Category Archives: Project updates

Discover, explore and conserve – a John Muir Award Tale

Students at the Kingsbury School have been on a journey of discovery with the Tame Valley Wetlands as they explored their local country park as part of their John Muir Award. Working through the stages of ‘Discover’, ‘Explore’, ‘Conserve’ and ‘Share’, 12 students made the Community Wetlands at Kingsbury Water Park their base for their outdoor adventure.

The John Muir Award is a national environmental award, open to anyone. It encourages communities to explore and care for their local wild spaces, and share their discoveries along the way. The students from Kingsbury School spent 5 weeks completing their award, culminating in a presentation which they have shared with the rest of their school. Activities throughout the journey were decided upon and led by the students, and included building a bridge to cross a stream, fitting coir mats to improve the vegetation growth on the Community Wetlands, installing kingfisher nest boxes and learning to light fires using natural materials to ensure a ready supply of hot chocolate!

Nicola Lynes, Youth Engagement Officer for the Tame Valley Wetlands had this to say about the programme:

It has been great to see the students improve in confidence and ability throughout the award. They have learnt about the natural world on their doorstep, and have developed a care and understanding for their local areas through engaging with the environment and having fun outdoors.

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. Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is a partner on this project, employing a Youth Engagement Officer to improve outdoor youth provision in the Scheme area.

Partnership Scheme engages with 2,500 school children!

Since May 2015, Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme has engaged with over 2,500 children from 31 different schools across Birmingham, North Warwickshire and Tamworth.

The children enjoyed a mixture of in-school sessions and field trips to the Tame Valley Wetlands, by learning about a variety of topics, including the Tame Valley’s iconic River Tame.

For those traveling from inner city Birmingham who, in some cases, had never stepped outside the city, these trips were their first discovery of the countryside. Thanks to the Education Team at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, the support from Castle Vale Environmental Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding the scheme, these children were able to explore more than the urban jungle they have grown up in and have been able to take away precious memories of the Tame Valley Wetlands.

Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme is led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and funded by the Heritage lottery fund. The scheme is also in partnership with a wide variety of organisations including, charities, local groups, statutory bodies and councils.

Tesco Bags for Help Projects

Work has started on the ground to improve walking routes throughout the Tame Valley Wetlands area, thanks to Tesco’s Bags for Help grant scheme, who have gifted £8000 from the 5p plastic bag levy.

A short distance from the urban city of Birmingham, the Tame Valley Wetlands is an ideal spot for city goers to escape the hectic buzz and enjoy the calm of the countryside. With help from Tesco’s funding, two new circular walks are being created, making access to the country easier than ever before!Improvements have already started in Curdworth, Over Green and Wishaw, by replacing way marking posts and installing kissing gates, with the help of Tame Valley’s TameForce volunteer group. Further work is to be carried out around Kingsbury Water Park, Bodymoor Heath and Marston, in preparation for the scenic circular walks.

Leaflets are also being produced to help connect the Tame Valley’s hidden landscape to it’s local community. They will feature the new routes available as well as activities that you can do along the way. Even better yet, they will act as great guides for a family day out that doesn’t cost a single penny!

For further information on the Tesco Bags for Help scheme, click here.

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Tameside LNR welcomes Sand Martins with new Des Res


Sand Martins migrating to the Tame Valley now have a new custom made hotel at Tameside Local Nature Reserve, Tamworth a site owned by Tamworth Borough Council and managed by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Tameside Wildlife Conservation Group

The artificial sand martin bank was built in February 2017 and will provide a valuable home to this summer visiting bird that migrates from parts of Africa, to breed in the UK.  Sand Martins like to nest in river banks and create burrows that can be as deep as 1m.  However, the unforgiving River Tame rises quickly during summer storm events and this floods the natural nest sites in the river bank.

This vulnerable species now has a new home installed on the edge of the floodplain, with the nest burrow entrances above the flood levels ensuring that our feathered friends have every opportunity to successfully breed and raise their young without the risk of being flooded.

We still have some landscaping work to do but the Sand Martin Hotel is ready and waiting for its first springtime guests to burrow in!

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Partners involved:  Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership – Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Tamworth Borough Council, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Tameside Wildlife Conservation Group, Environment Agency

Hedgerow restored at Whitacre Heath SSSI

During January 2017, contractors working for Tame Valley Wetlands restored 170m of native hedgerow using traditional methods at Whitacre Heath SSSI, a site owned and managed by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

The hedgerow which has been laid had not been managed and was slowly turning into a line of trees.  A well managed hedge should be thick and bushy at the bottom, creating a perfect natural barrier for livestock enclosure.  By laying the hedge now, we will avoid having to coppice it to the ground in the future.

