South Staffs Water gives wildlife a helping hand

07 August 2014

South Staffs Water is working in partnership with The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, Dudley Council and local volunteers to enhance wildlife at Sedgley Beacon.

The historic Black Country site, partially owned by the water company, is recognised for its local amenity.

The limestone grassland in the area supports a number of rare plant and animal species including marbled white butterflies, whitethroat birds and carline thistles.

The project, which is part of the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement area, will see historic hedgerows restored and areas of rare wildflower rich grassland expanded, to maintain and develop important habitats for plants and animals. Archaeologists from Dudley Council will also be on hand throughout the project to see if any evidence of the site’s history is uncovered.

Simon Atkinson, Conservation Projects Manager at The Wildlife Trust, said: "The chance to work on such a key site is a great opportunity for us and our partners South Staffs Water. Together with the Friends, volunteers and Dudley Council we’ll be enhancing some great habitats which are of real importance for local people and wildlife.

"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."

Colin Wayper, operations director for South Staffs Water, said: "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.

The company hopes to develop further projects of this type, building on the success at Sedgley, to deliver further environmental benefits that will benefit our customers.

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