Recommendations to increase and consolidate some of the borough’s existing green spaces are set to go before cabinet next week.
A range of sites including nature reserves, woods, churchyards, quarries, canals and waterways and other green spaces have undergone rigorous site assessments as part of a programme to evaluate their impact on the borough’s ecology.
While the programme will ensure that all data on these spaces is up to date, more importantly it will allow the re-designation of spaces which have improved ecological value, giving them greater protection for the future. It will consider upgrading some SLINCs - Sites of Local Importance for Nature Conservation to SINCs - Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation.
As well as extending the boundaries of existing sites to create green corridors, linking up more of the borough’s green spaces, it will provide up to date information for the Black Country Plan.
Recommendations for example include Coombeswood SLINC and Coombeswood SINC look set to be amalgamated to become Coombeswood Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. Similarly Tansey Green, Huntsmill Farm, Cooper Bank and Russell’s Hall SLINC will be amalgamated into the existing Barrow Hill and Coopers Bank SINC.
Turls Hill and Swanbrook Valley will see a minor reduction in their boundary to exclude allotments and a car park, similarly Moden Hill East will see a minor reduction where the boundary currently takes in a residential property which does not meet requirements.
Overall, the proposals will increase the amount of protected green space in the borough and help the borough’s ecology and natural habitat by linking and amalgamating existing green sites.
Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services said:
Protecting our green spaces for the future is really important, and this re-categorisation of many of our open and wilder spaces will benefit local ecosystems, promote biodiversity and preserve wildlife habitats, allowing people to take a pride in the environment in which they live. It ensures our evidence is current to ensure we are more able to protect these important areas.