Telford & Wrekin Council is set to formally adopt a new Local Nature Reserve which has a mosaic of habitats that supports a valuable and diverse range of wildlife.
The 24.4 hectare site is in Lightmoor in the south west of the borough, two miles north of the Ironbridge Gorge.
The adoption of Lightmoor Local Nature Reserve will add to the 13 reserves already adopted by the council’s cabinet, which meets on November 15.
Councillor John Minor, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Leisure, Green Spaces and Parks, said: "It has been shown that living close to accessible green spaces can promote public health and reduce levels of obesity, heart disease and reduce stress and depression.
"The designation of additional Local nature reserves further reflects the council’s commitment to promoting health and wellbeing.
"I am proud that following the legal declaration of Lightmoor Local Nature Reserve, Telford and Wrekin will have approximately 2.8 hectares of Local Nature Reserve per 1,000 of the population, nearly triple the minimum standard.”
Lightmoor has a network of wooded pit mounds, ponds, pockets of species rich grassland and a network of hedgerows. Wildlife on site includes woodland birds, Great crested newts, toads and frogs, reptiles and bats.
The network of lanes which once connected the brick kilns and blast furnaces of the 18th Century lead to small patches of countryside which escaped the industrial revolution around them.
It now has high nature conservation and a high level of community interest. It is owned by Telford & Wrekin Council and managed by Shropshire Wildlife Trust under a 25 year management agreement.
There is also an area of floodplain meadow which is leased to the Lightmoor New Community, who hold a 999 year lease.
Mary Lewis, resident of the Lightmoor New Community, said: "The residents of Lightmoor New Community are delighted to be involved in the creation of a new Local Nature Reserve. We love our little green corner of Telford and will continue to work with Shropshire Wildlife Trust to ensure that it continues to be a haven for wildlife and the local community.”
Jan McKelvey, Conservation Manager of The Shropshire Wildlife Trust, said: "Shropshire Wildlife Trust is absolutely delighted that Lightmoor will be adopted as a Local Nature Reserve. It is an appropriate accolade for this wildlife-rich area, and especially welcome news during the Telford’s 50th Birthday celebrations”
As part of the declaration process and following cabinet approval, a consultation document will be issued to Natural England to seek their formal "welcome” prior to the legal completion of the declaration.
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