Local school children get a lesson on local wildlife


Local school children from Bentley Heath Primary School learnt about wildlife in their local area during some workshops by the ponds in Bridge Meadow Drive. The workshops were organised by contractors Ebsford Environmental following extensive restoration works on the ponds and feeder stream. And local children have been involved throughout the process.

The work – part of the Wildlife Ways Small Habitats project, Newts and Shoots - involved de-silting the ponds, coppicing several trees and pruning overhanging branches. This will enable more sunlight to reach the pond, helping aquatic plants to grow and supporting local wildlife. It will be followed with planting and seeding around the edge of the ponds.

Cllr Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning and Housing, said: “Wildlife Ways has been an incredible project, with a huge range of environmental improvements throughout Solihull, increasing biodiversity and wildlife habitats as well as making the borough a much more pleasant place to live in too.

“Through our Small Habitats Grants the work will continue with projects such as the work here on the ponds at Bridge Meadow Drive. And it’s wonderful to see local children taking such an interest in the nature on their doorstep during these workshops kindly provided by Ebsford Environmental.”

Emily Farrell, Ebsford Environmental Project Manager added: “The project at Bridge Meadow was a labour of love, myself and everyone involved from Ebsford was passionate about ensuring Solihull Council’s vision for the area was achieved.

“Our team is grateful to all the local residents and school children who made us feel like part of the community while on site. We hope they are now as proud as we are of what is a beautiful green space. The works will do wonders for the environment and create habitats for a variety of species. We look forward to the planting later in the year and watching it establish.”

The Newts and Shoots project is funded through the Wildlife Ways Small Habitats Grants Programme – part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Grants are available from £20,000-£200,000 to support smaller projects from organisations in the GBSLEP area - including Solihull, Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Cannock, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Redditch, Tamworth and Wyre Forest - with the aim of improving the conservation status of land in the GBSLEP area. Anyone interested in applying for funding for a project should email esif@solihull.gov.uk