Author Archives: Tim Haselden

Friends of Tame Valley Wetlands launch meeting

STOP PRESS: Please note, this meeting has been postponed until Monday 16th October at 6.30pm. This is to allow a greater number of people to attend. If you would like to attend this meeting, please contact Rita Gries.

 

The Friends of Tame Valley Wetlands will, going forward, represent the local communities in the Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership (TVWLP) and feed back to the TVWLP board. It will become the main way local communities are involved, and we are hoping representatives from various locations and community groups will join it.

This first meeting will be an inception meeting for the group. We will share our thoughts about what the remit of the group will be, who to involve, and discuss the terms of reference. There will be no commitment at this stage, so feel free to come along if you are just curious about what this is all about.

If you would like to join us, please RSVP to rita.gries@rspb.org.uk. For directions to our offices, click this link.

Quotes requested for production of way marking posts

The Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme c/o Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is requesting suppliers to quote for the production and supply of way marking posts for its access improvement programme.

Date of Issue: 3rd May 2017.

Quote Deadline: 12th May 2017 (midday).

Client: Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme (LP-11-04927) c/o Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (Lead Partner), Hams Hall Environmental Centre, Off Canton Lane, Hams Hall Distribution Park, Coleshill, North Warwickshire B46 1GA.

Contact: Dafydd Jones, Access Improvement Officer  ;  dafydd.jones@wkwt.org.uk  ;  01675 470 917.

Job: We require quotes for the production and delivery of the following way markers specifications:

  • 40 No. of 100mm x 100mm x 2400mm green oak, 4 way weather topped with a single image routed onto each side (supplied by client). The top section painted yellow (RGB 252, 235, 16).
  • 15 No. of 100mm x 100mm x 2400mm green oak, 4 way weather topped with a single image routed onto each side (supplied by client). The top section painted blue (RGB 20, 74, 248).
  • 15 No. of 100mm x 100mm x 2400mm green oak, 4 way weather topped with a single image routed onto each side (supplied by client). The top section painted white.
  • The painted area to be 250mm down the length from the tip of 4 way weather top of post. The routed image is a single image, routed onto 4 sides of the way marking post – position to be determined prior to start of contract.
  • Delivery to B46 1GA in two phases – 40 x yellow within 6-8 week period from order date, with remaining 30 delivered within 12 weeks from order date.
  • Please specify whether your quote is inclusive or exclusive of VAT.

Selection of Supplier: This will be based on evidence of appropriate skills, experience and track record, as well as environmental sustainability (e.g. FSC approved oak), cost and value for money.

BBC Countryfile visits the Tame Valley Wetlands

The BBC’s most popular rural show visited North Warwickshire in search of Britain’s fastest declining mammal, the water vole, discovering the hidden landscape of the Tame Valley Wetlands on their way.

BBC Countryfile filming along the canal © Ebony Chapman, TVWLPS 2017

On Sunday 30th April’17, BBC Countryfile teamed up with the Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme (LPS) and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to discuss the landscape-scale projects that are helping to bring water voles back from the brink of extinction.

Water voles once thrived in the Tame Valley Wetlands – a unique, watery landscape between Birmingham and Tamworth (click here to find out more about the Tame Valley Wetlands). However over the last few decades water voles have been wiped out due to habitat loss, poisoning and predation by the non-native invasive American mink. Now, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and help from local volunteers and landowners, the Tame Valley Wetlands LPS is putting measures in place to help restore the landscape, encouraging the return of this iconic animal in the process.

The Water Vole © Dean Eburne 2017

Water voles can still be found just outside the Tame Valley Wetlands around Atherstone and Nuneaton. Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is working to improve habitat connectivity to help populations survive and spread further into the Tame Valley via the Coventry Canal and River Anker.

New BBC Countryfile presenter Steve Brown came to visit one of the Trust’s most innovative ideas – to create water vole ‘motels’ along the Coventry Canal, which are made up of natural coir rolls full of water vole-friendly plants. They line up adjacent to the steel erosion guards, which are used to protect the canal banks but ultimately stop water voles from being able to get out…until now.

Presenter Steve Brown with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Tim Precious © Ebony Chapman, TVWLPS 2017

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Wetland Officer, Tim Precious said “A big part of our National Lottery funded water vole project is to encourage water voles to disperse out from strongholds that have developed in North Warwickshire in recent years,. The ‘water vole motels’ act as crucial stepping stones along poor habitat helping water voles to move into uninhabited areas like the Tame Valley Wetlands. Importantly, this increases the long-term sustainability of our regional population making sure we can continue to enjoy watching these beloved little mammals busying themselves on the river and canal bank far into the future.”

