A partnership led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has been successful in securing £705,000 from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund to help transform the Cole valley in the West Midlands.
The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a Government fund developed by Defra in partnership with its Arms-Length Bodies, which the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) are administering on behalf of Defra.
The river Cole and the Cole valley form a fantastic green corridor linking the centre of Birmingham to rural North Warwickshire. With the support of the Environment Agency, a vision for the valley has been developed, and this funding will help to make it a reality. The Green Recovery project will expand on the current Love Your River Cole work, delivering improvements to various key locations in the Cole valley including Glebe Farm Recreation Ground, Meriden Park, Castle Bromwich Hall Park and Gardens, and Cole End Park. The valley is a brilliant haven for wildlife, as well as a highly valued green space for the diverse communities living alongside it.
The partnership involves The B37 project, Birmingham City Council, Castle Bromwich Hall & Gardens Trust, North Warwickshire Borough Council, The Prince's Trust, Solihull Metropolitan Brough Council, The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. These partners will work to deliver the project whilst involving and engaging local people.
The project will involve tree planting, wildflower meadow creation and wetland habitat enhancements, as well as access improvements to paths and trails through the key sites. We will also be focusing on creating and supporting local green jobs and boosting the local economy. The project includes six traineeships aimed at giving people the experience and accredited training required to pursue a career in the environmental sector. The Prince's Trust will also be working with young people from a range of backgrounds, to offer first-hand experience of the local environment and support in finding work or further training.