Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country

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The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country is a wildlife trust covering Birmingham and the Black Country in the West Midlands of England.[1] It covers five of the seven districts of the West Midlands county: Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

History[edit]

Created in 1980, by Chris Baines and others, it was formerly known as the Urban Wildlife Group,[2] and then the Urban Wildlife Trust, the United Kingdom's first urban Wildlife Trust. It was responsible for the first ever International Dawn Chorus Day event, held at Moseley Bog in 1984. In the mid-1980s it established Plants Brook Nature Reserve in Birmingham.

The Trust was the first UK Wildlife Trust to become a member of Countdown 2010 the European initiative to halt the decline in biodiversity by 2010.

Black Country Living Landscape[3] was a major initiative of the Trust that aimed to be the first practical application of the principles of landscape scale conservation to an urban area.

Description[edit]

The organisation has a 40 hectare reserve at Park Hall near Minworth and the much smaller Richmond Garden in Soho, Birmingham. The Trust also manages Moseley Bog and has a close involvement with reserves such as Moorcroft Wood Local Nature Reserve and Hill Hook Local Nature Reserve. The Trust operates a number of environmental centres including the Centre of the Earth and the Birmingham EcoPark.

It is a full member of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, (one of 47 covering the whole United Kingdom), and was the first urban Wildlife Trust and has a membership of over 11,000.

The trust carries out a wide range of activities to protest and develop biodiversity and engage with local people and various nature conservation, community and education projects. They carry out research, surveys and campaigns. Each year it co-ordinates International Dawn Chorus Day.

Their President is Professor David Bellamy OBE, and Vice Presidents are Professor Chris Baines, Professor Ian Trueman and Peter Shirley MBE. The Trust is managed by a council of trustees drawn from the membership. The Trust has about twenty full, part-time and contract staff and many active volunteers. They produce a regular magazine, Wildlife Focus, which provides coverage of their activities and a range of urban wildlife issues.

References[edit]

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