Despite origination in a very industrial landscape, betwixt a water treatment works, sand quarry and railway, the Wharfside Community Gardens site is now situate a stones throw from the Cannock Chase area of outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and bordering the Chasewater site of special scientific interest (SSSI). Although not strictly within the designated SSSI or AONB, the Wharfside Community Gardens site bounds it on two sides, and is therefore relevant in its future management.
As such we clearly have a moral duty to preserve, improve and sustain this internationally important landscape for the environment and future generations. The designated site is particularly important for the Solitary Mining Bee and the Great Crested Newt.
The Local Authority are the Landowner of the SSSI bounding the site and have invested significant time, resources and funding into the improvement and sustainment of the habitat. The Councils Parks and Ecology departments have worked tirelessly to safeguard the environment and improve the natural landscape in an effort to both mitigate and sustain this internationally important site. Significant interest in the rare Solitary Mining Bees has driven involvement from the Council and the designating authority, Natural England.
The area, which is predominantly lowland heath is the most extensive of its kind in the West Midlands and is therefore very rare. Lichfield Councils involvement in the heathland improvement works has clearly gone a significant way in safeguarding the site for future generations. The Councils commitment to, and efforts in safeguarding this landscape can only be commended.
We want to take this one step further. We pledge that whatsoever we do, within the community gardens site, will have little to no impact on the surrounding landscape. We have planted over one thousand native hedgerow species in an effort to reinstate the traditional field boundary and vow to seed all of the common areas on site as wild flower meadows, ultimately benefiting the solitary mining bees. We are keenly aware of our "potential" environmental impact and pledge to work with our potholders to mitigate and minimise this at every eventuality.
Our goal is to achieve a positive environmental impact, which with the help of our potholders, stakeholders and landowner is very possible.
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