The launch of Purple Horizons
The launch of Purple Horizons

A new environmental project aimed at tackling wildlife loss and improving access to nature in the West Midlands is being backed by Lichfield District Council.

Purple Horizons will restore heathland and link it with wetland, woodland and grassland across an area of up to 10,000 hectares.

The scheme, which was launched recently at Brownhills Common, is one of five nature recovery projects in England that have been announced by the Government and Natural England.

Lichfield District Council is among the partners in Purple Horizons, which is being funded through a share of a £2.4million pot from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Natural England. 

Kristie Charlesworth, ecology officer at Lichfield District Council, said:

“Heathland is good for lots of protected and priority species. Ground-nesting birds such as the nightjar like heathland as do invertebrates and reptiles.

“We were the first council in the country to make a policy demanding that all development must deliver a 20% net gain to biodiversity as part of seeking planning permission.

“If developers cannot deliver that net gain onsite, they either create or enhance areas of habitat elsewhere in the district or provide the council with a suitable financial contribution for us to deliver that habitat on their behalf.”

Kristie Charlesworth, Lichfield District Council

The scheme is hoping to enable 500,000 more people across the region to connect with nature near where they live.

Cllr Angela Lax, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member responsible for ecology and climate change, said:

“I was delighted to attend the launch of the Purple Horizons project.

“The work to restore heathland will create sustainable habitats for wildlife while making these areas more accessible to residents, improving both mental and physical health.

“It will also contribute to our collective efforts to tackle climate change and look forward to seeing the project progress.”

Cllr Angela Lax, Lichfield District Council

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