A 61-acre site in Tamworth – which is only one of two areas in Staffordshire where a rare flower grows wild – is to officially become Tamworth’s sixth Local Nature Reserve.
Broad Meadow is sited on the island between the two channels of the River Tame, off Lichfield Road near to the Moor Street traffic island. Ownership was transferred to Tamworth Borough Council from the developers of the former Smurfit site as part of planning agreement for the development of homes.
It is recognised as a Site of Biological Importance as it is a prime example of lowland meadow – a floodplain grassland habitat which is becoming increasingly rare in Staffordshire and across the UK. Broad Meadow is also one of only two sites in the county where the rare Snake’s Head Fritillary can be found growing wild.
It was approved for designation as a local nature reserve by Natural England in October last year and on Saturday April 18, it will officially receive Local Nature Reserve status. This allows Broad Meadow to be protected as a conservation area for future generations, as well as creating more opportunity for grant money to be made available for conservation works.
Broad Meadow will be run and managed under the Wild About Tamworth project – a partnership between Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. The project aims to make the site more accessible to people by opening it up and more valuable to wildlife by allowing the fritillaries to spread.
And to mark the designation of Tamworth’s sixth Local Nature Reserve, Wild About Tamworth and Tame Valley Wetlands have organised a guided fritillary walk on Broad Meadow on Saturday April 18.
Volunteers will be carrying out the annual fritillary count, to discover how many of the rare flowers are growing on the site.
Visitors will be able to take part, as well as learning more about the flower and future plans for Broad Meadow.
There will also be the chance to sign up to get involved in the Friends group, which helps to help improve Broad Meadow by carrying out a number of tasks including day-to-day habitat management, site surveys and litter picks.
Anyone who would like to take part in the fritillary count is asked to meet on Oxbridge Way, off Lichfield Road, just before 10.30am on Saturday April 18.
The event takes place from 10.30am to 12.30pm and entrance is free. Anyone who would like more information on the fritillary count or to get involved as a volunteer should contact Wild About Tamworth officer, Mel Westlake, on 07970 067711.