Skip to main content

The charity making life better by water

Green Recovery Challenge Fund

We're working on a £1.7million project to improve nature habitats along our canals in the West Midlands.

This funding will develop a nature recovery network across the West Midlands and will deliver environmental enhancements including the creation of wildlife corridors reconnecting fragmented habitat for endangered species such as water voles.

Green Recovery Challenge Fund

The project will involved improving over 30 miles of canals and enhancing seven SSSI's (Sites of Special Scientific Interest). A 12 mile community orchard will be planted between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. The orchard will be along our canals which are near the venues for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games sites helping to make the Games the greenest ever.

The canal project will also form a partnership with the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, supporting up to 500 schools with environmental learning, to inspire the next generation. Walsall Council is also part of the partnership.

Government funded

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is a key part of the Prime Minister's 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change. Connecting people with nature is another priority theme: by increasing access to nature and greenspaces, projects will support both physical and mental wellbeing.

The Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. The fund is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

The key projects are:

  • To improve over 30 miles of waterway habitats linking seven nature reserves. This will include linking 14 fragmented local nature reserves and greenspaces adjacent to Wyrley & Essington and Walsall Canals contributing to creating a Nature Recovery Network
  • Carry out enhancements to seven SSSI's including along the Cannock Extension and Anglesey Branch Canal and at Fens Pools Nature Reserve, Belvide Reservoir, Bittel Reservoir, Shrewley Cutting and at Brewins Cutting
  • Creating five community orchards and planting 500 fruit trees along our canals in Wolverhampton to Worcester to create the World's longest community orchard
  • Improve the condition of 4 miles of hedgerows
  • Extend or establish rare habitat heathland at five locations, including South Staffordshire, Walsall, Smethwick and West Bromwich
  • Create 15 new ponds to support SSSI features
  • Provide citizen science opportunities to 100 volunteers who can help with water vole and otter surveys along our canals
  • Support 500 schools to embed learning through nature
Volunteering outside

We'd love to tell you more

Our newsletter is packed full of exciting updates and stories of how our charity keeps canals alive.

Last Edited: 16 February 2024

photo of a location on the canals
newsletter logo

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration