Telford & Wrekin declares new local nature reserves
Today (28 November) Telford & Wrekin Council has announced the legal declaration of one new and the extension of two Local Nature Reserves (LNRs).
The decision adds further protections to diverse natural habitats across Telford and Wrekin, supporting biodiversity and increasing residents’ access to wellbeing-boosting natural spaces as well as protecting them from future development.
Central Hall Local Nature Reserve in Donnington is a new 5.35ha site comprising woodland, grassland, and pond habitats.
The newly named Dothill and Shawbirch Local Nature Reserve, formerly known as Dothill LNR, will be extended bringing the total size to 54.3ha and incorporating Rough Pits woodland. The site is a mix of woodland, grassland and wetland habitat.
The second extension is to the existing Granville LNR where the council has increased the total size of the area to 85.5ha. This site is a mix of woodland, grassland, heathland and wetland habitats. Granville also hosts a number of important heritage assets including The Pumping Engine which is a Scheduled Monument, as well as one of Telford’s few ecological Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Muxton Marsh.
These declarations bring the number of LNR sites in the borough to 18, covering an area of more than 590 hectares of protected green space with a further five sites also in the pipeline for legal declaration. This represents 3.2 hectares of LNR land per thousand Telford and Wrekin residents – over three times the space recommended by Natural England.
Councillor Carolyn Healy (Lab) Cabinet member for climate action, green spaces, heritage and leisure commented: “This is another significant milestone in our work to protect and manage our wonderful green spaces for people, wildlife and heritage in Telford and Wrekin.
“I’m delighted we’ve been able to legally declare these spaces and would like to thank our team for the work that has gone into achieving this status.
“Not only are these natural spaces important for supporting biodiversity, they’re also hugely beneficial to the wellbeing of those who visit and volunteer.
“We want to continue to encourage more people to enjoy these spaces. Since 2021 we have made significant investment to enhance the borough’s parks and green spaces including repairing paths and steps, upgrading fencing and gates, installing new benches including wheelchair-accessible picnic tables, as well as desilting pools, creating wildflower meadows, planting trees, putting up bat and bird boxes and building bug hotels.
“I’m delighted that by protecting and investing in our green spaces we’re helping wildlife to thrive and making nature more accessible for all.”
Councillor Fiona Doran, Ward Member for Donnington added: “This is great news for Donnington. Central Hall is a well-known green haven locally – it offers an accessible natural space for residents to explore and enjoy, and as a community we’re delighted that the council have protected this space.”