WARWICKSHIRE Wildlife Trust’s Love Your River Cole project is one of the first environmental projects awarded a grant from the Government’s £80million Green Recovery Challenge Fund.
Defra announced grants between £62,000 and £3.8m to help create and retain thousands of green jobs.
The projects, spread across England, will see trees planted – 800,000 in total – and protected landscapes and damaged habitats such as moorlands, wetlands and forests restored, alongside wider conservation work.
The projects will also support environmental education and connecting people with green spaces.
A partnership led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has been successful in securing £705,000 to help transform the Cole valley in the West Midlands.
The River Cole and its valley form a green corridor linking the centre of Birmingham to rural North Warwickshire.
A vision for the valley was developed with the support of the Environment Agency and this funding will play a major part in helping make it a reality.
The partners involved are The B37 Project, Birmingham City Council, Castle Bromwich Hall and Gardens Trust, North Warwickshire Borough Council, The Prince’s Trust, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country,
Love Your River Cole (LYRiC) will deliver improvements to various key locations including Glebe Farm in Birmingham, Meriden Park and the historic parkland at Castle Bromwich Gardens in Solihull and Cole End Park in North Warwickshire.
The valley is a haven for wildlife and works will involve tree planting, wild flower meadows and wetland habitat creation as well as improvements to access through paths and trails.
The valley is highly valued green space for the diverse communities that live alongside it and the project includes local partners such as The B37 Project to help involve and engage local people as fully as possible.
Ian Wykes, programme manager for Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said: “To have secured this funding is a tremendous achievement and is real testament to how partners can work together to make a real difference on the ground.
“The Covid crisis has demonstrated how valuable local green spaces are and this funding will go along away to improve these for people and wildlife.”