The Tame Valley Wetlands LPS is also using coir mats and rolls to improve habitat, as well as re-naturalising sections of the River Tame and its floodplain, where water voles will hopefully soon call home. BBC Countryfile visits one of the scheme’s latest projects at Kingsbury Water Park where a new 6 hectare community wetland has been created with the help of funding from the Environment Agency, Heritage Lottery Fund, Biffa Award and the Howard Victor Skan Charitable Trust.

Filming in the Tame Valley Wetlands at Kingsbury Water Park © Ebony Chapman, TVWLPS 2017

Tame Valley Wetlands LPS Scheme Manager, Tim Haselden said “We had a great day out with the BBC Countryfile team showing them just what an amazing and hidden landscape we have and how it has undergone such change over the last century. With river water quality improving and the work we’re delivering in partnership over a large area, we are hopeful that water voles, along with many other species, will be flourishing again in the area soon.”

Countryfile’s Warwickshire adventure aired on BBC One at 7pm on Sunday 30th April’17.

Missed it?  Catch-up on the BBC iPlayer by clicking here (we’re exactly 16 minutes into the show).

The Tame Valley Wetlands LPS is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund with the vision of creating a wetland landscape, rich in wildlife and accessible to all. The Tame Valley Wetlands is led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust in partnership with 22 organisations including charities, local groups, statutory bodies and councils.

 

Notes for Editors:
1. The Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership (TVWLP) has a vision of creating a wetland landscape, rich in wildlife and accessible to all. There are 22 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.

2. 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 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 lung’ in an area of the country otherwise dominated by transport routes and development.

3. 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 www.warwickshirewildlifetrust.org.uk.

4. 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 www.hlf.org.uk.

Quotes requested for the creation of trail guides

The Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme requires the design and creation of a series of engaging, fun and informative trail guides / walk leaflets.

A Brief outlining the work required is available to download here.

Consultants are invited to quote for the work outlined in the Brief by midnight on Sunday 30 April 2017.

For more information, please contact us.

Woodland transformed thanks to local residents!

Coleshill’s residents joined forces with the Tame Valley Wetlands, local councillors Dom Ferro and Adam Farrell and Amey NDS to improve Coleshill’s Trajan Hill Spinney.

The Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme (TVWLPS) hosted a drop in day at Coleshill community centre, where the local community made nest boxes for their nearby woodland. The bank holiday Sunday saw all age ranges joining TVWLPS volunteers, to create a total of 10 bird boxes and 5 bat boxes. The woodland itself then had a makeover, later that week, after concerned residents approached Borough councillors, Dom Ferro and Adam Farrell, due to the untidiness of the ‘Spinney’. Residents spent two days working with volunteers from Amey and the Tame Valley Wetlands, transforming the overgrown woodland into a haven for both people and wildlife. Amey provided all the materials and 20 of their staff donated their time to work on the project. This was a great scheme that showed how communities and businesses can use joint partnership to achieve a great result.

Trajan Hill Spinney now has a natural path installed where you’ll be able to enjoy the new wildflowers when they appear. A litter pick was done as well as bramble clearance to help improve the area. Some brambles were left naturally though as they provide food and a habitat for wildlife, such as hedgehogs and birds. The bird and bat boxes made by local children and residents were then finally put up around the area.

Dom Ferro, Borough Councillor said, “The area is unrecognisable. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of local residents. A huge thank you to the volunteers at the Tame Valley Wetlands, who spent part of their Bank Holiday weekend with us and local children.” Tim Haselden, Tame Valley Wetlands Scheme Manager commented “It’s great to see the community taking their local wild spaces into their own hands. It will really benefit the wildlife and the local children.”

This project is part of the Tame Valley Wetlands – a landscape partnership scheme supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, aiming to create a wetland landscape, rich in wildlife and accessible to all.

The Tame Valley Wetlands is led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust in partnership with a wide variety of organisations including charities, local groups, statutory bodies and councils. Visit www.tamevalleywetlands.co.uk for more events and info.

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Six Months with the Tame Valley Wetlands team.

Six Months with the Tame Valley Wetlands team!

 

Six months already?! Yep, I couldn’t believe it either but September is here and so much has happened. 

I’m Ebony, the marketing apprentice for Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme (LPS). I started this apprenticeship back in early April, straight out of a job at Jaguar Land Rover, building cars to marketing for the Tame Valley Wetlands. I had no idea what I was doing and to be honest I still don’t have a clue but what I’ve realised it that it doesn’t matter. As long are you’re passionate about what you do and put 110% into your work, then everything is fine. I’ve been all over the shop, met many different people and gained some fantastic experience! Not to mention, reached a personal goal which I’ll tell you about in a bit.

