Local beauty spots begin fundraiser

Preserving the magic of Moseley Bog.

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country are fundraising to repair the damaged paths, boardwalks and signs at Moseley Bog and Joy’s Wood. The Friends of Moseley Bog and Joy’s Wood are supporting the Wildlife Trust to raise £30,000 through a public appeal and grant applications to enable a safer, more accessible and more informative visit to this iconic urban nature reserve.

The Trust launched a public appeal on 7th May and the £5,000 target was reached in just eleven days by local, national and international donors who described the site as a “wonderful haven”, “a sanctuary” and a place of “solace”.

The public appeal runs until 30th June and following the initial success, the Wildlife Trust has raised the public appeal target to £10,000. Donations can be made by visiting JustGiving or by texting MOSBOGAPPEAL to 70470 to give £10.

The renovations to this magical site will take place later this year with support from dedicated volunteers who donate their time and skills year round to maintain the site for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Natalie Norton, Senior Conservation Officer at The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country said, “I love working with the volunteers and am delighted to manage a reserve that provides everyone a piece of tranquillity and the chance to get closer to nature in an otherwise hectic world. The repairs to the boardwalks and paths will enable visitors, old and new, to continue enjoying Moseley Bog and Joy’s Wood whilst allowing nature to recover.”

In addition to the success of the public appeal, two local businesses have also pledged their support:

Co-op Food store in Moseley have pledged to support the appeal and will be arranging a fundraiser during June with colleagues dressing up as iconic wildlife species and a prize will be given to award the best costume. Wildlife Trust volunteers will join Co-op colleagues in store to talk to customers about the appeal and encourage donations. Customers will also have the chance to make their own wildlife mask to take home. Hafsah Hussain, Co-op Member Pioneer said: “We know how much our local community value access to green spaces and we’re delighted to run a fundraising day in store to support Moseley Bog and Joy’s Wood.”

Plant-based kitchen Leaflovers, based at the Prince of Wales in Moseley, hope to raise £1,000 in aid of the appeal with a vegan baking competition to mark the launch of their new Bike Café. On Saturday 26th June, judges will award winners in various categories, including a Moseley Bog-themed celebration cake. Keith Marsden, owner of the Prince of Wales said: “The Prince of Wales has a long association with Moseley Bog and Joy’s Wood: many of our customers are regular visitors to this special place and we even performed a special Moseley Bog version of Snow White to a packed house in our beer garden a few years ago.”

In 1980 plans to build houses on Moseley Bog were thwarted by the Save Our Bog campaign. The Wildlife Trust have managed Moseley Bog since 2010 and named Joy’s Wood in honour of the late passionate advocate Joy Fifer who led the campaign to save the site in the 1980s.

The open area in the centre of Moseley Bog is not strictly speaking a bog, but in fact a type of rare habitat known as ‘fen’ that supports numerous specialised plants and animals. Most of the fen that was historically found in Birmingham and the Black Country has been lost to urbanisation and the Wildlife Trust works to protect this precious habitat with the support of volunteers by regularly removing colonising trees which dry the soil and shade out the plants.

Moseley Bog is home to a range of species including birds such as goldfinch, jay, tree-creeper, tawny owl, nuthatch and great spotted woodpecker, mammals such as bats and foxes and plants such as green-winged orchid and common spotted-orchid. The Wildlife Trust conserve the site to ensure a rich diversity of species.

Moseley Bog is also known to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Ring, and in 1984 the first ever International Dawn Chorus Day was held at there and broadcast live around the world on the BBC World Service. The reserve is much loved by the tens of thousands of visitors each year, many of whom rely on the boardwalk to access the wonders of the site with a wheelchair or pushchair.

In addition, two burnt mounds can be found on the Coldbath Brook; these 3,000-year-old Scheduled Ancient Monuments made up of large piles of cracked stones and charcoal are thought to have been heated on a fire before being covered with water to create steam for sauna-type bathing.