The 61-acre Broadmeadow is sited on the island between the two channels of the River Tame, off Lichfield Road near to the Moor Street traffic island. Ownership was transferred to Tamworth Borough Council from the developers of the former Smurfit site as part of planning agreement for the development of homes.
It is recognised as a Site of Biological Importance as it is a prime example of lowland meadow – a floodplain grassland habitat that is becoming increasingly rare in Staffordshire and across the UK. Broadmeadow is also one of only two sites in the county where the rare Snake’s Head Fritillary can be found growing wild.
It was approved for designation as a local nature reserve by Natural England in October last year and is now in the process of officially becoming Tamworth’s sixth Local Nature Reserve. The status allows Broadmeadow to be protected as a conservation area for future generations, as well as creating more opportunity for grant money to be made available for conservation works.
Work is already underway to create a new maintenance road onto the site, which will allow access to vehicles for vital conservation and maintenance work.
Broadmeadow will be run and managed under the Wild About Tamworth project – a partnership between Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. The project aims to make the site more accessible to people by opening it up and more valuable to wildlife by allowing the fritillaries to spread.
Now Wild About Tamworth is looking for volunteers to help improve Broadmeadow by carrying out a number of tasks including day-to-day habitat management, site surveys and litter picks.
The aim is to form a Friends group to look after Broadmeadow, so people with admin and co-ordinating skills are also needed to get that off the ground.
Task days will take place on the second Wednesday of every month from 10.30 to 12.30, meeting at the entrance to Broadmeadow off Oxbridge Way. The next meeting is Wednesday February 11 and anyone interested in getting involved with the group is invited to go along. No experience is necessary and all tools are provided.
Anyone who would like more information on the group or to get involved should contact Wild About Tamworth officer, Mel Westlake, on 07970 067711.
Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet Member for Communities & Public Health, said, “Broadmeadow is often called the jewel in the crown of Tamworth’s natural open spaces, and I am delighted that it is about to be officially designated as the borough’s sixth local nature reserve.
“This shows what can be achieved by teamwork and co-operation and would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard on this project.
“The work which will be carried out by Wild About Tamworth will conserve and improve this wonderful natural resource and make it even more welcoming for wildlife and visitors alike. I am hoping that a large number of nature lovers will respond to the call for volunteers and get involved with a Friends group for Broadmeadow.”