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Published June 29th 2017
Take A Stroll Around Delightful Urban Park With River View
The delightful Dosthill Park on the edge of Tamworth in Staffordshire is doing such a great job at protecting and conserving our wildlife that it was designated a Local Nature Reserve several years ago. The park, which can be accessed off Blackwood Road in Dosthill, is approximately 12 hectares in size with a variety of wildlife and habitats dotted in around this vital 'green lung' resource.
Dosthill Park, which was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2010, was originally part of a country estate, as is often the case with the parks and nature centres of today. Dosthill Hall remains but has now been converted into apartments. Thankfully, it is now managed by the capable and valuable Dosthill Park Wildlife Group of volunteers through the 'Wild About Tamworth' project, which is a joint initiative between Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the local Tamworth Borough Council.
Dosthill Park Wildlife Group was formed in June 2007 with the aim of managing and improving large areas of valuable wildlife habitat within the park, including woodland, grassland, a network of ditches and watercourses, and a stretch of habitat along the River Tame. Work has also been ongoing to build a boardwalk through the wet woodland area so visitors can access the site without getting their shoes or boots muddy. Volunteers meet on the first Sunday of each month to carry out conservation work, but as well as improving the site for wildlife the group also aims to educate people as to the park's value. In that regard, they have been working closely with the local primary school in Blackwood Road to develop an education pack that will enable groups to use the site to support their curriculum.
Most visitors who turn up at Dosthill Park do so on foot, either to walk their dog, enjoy a quiet stroll, or bring their children to the well equipped play area which sits at the main entrance in Blackwood Road. But anyone visiting from further afield, as I did, can leave their vehicle in the small car park beside the main entrance. Fortunately, a detailed map of the park can also be found at the main entrance to help first-time or infrequent visitors to find their way around.
Dosthill Park is clearly too large to cover in the one visit, so I contented myself by walking through the fields and abundant woodland down to the River Tame which runs along the perimeter of the park. On arriving at the river's edge visitors can enjoy views across the water, as well as the Dosthill Quarries and Middleton Lakes beyond, assuming you get a clearer day than the one when I visited.
If you are lucky you may get to see some of the abundant wildlife said to inhabit the park. Many different species of birds apparently call Dosthill Park home, such as woodpeckers, blackcaps and nuthatch, as well as the less commonly seen tawny owls which are said to frequent the area all year round with the help of volunteers who build and install bird boxes at various suitable locations. Other resident wildlife includes voles and harvest mice, while otters are thought to visit the riverside area, although I suspect you'd have to be very lucky to spot one.