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Town Council Helping Wildlife in Coleham

Town Council Helping Wildlife in Coleham

Wildlife in Coleham will be getting a helping hand from last week, when new hibernation piles and bird boxes were unveiled in a local park.

Shrewsbury Town Council’s Countryside and Greenspace Team has been working with the residents of Belle Vue Ward to make improvements for wildlife in the area.

Councillor Kate Halliday, Ward member for Belle Vue, said: “A number of residents had approached me to help improve the facilities for this area of open space. We’ve worked with the Town Council’s Countryside and Greenspace team to help with installing hibernation piles for hedgehogs and amphibians as well as nest boxes for bats and birds.

“We also realised that the park doesn’t have an ‘official’ name and we’ve had a competition at Coleham Primary School, asking pupils to make suggestions and then vote on a name for our local open space. The pupils voted for Hermitage Green.

“We’re pleased that Shrewsbury Town Council is backing our initiative, and will provide new signs for the park.

“The open space at South Hermitage is a well-used local facility and is an ideal location to help wildlife in the middle of an urban area. These new installations will not only help to improve the habitat for declining species but will also provide an excellent opportunity for people to learn more about the wildlife around them.”

The improvements include several different types of nest boxes, including ones designed for house sparrows. Although these birds are still considered common, they have suffered a 60% decline in towns and cities since the 1970s. Matt Wilcoxon, Countryside and Greenspace manager for the Town Council, added: “A lack of suitable nest sites in modern buildings and a reduction in insects are just two of the problems sparrows face. Unlike other birds, they are happy to nest communally, so several boxes can be put up together.

“In addition, small log piles covered with soil, known as hibernacula, have been built around the edge of the park. These are vital for insects, mammals and amphibians to find cover during the winter. Hedgehogs are particularly fond of these and are another species in sharp decline.

“We have also included a strip of ‘no mow’ grass area along the tree line, which will enable long grasses and other plants to flower. This will give pollinators a chance to feed throughout the year and will also provide food for a host of other animals.”

Zackary Black, aged 10 and a member of the Coleham Primary School Eco-council, said: “It’s important to make our local park eco-friendly and more natural, to encourage wildlife and protect hedgehogs.”

The Recreation Ground is situated off Raby Crescent and South Hermitage and is home to a play area and open space with football posts, owned and maintained by Shrewsbury Town Council.


Published: 07 March 2022