Warley Woods is listed on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, but over the years it suffered from lack of investment: Warley Abbey and its gate lodges were demolished in the late 1950s despite local opposition. Two houses were built on the park and subsequently sold into private ownership by the council. The woodlands were neglected over a number of years and inappropriate site management practices have led to damage to archaeological remains in this significant historic landscape.
In 1997, following a public meeting of local residents the Warley Woods Community Trust was set up with the objectives of protecting, restoring and managing the infrastructure of the park. Legal negotiations between Sandwell and Birmingham councils were completed in January 2004 and the Trust took over the management of the park in April 2004. The Trust holds a 99 year underlease for the site from Sandwell MBC. Birmingham City Council holds the freehold.
Warley Woods Community Trust is set up as a company limited by guarantee and is a registered charity. The Trust is run by a Board of Trustees made up of volunteers from the local community. There are ten staff, over 200 volunteers and over 650 members.
The charitable objectives of Warley Woods Community Trust are:
To promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical, natural and historic environment of the area known as Warley Woods.
To provide recreational facilities for the public at large or those who by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disability, poverty or social and economic circumstances, have need of such facilities in the interests of social welfare.
To advance public education, in particular but not exclusively, by the provision of facilities to study the historical, archaeological, environmental and horticultural importance of the area known as Warley Woods.
Charity number: 1092754