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Nature improvement area

With help from The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) secured funding for a wildflower meadow from Natural England as part of 12 Nature Improvement Areas (NIA) across England.

NIA are designed to revitalise urban and rural areas by creating bigger, inter-connected networks of wildlife habitats to re-establish wildlife populations. NIA improve the health of the natural environment to support food production and increase access to nature.

In July 2014, an area of grass was treated with herbicide (which is not harmful to health) to weaken the vegetation. The area was then spread with hay and seeds from a traditional meadow in Worcestershire. This culminated in a rich meadow with species including orchids and cowslips.

The meadow site is atop of an ancient Metchley Roman Fort site which was built around the first century AD and was connected to other forts around the Midlands by a series of roads. Excavations revealed some of the old structures including barracks and stables.

This plaza area contains the northern part of the fort which includes its defensive lines, further information is provided on panels around the site. No works on the site will disturb the archaeology underneath.

To get involved with the NIA, please contact Community Orchard and Gardens Team.

Last reviewed: 30 October 2021