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Nature path project to get nearly £100k

A project to create new nature paths in Dudley is getting £99,605 from a £1 million fund.

Sedgley Beacon is one of the sites that the new nature paths project will connect

It is one of nine environment projects that have been awarded more than £400,000 from the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Community Environment Fund.

The fund was set up by the WMCA using £1 million of Commonwealth Games legacy money to support locally led green projects that are protecting nature, reducing waste and making communities more resilient and prepared for the impacts of climate change.

Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust's bid for Dudley’s Path to Nature Recovery project has been successful.

It aims to help connect more people in Dudley and Sandwell to nature by creating new walking routes and improving wildlife habitats through the Black Country Geo Park.

The Canal and River Trust is getting £100,000 to expand its Wild in Birmingham project to improve the natural environment with communities around sections of waterway in Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

The LEAF Project (Linking Environment And Farming) has got £25,000 to run farm visits and workshops for 1,200 more children at inner city schools and youth groups across Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Sandwell to improve their understanding of where food comes from and how it is produced, helping them to become conscious consumers in the future.

All Saints’ Action Network, Wolverhampton is receiving £25,000 to open a repair cafe at its community hub and wood recycling centre.

The fund has been made possible thanks to the £70 million Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund – the underspend from the 2022 Games that the UK Government agreed to reinvest back into the West Midlands to ensure the positive legacy is felt by as many people as possible across the region.

Richard Parker, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chairman, said: “There are many community groups and regional organisations doing fantastic work to protect, enhance and restore the natural environment, and it’s great news that we are able to continue to support them with grants from our Community Environment Fund.

“Being able to access nature has such a positive impact on our health and wellbeing, and it is becoming ever more urgent that we take action to rethink waste by repairing and reusing products more, and take practical steps to help communities adapt to the effects of climate change.”

Beccy Crosby, funding and partnerships manager for the Active Wellbeing Society, said: “The Share Shacks have been able to demonstrate how they improve individual and community wellbeing as well as contribute to environmental sustainability.

“By continuing and expanding repair sessions through WMCA funding, we are helping to reduce waste from landfill and support people to develop skills, build connections and save money by alleviating the pressure to purchase items new that are not used regularly or cost prohibitive.”

Norman Dandy, director of nature recovery for Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, said: “The funding we’ve secured from the WMCA will enable us to champion Dudley’s wildlife, and support our local community to connect with it more strongly. We’ll be working with the borough council and other local organisations to restore areas of nature across the town’s hills, from Sedgley Beacon down to the Rowley Hills. Walking will be a central part of our work – it’s a fantastic way for people to connect to nature and to discover new areas to visit on their doorsteps.”

Carl Edwards, director for education and public engagement for LEAF, said: “This grant will enable us to provide experiential learning opportunities for children living in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

“As a result of this work, children will develop a greater understanding of where their food comes from and how to live sustainably. They’ll return home with a new appreciation for food, a passion for the countryside and plenty of ideas of simple actions they can take to protect our environment. For some children, it will be the first time they’ve ever visited a working farm – a real ‘wow’ moment.”

Community groups and regional organisations can still bid to the WMCA's Community Environment Fund. Heart of England Community Foundation is managing the online portal and supporting the application and appraisal process.

Find out how to apply at

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