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Plans afoot to boost biodiversity in south Birmingham’s parks

Plans to boost biodiversity in parts of south Birmingham are being developed, as Covid continues to highlight the importance of parks and open spaces.

Bournville Village Trust has teamed up with The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust to look at biodiversity in parts of Bournville, Selly Oak, Northfield, Weoley and Shenley.

It wants to make sure parks and open spaces are not only welcoming and accessible, to help improve people’s health, but environmentally-friendly and bio-diverse too.

As part of the plans, The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust will carry out an ecological survey to document all existing plant species and habitats in the areas. 

They will also look at potential enhancements including how habitats like wildflower meadows, grassland, hedgerows and woodland could be created or improved.

A comprehensive plan will then be produced for all of the green and open spaces and parks that Bournville Village Trust manages, including Shenley Green Park, Bournville Village Green and others. 

Residents in these areas are being invited to take part in a survey to share their views and over 480 residents have already had their say. The survey is open until Friday 4th December and can be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MMD9Q78

The work comes as the government has spoken about the importance of parks and open spaces during lockdown. Robert Jenrick MP said ‘people need parks’ as he talked about how much harder lockdown is for those without a garden or anywhere for their children to run around.

Tracey Rowe, Head of Estates and Stewardship at Bournville Village Trust, said: “In January, before Covid struck in the UK we launched a new corporate plan and one of our key aims was to improve the parks and open spaces in our communities.

“Covid and lockdown have really shone a light on the need for good quality parks and open spaces. Many people in our communities have and continue to rely on them for daily exercise, fresh air and somewhere for their children to play.

“We want to make sure parks and open spaces are not only welcoming and accessible for our communities but that they help to improve people’s health and wellbeing at a time when it’s never been more important.

“A huge part of this is making sure that they’re environmentally-friendly and promote biodiversity and a trial of a wildflower meadow in one of our parks and been really well received by the community.”

Simon Atkinson, Head of Conservation from The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, said: We are pleased to be working in partnership with Bournville Village Trust and taking on board the views of local residents to shape the plans for biodiversity improvements in these areas. 

“This work will help to restore our precious urban nature whilst providing local residents with access to quality green spaces for the benefit to health and wellbeing.”

Bournville Village Trust is a community-based housing association and registered charity whose mission is to create and sustain communities where people can thrive. It provides services to 8,000 homes and 25,000 people in Birmingham and Shropshire.

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