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Plea to save neglected woods next to Walsall school

By Megan Archer | Walsall | Environment | Published:

A school is leading a battle to save neighbouring woodland in Walsall from being destroyed.

Radley Woods

Bosses and parents of children at Radleys Primary School fear Radleys Woods in Rushall is in danger of being “destroyed by neglect”.

Now they want to step in to try to turn the area, near Kings Road, into a forest school for youngsters. An online petition to save the woods has already reached nearly 1,000 signatures.

It comes after fires, fly-tipping, illegal motorbiking, drink and drugs, vandalism and anti-social behaviour have been reported at the spot regularly over the last eight years.

Headteacher Juli Copley is asking people to support the cause and persuade Walsall Council to allow nearby Radleys Primary School off Kings Road, to start managing the woods.

She said: “Our school is right next to the wood. It is an area of mature native trees and flowers, but it is in danger of being destroyed by neglect.

“We are asking people to sign this petition to help us to create a Forest School facility for our children and our community. If we can get 1,500 signatures, then the council will hear our petition.

“This means we would be able to train staff as forest rangers and run outdoor activities for our children as part of our everyday curriculum; children could take part in real-life reading ‘bear hunts’, teddy bear’s picnics, storytelling, orienteering, maths, scientific and geological investigations, fire lighting and shelter building, problem solving and team building, to name but a few.”

She added: “It would provide a regular connection with the outdoors in a safe environment and would save parents/carers money, as we currently have to make trips to areas such as Cannock Chase to undertake these types of activity. Longer term, we would be able to make the area available for forest activities for our local Brownies, Guides and Scouts groups, as well as other schools.”

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The headteacher mentioned that there was a “good chance” the woodland could be destroyed by fires, as there have been a number of them recently.

He also highlighted problems such as fly-tipping, illegal motorbikes, people living in the woods, drug-taking and drinking, children at school being verbally abused by youths, and children frightened to go into the woods.

Walsall Council said: "This petition is live and has not yet been submitted to the council. Once received it will be considered in accordance with our petition scheme."

Visit change.org/p/walsall-council-radleys-primary-school-save-radleys-wood-petition-be-part-of-the-fabulous-500 to sign the petition.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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