The Landscape

River Tame at Tamworth

Welcome to the Tame Valley Wetlands – the first and only Nature Improvement Area (NIA) to be designated in Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull.

Nearly two million people live close to the River Tame – the main river flowing out of Birmingham and the largest tributary of the River Trent. The River Tame and its surrounding floodplain is heavily influenced by human activity and has seen many changes over the years. Over the last century, areas of the floodplain have been drained, woodland has been cleared and the river has been heavily engineered and polluted. This has left a degraded and neglected landscape.

Despite this historical damage, the river is now cleaner and the old sand and gravel working sites, which once blighted the landscape, now help to form the largest series of interconnected wetlands in Warwickshire. These wetlands lie central to the unique character and importance of the area.

The Tame Valley Wetlands landscape covers the Tame Valley between Birmingham and Tamworth, in North Warwickshire and south-east Staffordshire, following 29 km of the middle River Tame, and lower sections of tributaries including the River Anker, Bourne, Cole and Blythe SSSI. The Tame Valley Wetlands has a wide variety of habitats that host a rich diversity of wildlife and rare species. Home to several of the most important wildlife sites in the Midlands, this regionally important river corridor is also a vital north-south migration route, providing essential resting and feeding places for hundreds of migrating birds.

Due to the area’s existing value and the potential to further improve this through wetland restoration and creation, the landscape is recognised as a Nature Improvement Area (NIA), a key place for large area conservation and partnership working, and part of a ‘Living Landscape’.

The canal network with its many interesting bridges and tunnels, the pill boxes that still stand defiantly as a reminder of the Second World War, and the many fascinating historic buildings that grace the landscape, provide substantial built heritage interest along the Tame Valley.

You can learn more about the wildlife and sites that can be found in the Tame Valley Wetlands by downloading the leaflet to the top right of this page.