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Painting the town green - Herts and Middlesex Wildlife trust start a two year project in stevenage

PUBLISHED: 10:24 21 April 2011 | UPDATED: 19:13 20 February 2013

Making nature a priority in Stevenage: Amy Ellis (second from right) together with Richard Arnold, Cllr John Gardner, Julia Knight and Lee Myers from Stevenage Borough Council

Making nature a priority in Stevenage: Amy Ellis (second from right) together with Richard Arnold, Cllr John Gardner, Julia Knight and Lee Myers from Stevenage Borough Council

Protecting the natural environment in our towns is just as important as doing our bit in the countryside. Find out how Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust are improving the natural environment in Stevenage...

Painting the town green


Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has just kicked off a two year project to improve the natural environment in Stevenage, with the help of local people.



Protecting the natural environment in our towns is just as important as doing our bit in the countryside. So we were thrilled to find out at the end of last year that our funding bid for a two-year community project based in Stevenage was successful.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has granted 50,000 to improve key wildlife habitats and raise awareness of Stevenages natural heritage in the local community.



The project will include the creation of a grasshopper sanctuary at Shackledell Grassland and a wild woodlands trail through Monks and Whomerley Woods next to Fairlands Valley Park.
There will be wildlife identification courses and an adopt a pond programme where local people can help to restore and look after their community pond.



Get involved!
Amy Ellis, who has just taken on the role of Wild Stevenage Project Officer, says, Im excited about meeting people in Stevenage and getting them involved in all sorts of activities.
At the moment Im looking for eager volunteers to help me on the project. If you are interested in doing something for local wildlife and improving the natural environment in Stevenage, get in touch! No experience is necessary, just plenty of enthusiasm.
In its first year the project will focus on improving the habitats for wildlife at Shackledell Grassland and Whomerley Woods. We will also be training volunteer surveyors to identify grasshoppers.



Cllr John Gardner, Deputy Leader at Stevenage Borough Council adds, Wild Stevenage is an excellent and exciting project. Although a very urban town, Stevenage benefits from a wide range of habitats including woodland, grassland, and wetland sites.



We know that there is much that can be done to improve these habitats for the wildlife that relies on them. However, Wild Stevenage is also about the opportunities that exist for the local community to be involved in improving, and enjoying, their local green spaces.
Im sure that Amy will have no problems recruiting local volunteers and would encourage residents to get involved and learn more about the wildlife around us.



Protecting urban nature
The Trust put together a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for Stevenage Borough Council last June which identified 40 key areas for wildlife, known as Wildlife Sites.



One species that should benefit from the Wild Stevenage project is the swift part of the funding will go towards educating people about these birds, whose population is in sharp decline.



Amy will be encouraging individuals and businesses to attract the birds with specially designed nest boxes.



DID YOU KNOW?
Shackledell Grassland in Stevenage is the only place in Hertfordshire where the great green bush cricket is recorded.



Fancy learning how to identify grasshoppers? Amy needs you! Contact her on 01727 858901 ext 223 or email amy.ellis@hmwt.org

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