With a little help from our friends

Male GCN @ Brownhills Common

Not all residents of Brownhills Common are as uniquely handsome as this fine fellow. Photo by Walsall Wildlife and posted in their Flickr photo stream.

Here’s one for people interested in the issues surrounding Brownhills Common. If you can make time, do pop along to the meeting this Thursday, 14th November 2013. Brownhills Common  will benefit hugely from an active friends group, and considering the manufactured outrage earlier in the year, I’d have thought plenty would be ready to join and add their voice. It’s important that we recognise what a valuable, fragile and important habitat Brownhills Common is, and why it requires careful and measured stewardship.

If you’ve only heard the alarmists, it’s a good opportunity to go out and meet, talk and listen to people who understand the issues and love the wildlife, and to help shape the future of something we all love.

Please go if you can.

Could you be a friend of Brownhills Common?

Last updated: 12/11/2013 11:08:02

Efforts are under way to establish a new Friends of Brownhills Common group – with a November meeting planned to get the initiative off the ground.

A meeting was held to gauge interest in such a group last month and while more than a dozen people attended, it is hoped that more will come forward to offer their support.

Positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer need to be filled and volunteers will be sought at the next meeting on Thursday 14 November, at the Park View Centre, Chester Road North, Brownhills, at 7pm.

People will also be asked to consider whether the Friends group should include Holland Park within its area of interest or just that part of Brownhills Common in the Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Countryside rangers have recently started work on Brownhills Common, managing its heathland to ensure plants and animals continue to thrive at the popular site.

Walsall Council and Natural England have announced that two small, central conifer plantations will be removed and the areas restored to lowland heathland, with other plantations thinned by up to 30 per cent.

Originally, 50 per cent of conifer plantations were to be removed altogether and the areas restored to lowland heathland, in line with good heathland management practice.

This proposal was opposed by visitors, campaigners and residents alike who were concerned about the amount of trees to be felled and as a result of that feedback, fresh plans were drawn up.

Councillor Anthony Harris, whose leisure portfolio includes Brownhills Common, said: ‘The suggestion of a Friends of Brownhills Common group came about at a scrutiny meeting earlier this year and some people have shown an interest in getting one off the ground.

‘It was acknowledged, however, by those who attended last month’s meeting on this matter, that such a group does need commitment and dedication in order to thrive.

‘We have some excellent friends groups looking after countryside sites and parks alike in this borough but those involved will tell you it can be jolly hard work as well as incredibly rewarding. The next meeting on 14 November will hopefully attract a greater number of interested residents, countryside lovers and visitors so that the key positions can be filled and the group can get established.

‘The council will support its members as we all work together in the best interests of Brownhills Common.’

A series of guided walks and other events will be arranged throughout the coming months to highlight the work that is taking place on Brownhills Common and details will be widely publicised via the council’s website www.walsall.gov.uk, the whats on Walsall website www.whatsonwalsall.co.uk, via @walsallcouncil and @countrysidekev on twitter and via facebook.

People can also email countrysideservices@walsall.gov.uk and write to Kevin Clements, Countryside and Urban Forestry Manager, Greenspaces, Clean and Green Services, Environmental Depot, 200 Pelsall Road, Brownhills, WS8 7EN, if they have any enquiries.

Brownhills Common is part of the Chasewater and Southern Staffordshire Coalfield Heaths Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The SSSI is important for its lowland heath and various wetland habitats, which Walsall Council has a legal obligation to manage appropriately.

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7 Responses to With a little help from our friends

  1. Clive says:

    I wonder is that little chap a Great crested newt? if so they are quite rare i believe!

  2. dawn says:

    Holland park already has a friends group

  3. dawn says:

    im not involved in that group however they attend same network . i just mentioed it as blog said new group were on about whether or not to include holland park in there area

  4. Pingback: Duck soup | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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