact with green spaces and nature and providing opportunities for exercise, reflection, relaxation and engagement.

Councillor Carolyn Healy (Lab), Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historic Environment and Cultural Services, said: 

“We choose Green Guarantee Sites based on their ecological value, the opportunities they provide to residents for leisure and recreation, and the positive impacts they can bring to health and wellbeing.

“These can be sites where local children enjoy playing together outdoors, or that groups use for sport and recreation, they can be a spot where people take their dog for a walk, or spaces that can be used for local projects like orchards or neighbourhood events. These are often the spaces where communities are forged.

“We know that local people really value their neighbourhood’s green spaces and we are on their side. We often work in partnership with the community to maintain and enhance these spaces, working with town and parish councils and local ‘Friends’ volunteer groups.

Ward member for Dawley & Aqueduct, Councillor Bob Wennington said:

“This site behind Aqueduct Primary School is a perfect example of a successful new Green Guarantee Site, where volunteers have recently created a community orchard featuring apple, plum, pear and cherry trees. These trees will supply free fruit for the community and provide homes for birds and nectar for insects. It's hoped that local schools will use the orchard to help children learn about nature too.

Ward member for Dawley & Aqueduct, Councillor Ian Preece added:

“When we posted about this orchard project on Facebook, one resident commented, ‘there’ll be some houses on there soon’. But this is precisely what the Green Guarantee is for – it provides reassurance. It means residents can be confident that there will not be any houses built here. Rather, the site will be actively maintained and managed to benefit the community and our local wildlife.”

Councillor Healy summarised: 

“We’re working hard to make Telford and Wrekin greener in every sense. 

“Protecting and enhancing our borough’s green spaces is so important for our community’s wellbeing and for the wildlife that these sites support, whether that be one of our huge Local Nature Reserves or that patch of land in your neighbourhood where children love to play. 

“That’s why I’m so excited to declare even more protected green sites in our borough – this work is keeping nature on your doorstep.”

Locations of Telford and Wrekin's 107 newly declared Green Guarantee Sites can be found here

Photo features Cllrs Bob Wennington and Ian Preece in one of Aqueduct’s new ‘Green Guarantee Sites’ located behind Aqueduct Primary School, with teacher Rob Davies of Southall School and two students who recently helped create the site’s community orchard.

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