Work is underway to make Solihull greener and give woodlands some much needed love and care thanks to two projects taking place across the Borough.
The Habitat and Nature Improvement Project continues apace with eight more woodlands being managed over the winter. Traditionally woodland management has used heavy horses and tools, but given the scale of the work large machinery will be used to get things done before birds start nesting. The project will ensure better conservation for 121 hectares of habitat, including woodlands, grasslands and wetlands – that’s about 200 football pitches!
Initially the woodland management work may look quite severe, but it is necessary in order to protect the long term future of the wood and its trees, plants and animals. Without this management the quality and health of our woodlands would decline.
Building on this success, work also starts this winter on Wildlife Ways. This is a three year programme to connect up and improve existing routes, allowing wildlife to flourish and encouraging people to walk and cycle across the Borough.
The programme will improve 69km of existing footpath and cycle networks and introduce 23km of new footways and improved access for cyclists. Routes will be planted with native wildflowers and trees and link to existing green spaces. This will be via shared footpath/cycle ways wherever possible. The project will also improve the range and quality of wildlife in 56 hectares of parks and open spaces for the benefit of everyone – that’s another 90 football pitches!
Local resident Cheryl Hunt said: “The work done at Elmdon Park earlier this year for the Habitat and Nature Improvement Project has made such a difference. The paths have been improved and some of the trees have been cut down, letting in much needed light for the wildflowers to grow. This is wonderful for walkers and wildlife alike – even in the rain!”
Both projects are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.