Historic hedgerows and native meadows will be created at Bantock Park as part of work to restore environmental features which have been lost over the years.

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Funded by the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area programme, the £5,600 project will see 2 historic hedgerows replanted and wildflower meadows created, restoring features that would have been found in the area more than 100 years ago.

Until the late 19th century, the area which is now Bantock Park enjoyed a typical rural landscape of small fields divided by hedgerows. The gradual suburbanisation of Wolverhampton saw the area become a park, playing fields and allotment gardens, and many of the defining features of the historic landscape were lost.

Through the project supported by Friends of Bantock House Museum and Park and The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, 2 new hedgerows will be introduced, one across the centre of the park from its south west boundary towards the play area. The original hedgerow was lost in the 1960s and will be replanted with a mix of native shrubs, trees and wildflowers.

Another hedgerow lost in the 1960s, this time towards the south east edge of the park, will also be reinstated by planting a native mix dominated by hawthorn, but also with hazel, field maple and oak. Some of the trees will be allowed to grow, while the remainder will be managed as hedgerow shrubs. Hedgerow flowers will also be sown.

Meanwhile, the most western point of the park, a wet area which has had meadow flowers introduced over the last few years, will be encouraged to naturalise further with the introduction of yellow rattle flowers, which weakens grasses and allows other flowers to establish themselves. Seed rich hay from a local meadow will be spread in the area to introduce new species.

Finally, hay will be spread on the little used area of grassland towards the south west of the park, enabling a flower rich meadow to establish itself in the next 2 or 3 years bursting with orchids and cowslip.

The work will be carried out by representatives of the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area, council staff and volunteers, and will get underway in the next few weeks.

Simon Atkinson, Programme Manager for the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area said: "This project is a great boost for nature in Wolverhampton and is part of our work to improve green spaces across the area by creating new wildlife habitat.

"Species rich grassland is not only attractive to the human eye, but will also bring in more butterflies, bees and birds; while hedgerows are a vital wildlife corridor that will help species move across the area."

Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, said: "We are very grateful to the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area for funding this important piece of work which will restore some of the historic features that have been lost over the years.

"This is a good example of our ongoing commitment to Bantock Park and Bantock House Museum and shows how important it is that, while the council is facing an unprecedented budgetary challenge, it takes every opportunity to work with other organisations to carry out important work which improves our city."

Anyone who would like to volunteer to help out on the project should call Su James on 0121 454 1199 to find out more.

  • released: Tuesday 4 February, 2014