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Centre of the Earth's new look

Posted: Wednesday 19th July 2017 by TheWildlifeTrustsBlogger

Recently we ventured out of our Newark office to visit the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust and take a look at their Forest School sessions. It is always great to see the difference funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery makes to those receiving it, and during our visit, we spent a lot of time at the Centre of the Earth nature reserve.

Centre of the Earth (CotE) is located in Winson Green, a multi-cultural inner-city suburb in Birmingham, only 1.5 miles from the city centre. To get there you must expertly navigate Birmingham’s ring roads and four lane carriageways, the normal hustle and bustle of any major city. Then, suddenly, as you walk through the entrance gates, you arrive in a tranquil space; silent and secluded, it is a true haven in the urban centre. Although, we were told it hasn’t always been like this. Once Birmingham’s flagship reserve, as time went by after the building of their eco-friendly engagement centre in 1991, it got left behind.

The site was locked up and littered, with the public often only entering without permission. The reserve was used less and less, as other reserves became more popular for educational sessions.

Now, in 2017, you wouldn’t know this at all! Just over a year ago, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, funding allowed for staff time to be allocated to the site for a clean-up, and for conservation work to start taking place. Work already completed on the site has included a secure wooden fencing to protect those near the canal, clearing paths to access all the habitats on site, creating a forest school area and planting wildflowers. The site is beautiful, and all this hard work has meant the space is now safe and accessible for local schools in the area.

However, they aren’t finished yet. Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust want to have more staff on site and open it to the public more often; they’re working with an array of organisations to make this happen.

They already work with other charities, including The Real Junk Food Project and Freedom from Torture, to open CotE as a safe space for those who need it. With volunteer gardening groups and events, CotE is becoming a community hub in Winson Green and we can’t wait to see what they do in the future!

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