Three teams at Solihull Council have scooped THREE of twelve awards at the West Midlands National Park Awards. Public Realm, Planting Our Future and Conservation of the Historic Environment, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Ecology (CLAUDE) picked up awards for:
- work with the Royal British Legion in creating the Armed Forces Community Garden
- the Planting Our Future campaign - which will see 250,000 trees planted in the borough in ten years, and
- Making Space for Nature – which brought together three of the Council’s multi-million-pound borough-wide environmental improvement projects - the Solihull Habitat and Nature Improvements Project, Wildlife Ways and the Small Habitat Grants Programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Cllr Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said: “The West Midlands National Park awards shine a light on projects that make a real difference to the social, economic and environmental transformation of the region.
“Over the years our teams have worked hard and shown incredible commitment to pushing forward with a huge range of conservation and environmental projects. The three projects and teams that have been given these awards are all success stories for the borough.
“The Armed Forces Community Garden, delivered in partnership with the Royal British Legion, has shown what we can achieve when we work with our local communities – a beautiful garden that will serve many generations to come. Planting our Future is on a mission to galvanise the borough into planting trees – the very lungs of our planet and hugely important for wildlife and the fight to offset carbon emissions. And our CLAUDE team, through Making Space for Nature, has created project after project across the borough to protect and enhance our wetlands, woodlands, grasslands and green verges for the benefit of people and wildlife.
“All of these projects not only support local biodiversity and our environment, but also make Solihull a much more pleasant place to live, work in and visit. And that’s what these awards are about – the connection between the environmental transformation of the region and the social and economic transformation of the region. Congratulations!”
Professor Kathryn Moore, Director of the WMNP Lab and Professor of Landscape Architecture at BCU said: “This second year of the WMNP Awards marks an important milestone in the delivery of the West Midlands National Park. We were impressed by the volume and quality of projects applying for an award and the list of finalists tells a story of creativity and innovation from across the region and beyond.”
The WMNP Awards programme, launched in 2021, is designed to recognise, celebrate, and share best practice, policy and research and to guide and inspire work that deals with challenges faced by the region that include the climate emergency, regeneration, environment, transport, identity, infrastructure, employment, skills well-being and understanding how to achieve a resilient green recovery.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Our region is helping to lead the way when it comes to tackling the climate emergency – thanks to our #WM2041 net zero commitment and focus on sustainable forms of economic growth. The West Midlands National Park endeavour is an important contributor to our overall vision of environmental excellence and these WMNP Project Awards demonstrate our desire to move from words to action – showcasing outstanding ways in which we can reimagine landscape.
“Congratulations to all of the award winners and to the West Midlands National Park team.”
West Midlands National Park 2022 award winners are:
- City of Nature, Birmingham City Council – also receives the WMNP Judges’ Award
- Gramer Haor, Bangladesh, Co.LAB, Birmingham City University and Shahjala University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh – also receives the WMNP International Award
- Naturally Connected Communities, RSPB
- Planting Our Future, Solihull Council
- Black Country GeoPark, a joint partnership with Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton Councils
- Waterways for All, Canal & River Trust
- Cultural Infrastructure Map, West Midlands Combined Authority
- Making Space for Nature, Solihull Council
- Linear Park Coventry, Complex Development Projects Ltd
- Blossom Together in Birmingham, The National Trust
- Purple Horizons, Walsall Council, Lichfield District Council & Natural England
- Armed Forces Garden, Solihull Council with The Royal British Legion
For more information about Planting Our Future see – https://www.lovesolihull.org/plantingourfuture
For more information about CLAUDE see – https://socialsolihull.org.uk/peopleplacenature/
For more information about West Midlands National Park Awards see - https://www.sustainabilitywestmidlands.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/WMNP-Lab.pdf