Six months of works have started to turn more than 90% of the former Wolverhampton Environment Centre (Central Plant Nursery) into a Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

Type=image;ImageID=16047;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Wildlife Trust partners carry out the hay strew;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=16048;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Former WEC site;TitleClass=strong;

The site off Westacre Crescent currently hosts 4 large derelict glass houses, ancillary buildings and a bungalow, which are not viable to bring back into use. 

90% of the site has been set aside for wildlife and will be opened up to the public as part of the adjoining Smestow Valley LNR.

The allocation of funding from the council and Black Country Blue Network ERDF grant of £285,000 will initially open up and immediately improve the area being reassigned to the Local Nature Reserve and public open space, with the proposal to seek additional funding from the council at a later date to improve the LNR further.

The work to improve this extension of the LNR will include woodland and pond management and meadow creation, improved car parking for walkers, community garden, new paths throughout to connect it to the wider Smestow Valley LNR, and new entrances from the disused railway line pathway into the reserve.

Initial works saw council partner, the Wildlife Trust, carry out a green hay strew, which consists of spreading hay from huge bales - transported from a meadow in Birmingham - to sow wildflower seed and help create a diverse habitat for plant and insect life.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: "The vast majority of this site is being turned into a first class managed public open space and nature reserve for residents and the wider public to enjoy in line with the Tettenhall Neighbourhood Plan.

"Making this land a local nature reserve indefinitely will doubly protect it against being built on by developers and preserve it for future generations to enjoy."

  • released: Tuesday 31 July, 2018