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News article created on 23 April 2014

Could you help create a secret garden in Smethwick?

We're calling for an army of local volunteers in Smethwick in the West Midlands to lend a hand and help us transform a once thriving nature trail along the Birmingham Main Line Canal back to its former glory.

The Galton Valley Nature Trail was once farmland and a haven for plants and insects.  The area is now looking unloved and unwelcoming so local people living in Smethwick are being asked to help the charity, Canal & River Trust, to recreate this canal side community garden.

The volunteers will be helping to clear pathways and cut back vegetation, plant a whole host of wildlife loving plants as well as putting up bird and bat boxes in the trees and installing reed beds to help improve water quality. There are also plans to create a community orchard which, once established, could provide fresh fruit to the local community via the local food bank network.

Beauty spot

Peter Mathews CMG, chair of the west midlands waterways partnership for the Canal & River Trust, said: “The Galton Valley Nature Trail used to be beautiful and often you would spot bluebells and early summer raspberries poking through the trees and bushes.  This part of the canal could once again be a really lovely beauty spot but we need help from local people to help us to revitalise this nature trail and attract more animals and insects back to this secret garden.

“We do have quite a bit of work to do and, where we have already made some small improvements, we have already noticed an increase in the amount of wildlife fluttering along the canal which was brilliant to see but more work needs to be done and we need everyone to muck in and help lend a hand.”

The next meeting is on Saturday 3 May from 10am – 3pm at the Smethwick Pumping House, B66 1BA.