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Warley Woods – Sucessful and long term community environmental action

June 5, 2009

Warley Woods Community Trust

Warley Woods in Smethwick the West Midlands has been a public park in since 1906, but the history of this green space goes back over 500 years. Here’s a brief history as told by the Community Trust:

“Warley Woods is listed on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, but over the years it has suffered from lack of investment: Warley Abbey and its gate lodges were demolished in the late 1950s despite local opposition. Two houses were built on the park and subsequently sold into private ownership by the council. The woodlands were neglected over a number of years and inappropriate site management practices have led to damage to archaeological remains in this significant historic landscape.”

In 1997, Warley Woods Community Trust was formed by local residents an users of the  park to protect, restore and manage the infrastructure of the park. They did so well that they Trust eventually took over management of the park from Sandwell and Birmingham councils. Warley Woods Community Trust took over the management of the park in April 2004, the Trust now holds a 99 year lease for Warley Woods.

From the park website there are these photos that show just how much the work has achieved:

Before:

entrances 008

entrances 008

After:

P6230011

P8290006

Great stuff!

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