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Date: 28 November 2020

Time: 16:24

Image: Health and wellbeing graphic with wildflower background

Nature Improvement Area – Wildflower Meadow

With the help of The Wildlife Trust in Birmingham and the Black Country, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has secured funding from Natural England who have created twelve Nature Improvement Areas (NIA) across England. Birmingham and the Black Country is one of these areas and as a result, an area of the Community Orchard and Gardens will become a wildflower meadow.

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

In July 2014, the grassed area was treated with herbicide which has weakened existing vegetation; it was then spread with hay and seeds from a traditional meadow in Worcestershire. The herbicide is not harmful to health.

This will culminate in one to three years time in a rich meadow with species including orchids and cowslips. The meadow will only require one annual late summer hay cut.

The meadow site is atop the 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 this or other Nature Improvement Areas, please contact  Community Orchard and Gardens Team or see the links section.

Email: Orchard@uhb.nhs.uk

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