Ambitious plans to improve connections across Solihull with green networks and improved wildlife sites took another step forward in May 2018 – thanks to an award of £7m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Cllr Tony Dicicco, cabinet member for environment and housing, said: “The borough is divided by major roads and can feel quite disjointed. The idea behind this scheme is to open up and enhance existing routes to allow wildlife to flourish and encourage people to use their cars less and enjoy walking or cycling to get about. By planting and widening our paths, they will become more attractive and useable for people, plants and wildlife alike.”
Cllr Ian Courts, cabinet member for managed growth, added: “We submitted bids for funding from various organisations to get this project off the ground. The ERDF bid was the biggest so work can now begin in earnest, moving from the planning phase to physical work that people across Solihull will really start to notice. The environment and biodiversity is a vital part of our plans to continue making this borough the best place to live and work in!”
During the winter, work will start on a three year programme to widen existing paths and planting will take place across the existing cycle network (69km) and new shared paths (23km) for both cyclists and walkers.
Winter will also see the start of further improvements to 23 woodland, wetland and grassland sites. Building on the success of the Solihull habitat and nature improvements project, this next phase will protect and enhance the wide range of woodland plants.