The Black Country is Turning into the Green Country

The Black Country is turning into a green country.  Wildflower meadows, a variety of trees, bat and bird boxes are among the environmental improvements that have been introduced to sites across Wolverhampton thanks to a Black Country-wide project.

The work at Fowlers Park in the city centre, Ward Street in Bilston and Pendeford Park aims to increase biodiversity and encourage visitors.  

A total of £1.5 million was awarded by the European regional development Fund and, of this, £756,000 was used in Wolverhampton with other money being used to make improvements at a variety of sites across the Black Country.

In Ward Street, the funding has helped re-open a site that has been closed for years. Paths and seating has been installed, landscaping has been carried out and grassland and meadows have been created which have attracted a variety of insects and improving biodiversity.  Woodland has also been planted to improve the variety of trees and hedges, as well as the natural habitat for native species.

Pendeford Park has seen the creation of a new wildflower meadow, installation of bird and bat boxes, tree planting, woodland management and improvements to access paths.

At Fowlers Park, tree planting was undertaken to improve the variety of species and encourage a diversity of wildlife.  Wildflower meadows have been created and improvements to the park lake have been made.  The work has helped the park secure a prestigious Green Flag Award for the first time.  The award is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces.  

The project originally aimed to improve 122 hectares of green space linked by the local canal and river network across the Black Country.  However, during the course of the project, 141 hectares have been improved.  

The Black Country is Turning into the Green Country

A broken landscape of yards and slagheaps,
Quarries, the colliery and winding gears;
Industrial relics of yesteryear,
All workers made redundant, you could weep.
Nature stirs, change comes and it never sleeps,
As dispassionate as a still-born tear.
Trees take root, grass is sown and seeds blow free:
The black country becomes a green country.

The earth renews through coverlets of grass,
Flowers and weeds, green fingers which entwine;
Reaching out, the masking ivy that binds,
Smothers the relics whose time has passed,
Man-made structures decay and fail to last,
Beneath choking tendrils, leaves and green vines
And is gone, the rusting machinery:
The black country becomes a green country.

All things pass, we go back to the earth,
Like starlings, cascading dusk into night;
A waterfall of birds, seen at twilight,
A wave which rises and crashes like surf;
Rejuvenating life, back to our birth,
Our mortal condition, our sorry plight,
All form and matter released, blowing free:
The black country becomes a green country.

Pollution and grime is out of the door,
As if humanity was never there;
Trees blossom, midges dance in summer air,
Orchids carpet a sylvan woodland floor.
Wildlife haven, flora and fauna rare,
A landscape reclaimed to nature once more;
A nature reserve, bluebells like the sea,
The black country becomes a green country.

Where once was pollution now there is green,
The earth is reclaimed, wildflowers in our town,
Green sap flows, woodland a shrine, flowers are sown;
The earth laughs in flowers, a glory seen,
A woodland heaven, birdsong all around.
A magical place where God`s love has been,
To be praised in a cathedral of trees,
The black country becomes a green country.

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