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Published January 14th 2020
Get off the couch and stretch those post-Christmas legs
People living in the vicinity of Tamworth in Staffordshire have no excuse for not maintaining New Year resolutions about walking off any Christmas excesses in 2020. The local Tamworth Borough Council has issued an invitation for members of the local community to get their walking boots on and discover the great outdoors at one of the area's 14 wildlife and nature sites this year. Tamworth boasts seven designated Local Nature Reserves (LNRs), plus additional wildlife sites within the borough. All of the sites, which are managed by community conservation groups, offer beautiful country walks, so there is no reason for anyone not to get fit, enjoy family activities, or simply spend more time outdoors by visiting a local park or nature reserve free of charge. Volunteers all over Tamworth borough have been working hard to improve local spaces, thanks to the Wild About Tamworth project that started in 2003 in partnership with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Tamworth Borough Council. The project has involved various activities including footpath maintenance, building bird boxes, constructing benches, environmental education with local schools, tree thinning and preservation, habitat management, and hedge-laying.
Beautiful Dosthill Park in Tamworth
The eight main wildlife sites are:
• Broad Meadow - a 25-hectares LNR situated on an 'island' between two channels of the River Tame. It is recognised as a site of biological importance, as it is a prime example of lowland meadow – a floodplain grassland habitat which is becoming increasingly rare in Staffordshire and across the UK. Broad Meadow is also one of only two sites in the county where the rare Snake's Head Fritillary can be found growing wild.
Dosthill Park - a 12-hectare park featuring a children's play area, walkways and a new 'Wind in the Willows' sculpture trail. Since becoming an LNR in 2010, volunteers have managed and improved large areas of valuable wildlife habitat within the park, including woodland, grassland, and a network of ditches and watercourses. Work has also been ongoing to build a boardwalk through the wet woodland area.
Hodge Lane - a 4.5 hectare LNR is a great place to explore a range of wildlife pathways, grassland areas, canal towpath and perfect picnic locations.
Kettle Brook - This LNR has so much to offer and is managed by Wildlife Conservation Groups and Friends of Belgrave and Stonydelph Lakes.
Tameside - formed as an LNR in 2006 with a man-made lake containing four small islands that provide valuable meeting sites for birdlife.
Town Wall - consists of a range of paths, trees and areas with piles of branches and deadwood to encourage children to build dens and play. The meadow and grassland area provides a lovely picnic area, surrounded by flowers and wildlife.
Warwickshire Moor - this LNR was developed through funding from the Central Rivers Initiative in 2006. It has a series of pools, pathways, a boardwalk and bird boxes that families have built across the site.
Wigginton Park - home of Tamworth Rugby Club, this large park is also host to a Tree Trail, wildflower meadow, a community orchard, and children's play. It also offers a variety of activities such as bat walks and bird surveys.
More information about the parks can be found at: www.tamworth.gov.uk/wild-about-tamworth Anyone who would like more information about getting involved as a volunteer at any of the LNRs should contact the Wild About Tamworth Project Officer on 07970 067711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org