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28 Jun 2024

Looking after Coventry's green heart

Regional Development Manager Gareth Morgan introduces a plan to regenerate Charterhouse Heritage Park, a unique urban wild place in the heart of Coventry.

Bluecoat School river dipping at Charterhouse Heritage Park

Despite its relatively small population, Coventry has a big reputation: it is associated with Lady Godiva and is (allegedly) the birthplace of England’s patron Saint, St. George, and the British car industry. It suffered severe bomb damage in WW2 and was the model for George Eliot’s novel, Middlemarch. Now it is also on track to host the John Muir Trust’s first property management project in central England.

Although undermanaged for decades, and despite some anti-social behaviour issues and inaccessible areas, the Charterhouse Heritage Park has considerable biodiversity value, lots of engagement opportunities and a huge potential for ecological enhancement, including areas of wetland, woodland, and grassland.

It’s great to see the enthusiasm of local community groups, volunteers and school children as they discover the hidden corners of Charterhouse Heritage Park. With partners including Coventry City Council, Historic Coventry Trust and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, we’ve already hosted wellbeing walks, river dipping events (illustrated above) and sensory awareness sessions, and look forward to engaging thousands more people in the future.

This project in the centre of England fulfils the charitable objectives of the John Muir Trust including: to conserve and protect wild places for the benefit of present and future generations; to work with local communities and encourage them to live in harmony with wild places; to promote an awareness and understanding of wild places for their own sake and for their value to the benefit of humanity; and to encourage voluntary participation in the conservation and renewal of wild places.

Gareth with Bluecoat School at Charterhouse Heritage Park^ Photos show Gareth (pictured above) with students from Coventry's Blue Coat Church of England School at Charterhouse Heritage Park.

Hand with flowers - David Lintern

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