Sedgley Beacon case study
Beacon Hill at Sedgley is one of the highest points in the West Midlands, 237m above sea level. The site is important for recreation, heritage, wildlife and biodiversity and has one of the largest areas of quality calcareous grassland in the Black Country. The open access site is partially owned by South Staffs water.
“There are very few areas of limestone grassland locally and hence the species found here are rare in the Black Country. There are plants such as milkwort and carline thistle which only grow on these sites, as well as butterflies such as marbled white and birds such as whitethroat that thrive in such habitat. For the Black Country to retain such diversity in plants and animals it’s vital that sites like Sedgley Beacon are looked after.”
- Conservation Manager, Simon Atkinson, BBCNIA
The site is part of the Birmingham & Black country Nature Improvement Area (BBCNIA), and the Wildlife Trust has been appointed by the Company to restore and enhance areas of the site under its ownership. In partnership with the council, friends groups and with the help of volunteers, areas of grassland have been improved by cutting and the spreading of hay from neighbouring wildflower rich grassland. Further sites for expanding the area of this grassland are also being explored by sampling the soil nutrients and minerals. Historic hedgerows will be restored in a second phase of work on the site.
The new areas of grassland will maintain and enhance important habitats for rare plants and animals. The limestone grassland will support species including marbled white butterflies, whitethroat birds and carline thistles. It is also an opportunity for archaeologists to see if there is any evidence of the sites history, and for engagement with the wider community that uses the area for its amenity value, including volunteer work parties and local schools education groups.
“We are delighted to be involved with this important environmental project. Working in partnership sits at the heart of our approach to improving the environment for all the community.
- Operations Director, Colin Wayper, South Staffs Water