Thanks to £1.8 million from the National Lottery’s Heritage Lottery Fund, an exciting and ambitious new landscape partnership scheme is underway, focussed on improving the Tame Valley Wetlands for people and wildlife.
Located between Birmingham and Tamworth, the 104 km² area follows 30 km of the River Tame and its surrounding wetland landscape. It aims to restore both built and natural heritage features, whilst reconnecting local people with their environment.
The Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership is led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and made up of 18 partner organisations including statutory bodies, charities and local groups, with the vision of ‘creating a wetland landscape, rich in wildlife and accessible to all’.
The scheme has already delivered some major improvements to the local area. Thanks to funding and support from the Environment Agency and Warwickshire County Council, over 500 metres of the River Tame at Kingsbury Water Park has been re-naturalised, leading to much improved access for local people and a more natural river where nature can once again thrive.
The Tame Valley Wetlands Scheme has also seen the completion of a project to restore the Drayton Turret Footbridge, one of the most unusual and well-recognised canal bridges along the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal. Funding and expertise from the Canal & River Trust, combined with the wider grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, has meant that this 200 year old listed landmark is now preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Over the next three years the scheme will deliver a wide variety of projects, events and training and volunteering opportunities aimed at restoring heritage and encouraging people to discover, explore and get involved with their local green spaces.
‘TameFest 2015’ is the scheme’s first major event and will be held this Saturday 23rd May at the Croft in Coleshill, between 11am – 4pm. It is a free event with many family activities and opportunities to sample and celebrate the vibrant heritage of the Tame Valley Wetlands.
Tim Haselden, Scheme Manager said “The Tame Valley Wetlands are a vital asset for the community and local economy. Our work will help to restore and reconnect this fragmented and threatened landscape, by creating new wildlife habitat and by providing local people with new opportunities and skills. We are now looking for volunteers and trainees to get involved in all aspects of the scheme and we’d love to hear from anyone who might be interested”.
To get involved or to find out more about the Tame Valley Wetlands, visit www.tamevalleywetlands.co.uk or come along to TameFest 2015 this Saturday!
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Tame Valley Wetlands c/o Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
Phone: 01675 475 939
Photos / logos:
Photos and logos are available free of charge upon request.
Notes for Editors:
- The Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership (TVWLP) has a vision of creating a wetland landscape, rich in wildlife and accessible to all. There are 18 organisations on the Partnership and the Board consists of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (Lead Partner), the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, North Warwickshire Borough Council, the RSPB, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Warwickshire County Council.
- The Tame Valley Wetlands (Landscape Partnership) Scheme will be delivered by the TVWLP between 2014 and 2018. The Partnership will receive £1.7 million funding (plus £100k received during 2013 development phase) from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, enabling a £2.5 million scheme to be delivered, which aims to restore built and natural heritage and reconnect local people with their landscape. The scheme covers a 104 km² area of the Tame Valley Wetlands between Birmingham and Tamworth, in North Warwickshire and south-east Staffordshire.Work will focus on conserving and enhancing approximately 50 hectares of river and wetland habitat and restoring two Grade II listed structures on the canal network. The scheme includes the development of the Tame Way – linking, enhancing and promoting a network of footpaths, bridleways and cycle routes between Birmingham and Tamworth.Plans are also in place for a new interpretation centre at Kingsbury Water Park and an interactive website and phone app, providing easily accessible information and resources to help people explore and discover the Tame Valley Wetlands.The initiative will also provide volunteering and training opportunities for local people and support groups working to look after their local area. A series of events and activities will also be delivered, with the aim of engaging with hundreds of school children, young people and members of the public. Informal training will be provided through taster days, with the chance for people to learn new skills and improve their CVs through more formal, accredited training programmes.Wetlands provide a vital role in reducing flooding and improving water quality, whilst their biodiversity-rich habitats also provide an important home for wildlife and a place for sensitive recreation and relaxation. The Tame Valley Wetlands are a ‘blue-green lung’ in an area of the country otherwise dominated by transport routes and development. For more information, visit www.tamevalleywetlands.co.uk.
- The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, they invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 36,000 projects with more than £6bn across the UK. For more information, visit hlf.org.uk.
- Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (WWT) is the lead partner on the TVWLP. The Trust is the largest local conservation charity working across Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull. Their main purpose is to promote the interests of wildlife, wild places and the natural environment for the wider benefit of society, people and local communities. They promote a better natural environment for local wildlife and local people as part of the aim to create a Living Landscape in the West Midlands where wildlife and local people can live and thrive together. WWT manages 61 nature reserves, covering over 800 hectares and is a voluntary membership organisation supported by more than 23,000 individual members, over 20 corporate members and over 700 volunteers. For more information, visit warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk or www.wildlifetrusts.org.