More local nature reserves enjoy people have easy access to green spaces

Four new Local Nature Reserves have been declared in Telford and Wrekin.

Councillor Carolyn Healey at one of the reserves
Councillor Carolyn Healey at one of the reserves

The Cockshutt local nature reserve at, Oakengates, Rough Park, Randlay Valley and Lightmoor LNR join 13 other declared sites across the borough, meaning Telford and Wrekin now has a total of 17 reserves with a further six sites in the pipeline for legal declaration.

The council says the legal declaration affords the sites additional protection from development.

Once the next six sites are formally declared, there will be 23 legally protected LNRs in Telford and Wrekin, covering an area of more than 700 hectares.

This represents 3.8 hectares of LNR land per thousand Telford and Wrekin residents – four times the space recommended by Natural England.

Councillor Carolyn Healy, cabinet member for climate change, green spaces, natural and historic environment and cultural services, said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to legally declare these spaces and would like to thank our team for the work that has gone into achieving this status.

“This announcement demonstrates the council’s commitment to local communities – we are protecting and managing these wonderful sites for people, wildlife and heritage.

“Not only are these natural spaces important for supporting biodiversity, they’re also hugely beneficial to the wellbeing of those who visit and volunteer.

“These four new sites comprise a variety of habits, including broadleaf woodland, lowland heathland, wildflower meadow and wet woodland. They’re filled with wildlife and they’re right on people’s doorsteps.

“We want to encourage more people to visit and enjoy these spaces. That’s why, in September 2021, Telford & Wrekin Council committed £3m to enhancing the borough’s parks and green spaces.

“Since then, across our sites, we have cleared, renovated and installed pathways and steps, upgraded fencing and gates, and installed new benches including wheelchair-accessible picnic tables.We have desilted pools, managed vegetation, installed homes for birds, bats, bees and bugs, sewn wildflowers and planted trees.

“I’m delighted that, by protecting and investing in our green spaces, we’re helping wildlife to thrive and making nature more accessible for all.”

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