What I’ve been up to:

Firstly though, TameFest 2016 in May was a success and I am so pleased that I got to be a part of it. I created the posters and banners for the day plus wrote a follow up press release which was featured in the Tamworth Herald, Coleshill Post and Tyburn Mail. I also did all the social media promotions to try and spread the word and I am happy to say we had just over 1,500 people attend!

Along with the work put in to the biggest event of the year for us, I’ve helped to promote all of our other FREE events that we have on throughout the year. This has been helped by me attending one of our social media workshops which was led by Oliver Jenkins, the Social Sasquatch, marketing expert.

I’ve also attended the BTO Bird ID course, Intro to Bats, Amey work party volunteering day/Drop in volunteering day at Kingsbury Water Park and helped out on a few Wild Wednesdays!

Not only this but I’ve also had the privilege of working with our Youth Engagement officer, Nicola Lynes by helping out on youth days for groups such as WCAVA (Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action), Tamworth Youth Club and NCS (UpRising Birmingham). It’s great to see people my age and younger actively going out their way to make the local area better.

All this fun at events isn’t the only thing that I’ve been a part of. I’ve attended numerous meetings including, the new interpretation and visitors centre which will be at Kingsbury Water Park. I’ve visited Nene Valley with the team and attended a board meeting down there. They have a beautiful site, you should definitely check it out! It’s great for camping and family activities. I’ve also been to RSPB meetings. One was at the head Sandwell office in Birmingham for a promotional team meeting, allowing me to get to know how RSPB market and promote their organisation. The next day, I then went down to Banbury to their regional office for a brand meeting. This was fantastic and I got to see how and why they use such branding to create such a well established organisation.

It wasn’t just RSPB that got their claws into me as Warwickshire Wildlife Trust invited me to an InDesign training day at Brandon Marsh. From this, I spent another day with Steve Cheshire, Marketing Manager getting to know InDesign and understanding how they do things. In fact, very soon I shall be going back over there to help out on their new events guide and to learn vital skills which will help me with the Tame Valley Wetlands promo.

But forget all of this that has happened because for me, the best and most positive achievement came about from a simple tweet about the youth groups we’d been working with –


Screenshot 2016-09-06 14.50.52


The simple #DoSomethingGreat was the hashtag for BBC Springwatch, who got in touch through direct message asking for more info on the image, which was then subsequently shown on that evenings show! Thanks to Mary, BBC Springwatch Unsprung production team, not only did we get a mention but I personally took the image as well and was very, very excited about it all! Two seconds of fame for Tame Valley, so worth it 🙂

Throughout all of this fun, I am still in the process of completing my apprenticeship and I am doing very well, with fortnightly meetings with my HOET assessor, Dan Rombach. I should be completed in no time, with the help from Tame Valley Wetlands partners and the team.

What does the future hold?

Well, very soon our Community Wetlands officer Tracey Doherty shall be starting work on Tameside Local Nature Reserve as the Community Wetlands project is coming to a finish. Really kindly, she has asked me if I would like to lead all promotion for this project by attending meetings and meeting the relevant people to stay up to date from start to finish. I am also going to be working closely with Tamworth Borough Council’s PR team which will add to my experience.

Not only that but I am working on introducing merchandise for people to buy for the Tame Valley Wetlands, as well as children’s bag fillers for school items. I am also going to be getting new content for our soon to be new website which our Interpretation office, Chris Harris, is currently working hard on.

We have also partnered up with Fired Up Theatre for a cultural heritage project, which I will be working on, in order to spread the word about this new, unique project. There will be poetry, a Tame Valley Wetlands song and more… so make sure to keep an eye on our social media for when it kicks off!

A part from that, I will continue work on the events, promote the scheme and shall look forward to helping with next years TameFest 2017 in Tamworth.

If anyone is interested in becoming a part of the team like I have, we do have volunteering opportunities available – just take a look at our volunteering page via this link.

Here’s some pictures of what we’ve been up to 🙂 

Visit www.facebook.com/tamevalleywetlands for more photos!


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P.S In my last blog, I wrote about my dog Rio. Sadly he passed away in May this year and the whole family were heartbroken. With the thought of never being able to get over not having a dog in the house, a couple weeks later we rescued one.

Everyone, meet Major! He’s a long legged Staffy, who’s 2 years old and full of energy. Originally from Norfolk, we don’t know much about his past other than he was in kennels before being taken on by Ruff Luck Rescue in Atherstone. From there, we met him and instantly fell in love. This weekend just passed we took him back up to Ruff Luck for their Fun Dog Show, where he participated and won 5th place and a certificate on his first ever go! I was very proud to be standing there with him.

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