Thimblemill Brook causes a stink:
Wildlife beauty spot under threat
Faulty pipes and duel manhole covers are causing havoc for Smethwick’s Thimblemill Brook’s wildlife. In places raw sewage is pouring into this wonderful local water course and affecting its inhabitants. The problem comes from inadequate duel manhole covers that can become backlogged meaning raw sewage can pour into the local streams.
Steven Hodgkinson from the Wildlife Trust’s Black Country Living Landscape Community Involvement Programme is working alongside the Friends of Thimblemill Brook to raise awareness of this issue and tell people what they can do to help.
“People don’t often realise that waste water from their property could be going directly into the streams. We have been working with Severn Trent, Sandwell MBC, the Environment Agency and the Friends of Thimblemill Brook to raise awareness of this pollution and try and prevent it.”
We are asking people if they spot signs of pollution including grey water, toilet rolls, detergent (bubbling water) and effluent to call the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 807060 or Severn Trent on 0800 783 4444.
Moira Black from the Friends of Thimblemill Brook added “The friends group works alongside Sandwell MBC to constantly try to improve the brook and make it a special place for people and wildlife. We would really like to sort this issue out and getting people to report the pollution is the first step.”
The Wildlife Trust’s Black Country Living Landscape Community Involvement Programme, has been awarded £442,338 by Natural England as part of its Access to Nature Programme, funded by £25M from the Big Lottery’s Funds Changing Spaces Programme.
To find out more about the water connections from your house you can visit the Environment Agency’s Yellow Fish project webpage at http://tinyurl.com/78wswf8 which is full of information about water pollution and how to help your local streams. There is also a free ConnectRight leaflet available from www.connectright.org.uk which explains how to check your property.
Wild 4 Walsall Environmental Award launched for 16-19 year olds
BCLL and Rathbone Walsall vinvolved Team are working together to give 16-19 year olds in the Walsall Borough an opportunity to improve their local environment for the benefit of the whole community. Wild 4 Walsall Environmental Award will allow you to apply for up to £500 to help make your project idea happen. So if you want to create an area for wildlife, clean up and improve a particular area, make a nature trail or develop activities to encourage people to learn about nature this could be the award for you.
For full details click here
Volunteers we need YOU!
Would you like to change sites from looking like the image on the left to the one the right?? If so, then you have come to the right place! Here at the wildlife trust we have lots of opportuntiiy to help improve sites at our regular working parties. At the moment we have opportunities at:
Red House Park - 3rd Thursday of the month
Warrens Hall / Bumblehole - last Friday of the month
Thimblemill Brook - 4th Saturday of the month
If you want to get involved, learn about conservation and have a good time then get in touch either by email email@example.com or call on 07791070887. We provide full training, teas, coffees and biscuits you just need to bring yourselves.
Healthy Wildlife Wanders
This summer promises to be filled with more than glorious sunshine, birds and bees because we want everyone to get out there enjoying it and quite possibly get a little fitter.
Summer is great time of year to start walking and we here at the Wildlife Trust’s Black Country Living Landscape Community Involvement Programme, and Sandwell Council want to help. We have created a wonderful wildlife health package that will get you wanting to put on your walking shoes this summer.
Sandwell Valley Farm Park and Haden Hill are where it all will be taking place and you’ll have the chance to learn about some wildlife while walking for health. Both visits include a guided tour of the centres, a break for lunch and then a wildlife health walk in the afternoon.
Steven Hodgkinson from the Black Country Living Landscape said “This is the perfect opportunity to learn some exciting things about wildlife and history as well as getting fit. I cannot think of a better way of spending a summer day!”
The activity days will run through the months of May until September starting at 11am and finishing at 3pm Mike Woodwell from Sandwell Council said “Regular walking is a brilliant way of staying healthy for free, if you can see some birds, plants and trees along the way then what a bonus!”
If you want to join us on one of these visits then you need to book your place, for free, by contacting Mike on 0121 5885842.
Black Country Living Landscape pilots new scheme
'Heart of Landscape' is a new website for people to share and celebrate their favourite places and landscapes in the West Midlands.
