What are Nature Improvement Areas? The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country say- NIAs are designed to revitalise urban and rural areas by creating bigger, inter-connected networks of wildlife habitats to re-establish wildlife populations and help achieve nature’s recovery. NIAs will improve the health of the natural environment to support food production, reduce flood risk and increase access to nature. NIAs encompass areas of land that include natural features and wildlife habitats but also include roads, housing developments and other man-made elements. They are areas that have been identified for their opportunities to restore nature at a landscape-scale alongside other land-uses. NIAs should enhance existing ecological networks by: • Improving the management of existing wildlife sites • Increasing the size of existing wildlife sites • Increasing the number of wildlife sites • Improving connectivity between sites • Creating wildlife corridors
You don't have to travel great distances to appreciate wildlife, and if you're lucky enough to be in a striking line of a river or other water body then you are truly blessed.
Birmingham might not be known for its great water courses but it can boast a fine network of canals and dynamic, vibrant rivers, brooks, streams, rills and runnels, together with reservoirs, lakes, ponds and pools, not to mention wet grasslands and woodlands alongside.
Andy Slater pays regular tribute throughout the year to the green spaces and wildlife of the Rea Valley and beyond; from the tiniest beasts to the changes in time and space he catalogues, journals and photographs with a naturalists eye. - check out his Twitter page for splendid images- https://twitter.com/Andy_Underscore
A first lesson for aspiring naturalists is to get to know the species in nearby gardens and parks before stepping into the wilds, and if the imagination is given free reign and/or rein then the wilds are on the doorstep too. …
Following the alarming cut back of an ancient Yew tree in March 2015, I'm please to report that two years of healthy looking regrowth to this ancient specimen, reported by specialists to be around 850 years old, provides great hope and blessed relief that the tree has not only survived the ordeal but should continue to thrive and live on for many more centuries.