First plan for the West Midlands natural environment launched

The first plan for the region’s natural environment has been officially launched on the banks of the River Stour.

The Natural Environment Plan sets out the actions the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and its partners will take over the next five years to enhance the region’s biodiversity, protect endangered species, and improve access to green spaces and waterways for residents.

The plan is split into four themes of: access to greenspace; tree and hedgerow planting; wildlife corridors; and supporting financing to make these proposed changes happen. The plan also highlights the benefits of nature for our health and wellbeing, recognising the impact of the Covid pandemic on urban areas with little access to greenspace.

New major projects are outlined, such as establishing a new national walking trail, transforming the Digbeth viaduct into a public green walkway, securing funding for the Black Country UNESCO Geopark, and exploring setting up a regional tree nursery to increase the supply of native saplings. The plan also sets out a commitment to explore how the region’s biodiversity can be improved across new transport infrastructure and other developments funded by the WMCA.

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