Council awards protected status to more than 100 neighbourhood green spaces
Telford & Wrekin Council this week granted Green Guarantee Site status to 107 green spaces across the county. This status recognizes the community and environmental value of these sites and confers protection from possible future developments. The addition of these new sites means that the Council now officially recognizes 306 sites under its Green Guarantee program in Telford and Wrekin, with sites varying in size and use from small plots of land such as the small Hawkstone Avenue site in Newport to much larger Pool Hill grounds in Dawley.
The declaration is part of the council’s commitment to promoting accessible green spaces, a policy that has also resulted in six new major local nature reserves being declared in the district earlier this year.
While Telford and Wrekin are often thought of as an urban area, in fact approximately 90% of the borough is made up of “green infrastructure” with only 10% made up of buildings, rooftops, roads, footpaths, town squares and parking lots. The Telford Green Network covers a total of around 2,500 ha.
The council says these smaller Green Guarantee Sites provide a green walking trail that residents can take to reach larger sites like the local nature reserves, or simply provide a green vista or wildlife oasis within the built-up area and bring people closer to green Spaces and nature and offer opportunities for movement, reflection, relaxation and engagement.
Councilor Carolyn Healy (Lab), Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historical Environment and Cultural Services said:
“We select Green Guarantee Sites based on their environmental value, the opportunities they offer residents for recreation and recreation, and the positive impacts they can have on health and well-being.
“It can be places where local children like to play outside, or that groups use for sports and recreation, it can be places where people walk their dogs, or spaces used for local projects like orchards or neighborhood events can become . These are often the places where communities are forged.
“We know that local people really value the green spaces in their neighborhoods and we stand with them. We often work with the community to maintain and improve these spaces by working with city and local councils and local volunteer groups “Friends”.
Councilor Bob Wennington, a member of the Dawley & Aqueduct Congregation, said:
“This site behind Aqueduct Primary School is a perfect example of a successful new Green Guarantee site where volunteers recently planted a community orchard of apple, plum, pear and cherry trees. These trees will provide free fruit to the community and provide homes for birds and nectar for insects. It is hoped that local schools will use the orchard to help children learn about nature.
Parishioner for Dawley & Aqueduct, Councilor Ian Preece added:
“When we posted about this orchard project on Facebook, one resident commented, ‘There will be some houses there soon’. But that’s exactly what the Green Guarantee is for – it provides security. So the residents can be sure that no houses will be built here. Rather, the site is actively maintained and managed to benefit the community and our native wildlife.”
Councilor Healy summarized:
“We are working hard to make Telford and Wrekin greener in every way.
“Protecting and enhancing our district’s green spaces is so important to the well-being of our community and to the wildlife these sites support, whether it’s one of our vast local wildlife sanctuaries or that patch of land in your neighborhood that kids love to play on.
“That’s why I’m very happy to put even more green spaces in our district under nature protection – with this work, nature stays on the doorstep.”
Photo shows Cllrs Bob Wennington and Ian Preece at one of Aqueduct’s new Green Guarantee Sites behind Aqueduct Primary School, with teacher Rob Davies of Southall School and two students who recently helped establish the site’s community orchard.