Everyone has their own special places – it might be a park or an area of countryside; an historic building or a modern development; it could be a place where you like to relax and unwind or socialise with friends; perhaps it’s a place you know well and have fond memories of; or maybe it’s a new place you’ve found that you want to tell others about.
Whatever your favourite places and landscapes might be, the website allows you to put them ‘on the map’ so that other people can learn about and enjoy them.
Black Country Nature gets a boost:
£440K Access to Nature Award for Wildlife Trust
The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country is very pleased to announce that it has been awarded £442,000 towards its innovative Black Country Living Landscape project by Natural England as part of its Access to Nature programme funded by £25m from the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces Programme.
The exciting new Black Country Living Landscape Community Involvement Programme is a 3-year, £594K project led by The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country. It will help the people and communities of the Black Country forge new links with their local wildlife sites, enabling them to discover and care for their Local Nature Reserves and other natural greenspaces. By promoting access, understanding, involvement and volunteering Black Country Living Landscape will achieve lasting change by engaging local people with the transformation of the Black Country’s natural environment.
Neil Wyatt, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country said “Black Country Living Landscape is a vision for a vibrant living landscape, with green spaces full of wildlife that everyone can enjoy and everyone can be part of making it happen. It’s a ‘green blueprint’ for cities and towns across the UK; a better future for everyone who lives in the Black Country has just got a step closer.”
Roger Owen, West Midlands Regional Director for Natural England said "As a result of the Access to Nature programme a greater number of people from diverse backgrounds will have the opportunity to experience nature at first hand. Black Country Living Landscapes will give those who live in and around the Black Country a fantastic chance to learn new skills either through training courses or practical tasks made available as result of this project.”
A full version of the news release can be downloaded here: Access to Nature Award news release
Black Country Living Landscape at The House of Commons
The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country’s innovative Black Country Living Landscape project was showcased at the House of Commons.
Together with Wildlife Trust staff from all parts of the UK, Mark Dixon, Black Country Living Landscape Development Manager, welcomed more than 150 MPs and other guests to a special reception at the House of Commons on Tuesday 7 October 2008 to mark the establishment of over 100 Wildlife Trust Living Landscape schemes across the British Isles covering one million hectares. The Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscape campaign aims to create landscape-scale preservation and improvement of wildlife habitats and help wildlife prepare for the advent of climate change.
Two Black Country MPs have vowed to help protect wildlife in the region by backing this important campaign. Rob Marris, MP for Wolverhampton South West and Sylvia Heal, MP for Halesowen & Rowley Regis have agreed to do their bit for wildlife in a changing climate.Mark Dixon said: "We need large scale co-operation among local authorities, government agencies, landowners, and most importantly, the communities of the Black Country which, when combined, can give nature and wildlife the chance to move in response to climate change. We welcome Mr Marris’s and Mrs Heal’s support and look forward to working with them in the future."
Rob Marris MP (right) with Mark Dixon Sylvia Heal MP with Mark Dixon
Mapping of local groups and community organisations that could be involved in the CIP was undertaken. Data from the previously supplied geo-demographic analysis and database of community involvement groups in the Black Country was used to identify priority potential local groups and organisations to target for the Community Involvement Project. The geo-demographic analysis indicated the areas of greatest need, i.e. the most deprived communities, and then a list of around 300 groups located within these communities was compiled from the database. We have contacted these groups to introduce the Black Country Living Landscape project in order to find out in what specific ways the project could make a difference to their neighbourhood or community and how we could work with them. A number of them have already responded and consultation and feedback meetings have been undertaken to inform further the activities of the proposed Community Involvement Programme.
The HLF Grants Officer assigned to our application and an HLF main board Trustee visited the project. Accompanied by Neil Wyatt, Mark Dixon, Richard Nyirenda and project partner representatives from Walsall Council and Natural England they were taken to Moorcroft Wood and Goscote Valley to demonstrate the scope and potential delivery of the project. The outcome of our application to HLF for £2.1M to support the planned £3.3M Black Country Living Landscape Community Involvement Programme will be known by early October.