Tamworth Co-op Cash in the Bag donation funds conservation work at nature reserve

Dedicated volunteers have been handed £500 to help them maintain a nature reserve in Tamworth which has become a haven for wildlife over the years and a place of recreation.

The donation from Tamworth Co-op’s Cash in the Bag scheme will pay for tools used by the Friends of Warwickshire Moor to carry out vital conservation work at the site off Moor Lane.

Bolehall Co-op manager presents cheque from Cash in the Bag scheme to nature reserve volunteers.

Vicky Freeman (left), manager of Bolehall Co-op convenience store, presents a cheque for £500 from the Cash in the Bag scheme to Pam Clark, secretary of the Friends of Warwickshire Moor. Looking on with their tools are fellow volunteers (from l-r): Liz Orton, Tony Fox and Ron Skett, and Bolehall Co-op sales assistant Katie Carver (second from right).

The group’s secretary, Pam Clark, said without such support it would be unable to manage and improve the area, which is an important wetland habitat, attracting a variety of birds.

“We are so grateful to Tamworth Co-op for this donation. A never-ending task is having to cut down the willow trees to allow the reedbed to grow which encourages birds to come here and breed.

“The trees grow faster than we can cut them down and a lot of our tools need replacing. We’ve already bought a couple of loppers and we need shears and petrol for our chainsaws. So, this money will come in very handy.”

She added: “We get dog walkers and people coming down here with their children. It’s a place where you can switch off from the world.”

Around 15 volunteers meet once a month to look after the reserve, including keeping a boardwalk used by visitors clear of weeds and removing litter. The moor, which is flanked by the River Anker and incorporates woodland, is home to bird species such as sedge warblers and herons, as well as dragonflies, moths and small mammals.

There have been sightings of muntjac deer and recently one of the volunteers heard the sound of a water rail, a bird similar to a moorhen which inhabits wetlands. Local residents have also built bird boxes for blue tits and other small birds to nest in.

Vicky Freeman, manager of the Bolehall Co-op convenience store, who presented the cheque to the Friends, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the work of this group. It’s essential to preserve green spaces like these in urban areas for the whole of the community to enjoy.”

The Cash in the Bag initiative is funded through the sale of plastic carrier bags which is distributed to good causes in Tamworth Co-op’s trading area.