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Dozens dig in to help park nature project

Dozens of people turned out to help with a special project to bring historic hedgerows and native meadows back to Bantock Park.

WCC Development Officer Gary Price, Nature Imp Area Project Off Su James, Councillor Elias Mattu, Nature Imp Area Programme Manager Simon Atkinson and Chair of the Friends of Bantock House Museum and Park David Austwick were among those helping out
Special project at Bantock Park

Funded by the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area (NIA) programme, the £5,600 project aims to restore environmental features which have been lost over the years.

The first stage of the work took place on Wednesday (5 March, 2014), with volunteers joining representatives of the Birmingham and Black Country NIA and Wolverhampton City Council to get stuck in and help replant 2 historic hedgerows.

Over the coming months, the hedgerows will grow up around 2 rows of wooden fencing which has been installed across the park, creating features similar to those which would have been found in the area more than 100 years ago.

Nature Improvement Area Project Officer Su James said: "We had a great day with more than 40 volunteers, including local school children, helping to plant the new hedges in Bantock Park.

"Historically this area would have been a typical rural landscape of small rural fields divided by native hedgerows. Gradual sub urbanisation has seen the area become utilised as a park and some of these original features of the historic landscape were lost.

"The NIA project aims to reinstate historic hedgerows and introduce new hay meadows, so in our modern city we will be able see play areas and football fields divided by native hedgerows returning the landscape to something more like its historic past - but maintaining its use in the urban environment for people to enjoy.

"Later in the year we will be creating new areas of hay meadow in Bantock Park, and we'll be asking local people to get involved again to assist in creating species rich grassland where we hope to introduce species such as cowslip, yellow rattle and Orchid. Look out for further information at the beginning of summer."

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, was one of those who helped out. He said: "This is a fascinating piece of work which will have a lasting impact on Bantock Park, and I'm really pleased that so many local people gave up their time to help out."

  • released: Monday 10 March, 2014