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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

New nature reserves cement Telford and Wrekin’s status as one of England’s greenest urban boroughs

Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet has approved proposals to declare six new Local Nature Reserve sites across the borough and extend a further two existing sites, reinforcing the borough’s status as one of England’s greenest urban local authorities.

The decision adds further protections to diverse natural habitats across Telford and Wrekin, supporting biodiversity and increasing residents’ access to natural spaces. 

Telford and Wrekin’s newly declared sites include a variety of areas of grassland, scrub, wooded pit mounds, broadleaved woodland, gorse and bracken heathland, in addition to lakes and pools that are home to great crested newts and a number of native insects.

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The six new sites, which comprise an additional 116 hectares, are:

– Central Hall in Donnington

– Heath Hill and Pool Hill in Dawley & Aqueduct 

– Holmer Lake with Kemberton Meadow and Mounds in Madeley & Sutton Hill, The Nedge and Brookside 

– Horsehay Pool with Simpsons Pool in Horsehay & Lightmoor

– Snedshill and the Flash in Priorslee and St Georges 

– Langley Fields in Malinslee & Dawley Bank 

Existing Local Nature Reserve Sites that will now be extended are Dothill and Granville.

Once the new sites have been formally recognised by Natural England they will join 17 existing sites previously designated by the council, bringing the total number of LNRs in Telford and Wrekin to 23, covering an area of 707ha.

This figure – signifying that Telford and Wrekin has 3.8ha of Local Nature Reserve land for every 1,000 people in the borough – is almost four times above Natural England’s recommended minimum of just 1ha per 1,000 people. 

Cllr Carolyn Healy, cabinet member for climate change, green spaces, natural and historic environment and cultural services, said:

“What this means is that, as a partly urban borough, we are massively punching above our weight when it comes to natural spaces.

“More importantly, it means that everyone in our borough has a huge amount of green space that they are free to access. As a council, we recognise that our residents value these sites and we are on their side.

“Our green spaces are so important – a haven for those seeking to bolster their mental and physical health, a place where we can protect and reconnect with the natural environment, and a free activity in an ever more expensive world.

“That’s why we’re creating these new Local Nature Reserves and actively investing in their improvement, increasing our total area of declared reserves by more than 25%, so that everyone has nature nearby.”

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