Thanks to £2,000 of donations from the public, our wonderful volunteers have planted a variety of shrubs and trees along the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal to provide shelter for dormice and other small animals living by the waterways.
In February 2013 an army of volunteers took to the canal to plant new wildlife corridors near the village of Greensforge, Kingswinford. These corridors will help dormice, which are becoming increasingly rare in England and Wales as their habitats are destroyed by building and infrastructure.
We care about dormice, not just because they are rare but also because they are important indicators of the health and biodiversity of our waterways, as they require plenty of insects, flowers, berries and the ability to travel.
The healthier the canal environment is the more pleasure it will give people. In our fast-paced world it's important to have an escape. Somewhere we can go to get close to nature.
These lush green corridors are primarily for dormice, but will also provide safe passage for other small animals such as yellow necked mice as well as declining insect species such as bees, butterflies and moths. Volunteers helped to plant native shrubs loved by dormice such as honeysuckle, Buckthorn, Wayfaring tree and Guelder Rose alongside the canal.
Paul Wilkinson, ecologist from the Canal & River Trust, said: “The waterways are an important habitat as they help provide a safe passage from fields to forests for many small animals and insects. Along the canals there is a rich variety of animal life and by planting these shrubs they will, once established, help provide vital shelters and become a reliable food source which will hopefully encourage breeding.”