Other benefits include:-

  • Livestock can take shelter behind the hedgerow
  • It becomes an important haven for wildlife, connecting habitats along a linear corridor
  • It is a defining feature of the Warwickshire countryside and provides heritage value
  • A laid hedge will re-grow thicker and will have a longer life span than an un-managed hedge
  • This also increases biodiversity along the hedgerow

Consent from Natural England was granted to lay the hedge and also burn any brash created from the work.

Take a look at the before and after photographs using the slider to see the improvements made.

(Photo © T Doherty 2017)

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Partners involved:  Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership – Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Environment Agency

TameFest 2016 Success!

Tame Valley Wetlands has celebrated its local heritage with the annual TameFest event, hosted this year at Kingsbury Water Park. We couldn’t be more pleased with the success of the day and to show you, here’s the article from the Tamworth Herald:


Jaguar Charity Pantomime Society

AN annual family fun event celebrating the heritage and local groups in the Tame Valley Wetlands proved to be a “fantastic day”.

TameFest 2016 at Kingsbury Water Park was attended by 1,500 people on the bank holiday weekend.

The annual festival is a celebration of the Tame Valley Wetlands heritage, with many local businesses, community groups, charities and attractions holding a stall on the day.

The stall holders offered free activities such as stone carving, yoga sessions, crafts, games and much more. Plus, our friendly canines were able to enjoy the day, with some of the stalls offering pet accessories.’

Nicola Lynes, Tame Valley Wetlands youth engagement officer, said: “It was a fantastic day. The amount of people that came and took part was great, especially with the weather being so nice.


Border Collie meets Broomey Crofts little duckling

“The feedback that we’ve had has been really positive, creating a lot more awareness for all the groups involved. All in all, a very successful day with lots of smiling faces!”

TameFest will be returning in 2017, this time in Tamworth.

Emily Hill, owner of Hotchpotch Crafts which was represented on the day, said: “It was a well organised event and we’ve made some good contacts!”

TameFest was organised by Tame Valley Wetlands Landscape Partnership Scheme (TVWLPS).

Focusing on improving the area between Birmingham and Tamworth, the non-profit scheme hosts free events and workshops throughout the Tame Valley Wetlands area, aiming to engage the community with the ‘hidden’ landscape.

Tame Valley Wetlands is a landscape partnership scheme, led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Its vision is to create a wetland landscape, rich in wildlife and accessible to all. Work will include conservation projects to restore heritage and enhance the area for wildlife, access improvements, training and volunteering opportunities as well as a programme of events and activities aimed at all ages and interests.

For more information, including events and volunteering opportunities, go to

Read more: Tamworth Herald
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Local groups receive over £7,000 from TVW community grant

The Tame Valley Wetlands have awarded grants, through their funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to 6 local groups, which will be used to deliver environmental projects in Tamworth and Castle Vale.

Dosthill Park Wildlife Group, Hodge Lane Conservation Group, Tameside Wildlife Conservation Group, Town Wall Conservation Group and Wilnecote Conservation Group from Tamworth, as well as the Castle Vale Neighbourhood Partnership were awarded over £7,100. The funds will go towards a variety of projects, including the creation of a pond-dipping platform, improved signage, new information leaflets, as well as supporting the delivery of activities that raise awareness of the natural environment. The groups in Tamworth are part of Wild about Tamworth, supported by Tamworth Borough Council.

Town Wall Conservation Group

Town Wall Conservation group will use their grant to raise awareness of the site in their local community.

Carol Gee from Town Wall Conservation Group said: “We were delighted to receive the grant! It will enable us to continue to improve the area and to promote the site to the wider public and increase our footfall. Also it will hopefully increase the diversity of plants, animals and insects on site.”

Tameside Wildlife Conservation Group

Tameside Wildlife Conservation Group will use their grant to produce an information leaflet.

The grant scheme, in its first year, funds local projects focusing on natural or historical heritage.

The grant is awarded by Tame Valley Wetlands using Heritage Lottery Fund money and is administered by the Heart of England Community Foundation. Applications for further funding will be open again from 12 January 2016 for 6 months.

For more information, click here or email