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Nature Conservation

To many people nature conservation in Knowle means the establishment, between 1971-1977, of the Knowle Nature Reserve. However, over the years, other projects have included:

  • Bramble clearances 1996
  • The massive daffodil planting along the Warwick Road bank, which had been laid bare after road widening in 1969, had cut back the original spinney to a thin line of trees
  • The sponsorship of 25 oak trees in Jobs Close Park by Knowle schools to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee in 1977
  • The emergency rescue of hundreds of cowslips in 1980 from a building site off Jacobean Lane, (now Queen Eleanor’s Drive) which were replanted in the churchyard, along the Warwick Road bank and elsewhere

1984 – Tilehouse Green Lane Walkway Our suggestion of a Green Walkway from the moat in Browns Lane towards Bentley Heath School, to preserve an important hedgerow with a wet ditch and a group of ponds, was accepted by the developers and incorporated within the new estate.

At the same time we campaigned successfully against building on Bentley Heath School’s new quarter acre nature area. These two campaigns were the main feature of our I985 Solihull Conservation Fair Stand and received prominent press coverage.

1986 – Jobs Close Park We established a large un-mown area adjacent to Purnells Brook, to allow its sterile monoculture to be re-colonised by the original grasses and plants still surviving close to the brook, and found Lady’s Smock, Celandine, Bulbous and Buttercup growing there in later years

1987 Silver Jubilee This year which saw both the Silver Jubilee of the Society, was recognised by the planting of a Walnut tree by the Village Hall. This beautiful tree first flowered for the Millennium and produced walnuts in 2001. (See also 1992 entry and reference to the later threat to this tree in 2001)

1987 – Garden Birds Survey/Birds of Knowle and 1992 – Butterfly Survey Both are available in Knowle Society Archives on Saturday mornings at the Knowle Library

1989 – Pond Survey of members’ garden ponds

1990 – Knowle Tree Survey Stage one completed 1990.

1991 – Old Copper Beech at Wilson Arms – felled 27 September. It died over the 2 years following road and pavement works around the tree

1992 – Bat sightings Reported to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust 1992

1992 – St. John’s Close Consultation with the Council’s Landscape Architect over his ‘Enhancement Scheme’ for St. John’s Close with various tree and shrub plantings, which also helped to soften the two new car parks on either side of the Village Hall. Incredibly, our rejected plea to brick-pave was allowed after the offer of a job-lot of bricks!

Not so with the November 2001 extension, but we thank Solihull Council for saving our threatened Silver Jubilee Walnut tree, planted there in 1987, by realigning the parking spaces.

1993 – Stiles Three stiles in Kixley Line area converted to V shape for the elderly and less agile on these very popular local walks

1993 – Limestone Research into old limestone mine and survey of rare limestone flora on Hampton Road verge. Limestone was burnt in Limestone Kiln fields and carried from Kixley Wharf. Geologist from Coventry University visited various sites in 1997

1993 – Canal Wildflower survey of canal towpath of Grand Union Canal in Knowle area

1996 – Water Butt Scheme for Knowle

1996 – Cable TV Consultations with contractor (Murphy) to ensure hand digging through tree roots

1996 – Hedges Start of Knowle hedgerow survey for CPRE National Survey

1997 – Agenda 21 We are represented on Solihull’s Rural Environment Group

1999 – Environment Strategy Solihull Council’s document explained in article published by Knowle Parish magazine August 1999

1999 – Trees Veteran Tree Survey

2000 – Bluebells Bluebells rescued from Warwick Road bank realigned footpath opposite British Legion

2001 – Tree Warden for Knowle appointed

2009 – Committee reformed after a short break

2010 – Committee renamed Natural Environment. Campaign to persuade SMBC to purchase land formerly belonging to Thackers Nursery in Hampton Road for use as additional allotment space failed as a result of the severe financial pressures on Council finances