The Black Country Blue Network

The Black Country Blue Network will increase and improve wildlife habitats in and around the canals, streams and rivers in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Black Country Blue NetworkAs well as helping the Black Country's plants and animals flourish, it is also building better access, encouraging healthy lifestyles and active recreation for people using the footpaths and towpaths that make up the Black Country Blue Network.

The Black Country Blue Network is a partnership between City of Wolverhampton Council, Walsall Council, Environment Agency, Canal & River Trust and The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country. It has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Wyrley and Essington Canal Local Nature Reserve

Wyrley and Essington Canal Wyrley and Essington Canal, West Midlands

Led by City of Wolverhampton Council, this project will manage woodland areas and create wildflower meadows to improve the habitat and increase the diversity of wildlife around the canal, that is locally known as the Curly Wyrley! The project will also support the designation of a new Local Nature Reserve that covers the canal corridor. Read more about our Wyrley and Essington Canal.

Smethstow Valley Local Nature Reserve

City of Wolverhampton Council will open up access and paths through the site to enable more people to enjoy this reserve. Woodland management and wildflower planting will also attract a variety of insects and wildlife. Please visit Smestow Valley Local Nature Reserve for more information.

Ford for the Future

This project is being led by The Environment Agency who will remove an obsolete structure at the confluence of the Ford brook and Rough brook in the Rushall area of Walsall, as well as improving access. The project will deliver an improved environment for wildlife and the local community. Please visit Environment Agency for more information.

Reedswood Park

Walsall Council will be carrying out a range of wildlife habitat improvements across the Reedswood Park area. These include the creation of heathland and wildflower meadows, tree planting and other woodland management. They will also be conducting works on ponds and wetlands; helping to maintain a home for wetland wildlife. Please click here for more information.

Bradley Arm Canal

Bradley Arm towpath Bradley Arm towpath

Canal & River Trust are carrying out dredging of six hectares of the Bradley Arm Canal. The project will enable increased water flow and allow more native plant species to establish and grow, providing valuable habitat for a variety of species of fish as well as supporting some of our most iconic animals such as otters, kingfishers and water voles. Read more about our Bradley Arm Canal.

Growing Local Flora

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country are growing a range of native plants that were once commonplace across the Black Country but are now much less common. These will be planted in the project areas described above helping to attract a wide range of wildlife. Please visit for more information on the work of The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Last date edited: 10 May 2021