City of Wolverhampton Council is set to make the first official step in designating the Wyrley and Essington Canal as a new Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

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The move comes following consultation with residents on the proposals by City of Wolverhampton Council, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council and the Canal & River Trust, and includes plans to increase access and improve habitat along the canal.

The scheme will cover the 6km Wyrley and Essington Canal corridor stretching from Wolverhampton city centre to the edge of Walsall, and areas of open space alongside it.

It is expected City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet will tomorrow (Wednesday) approve the final plan.

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council and the Canal & River Trust are set to follow suit next month through their official channels.

A collaboration agreement will then be made between the 3 partners, which includes a commitment to jointly manage the LNR for wildlife, education and enjoyment purposes for at least 21 years.

The LNR section in the City of Wolverhampton will also be declared as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) in recognition of the high wildlife value of the site, which is a home for dragonflies, butterflies, water birds, coarse fish and rare aquatic plants.

City of Wolverhampton Council Director for City Economy, Keren Jones, said: "We want to maximise the opportunities this Local Nature Reserve provides for wildlife, education and enjoyment.

"Working together with Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council and the Canal & River Trust to protect and increase access to this important natural area will ensure it becomes a real asset to our city."

LNRs are typically owned and managed by the local council. This LNR is unique, as the majority is owned and managed by the Canal & River Trust, with areas of adjoining land owned and managed by City of Wolverhampton Council and Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council.

  • released: Tuesday 6 June, 2017