Green-fingered pupils help with planting at Hillfield Park


Green-fingered Year 5 and 6 pupils from Monkspath Junior and Infant School planted flowers in Hillfield Park as part of on-going environmental developments in the Solihull borough to support local wildlife.

With help from local school children, Solihull Council’s contractors, Ebsford Environmental, are undertaking various nature projects in Solihull this winter.

Continuing on from their earlier pond and brook restorations in Tudor Grange Park, they have more recently focused their attentions on the second project site, Hillfield Park.

Designed by Solihull Council’s CLAUDE team (Conservation of the Historic Environment, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Ecology), implemented by contractors Ebsford Environmental and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the project has involved desilting the park’s main pond, clearing excess vegetation, and planting wildflowers. The flowers in question include Marsh Marigold and Lesser Spearwort, providing more marginal wetland habitat and improving the park’s natural biodiversity.

Aside from providing greater opportunities for local wildlife species, further environmental benefits include an increase in overall water capacity, which will reduce the risk of flooding.

Additional works also involve the widening of a stream along the northern edge of the park, which enables a more free-flowing channel for natural river processes to occur.

Cllr Ken Hawkins, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure, said:

“It was a pleasure to meet with young pupils from Monkspath School who are so passionate about doing their bit for the environment, and clearly willing to get a bit muddy in the process.

“I’m very pleased with the progress of the project. From a local level, it’s really encouraging to see so many community groups, such as the Friends of Hillfield Park, ready to get involved with our park projects, both now and in the future. We genuinely value and appreciate your support.”

Emily Farrell, Project Manager for Ebsford Environmental, said:

“The scheme has been a joy to work on and we are extremely grateful both to the locals and to Solihull Council for welcoming us into their community yet again and providing us with the opportunity to do what we love.”

The project is grant-funded by the Wildlife Ways Small Habitats Grants Programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The project is also part-funded by the Environment Agency, who provide further technical support.