Warley Woods is "The People's Park" and it is mainly managed with humans in mind.  But one of the reasons many of those people love it is because of its “wild side” and the Community Trust would like to be able to better manage Warley Woods for wildlife - be it for plantlife, birdlife, buglife or fungilife.


The Good News

  • Warley Woods is a fabulous place to start with - it has woodland, parkland, ancient grassland and wilder areas - a real mosaic of habitats.
  • The site is perfectly located to be able to attract more wildlife if the right conditions are in place - a significant green stepping stone between other wild places like Woodgate Valley, Sandwell Valley and Sutton Park
  • The Community Trust has proved its ability to reach out to the thousands of people who live nearby and get them involved, exploring, learning and sharing about Wild Warley.
  • We already have our group of volunteer nature enthusiasts, who could be the start of what we want to develop.


The Bad News

  • Every plan should know where you are starting from, but there has been no full site survey for 20 years.  (It’s recommended that surveys are updated every five to ten years, so we are well over due)
  • Shh, don't tell anyone, but the Trustee and staff team have no qualifications in managing wild areas for wildlife.  We collectively know a lot more than we did fourteen years ago, but none of that knowledge is formal or gives us a really good grand picture of what we should be doing with wildlife in mind.
  • The site has a few physical limitations - there is no permanent body of water which is so important and while we have been improving it and we are still lacking an understory in the woodland – great big mature trees with an almost blank canvas underneath.


Scratching the surface

We have lots of people with lots of bits of knowledge.  We also have access to many experts we can ask questions of or who will lead a bat or a bird walk for us.  We have a woodland management plan and a wilderness management plan - but how what about the grassland, the wildlife potential for the golf course and how do all of these things fit together.


We don't know what we don't know

We are quite aware of our ignorance in some aspects and we could focus on getting training about that subject, but we also know that a lot of environmental issues have knock on effects on each other - what if we improve one thing, but then that is bad for something else - not knowing and having a clear picture has the potential to paralyse you from taking any step at all, in case it all goes horribly wrong.


What we do know

Is if we could get this right and take advantage of the good news with sorting out the bad news.  If we stopped scratching the surface and dug deep.  If we became really knowledgeable and started making great strides - plus lots of other mixed metaphors we believe that we will be able to make Warley Woods even more amazing than it already is and we believe that many more people will fall deeply in love with it.  That can only be good for its future.


The Plan for the Plan

We want to run a project called Wild Warley - do site surveys, get people with expertise in, train volunteers and staff, engage visitors, improve areas.  Learn more, plan more, do more and share more.  What does a project always need - funding!


Who might fund it

We're going to ask Heritage Lottery (HLF) if they would be the main funder for this, but they will ask us - how do we know that other people want this?  We think people will love to see Warley Woods improved and managed even better and that they will want to get involved but we might be wrong.


For four weeks we had some mini surveys running from this page, but we have now closed this, so that we can analyse the information and share with HLF.  Thank you very much to everyone who took part in these.