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Cannock Chase

Peter Shirley: Ministers' parks and open spaces tax proposal

Ministers have suggested that people living near parks, and whose houses increase in value because of this, should pay extra tax to contribute to the upkeep of the parks.

Richard Saxton on Folding Hill's "Orchard Block" Pinot Noir 2010

Folding Hill's "Orchard Block" Pinot Noir 2010
Richard Saxton sampleds Folding Hill's "Orchard Block" Pinot Noir 2010.

Peter Shirley looks into urban trees in Birmingham and the Black Country

Trees lining Millward Street in Small Heath.
Birmingham and the Black Country are famous for their street trees.

All stories

Cannock Chase

Peter Shirley: Ministers' parks and open spaces tax proposal

Ministers have suggested that people living near parks, and whose houses increase in value because of this, should pay extra tax to contribute to the upkeep of the parks.

Folding Hill's

Richard Saxton on Folding Hill's "Orchard Block" Pinot Noir 2010

Richard Saxton sampleds Folding Hill's "Orchard Block" Pinot Noir 2010.

Trees lining Millward Street in Small Heath.

Peter Shirley looks into urban trees in Birmingham and the Black Country

Birmingham and the Black Country are famous for their street trees.

Cannock Chase

Owen Paterson's view of the environmental movement

Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson described parts of the environmental movement as 'the green blob'.

Red Kites

Mixed progress for Midlands nature

Progress and local successes here and there mask a continuing and worrying decline in the variety and abundance of plants, animals and birds.

bee

Precaution or Profit

For a host of reasons both wild bees and domesticated honey bees continue to decline, both here and in other parts of the world.

A male blackbird in a garden

Still much to learn about the common Blackbird

The Blackbird is very much a European species, although there are populations in parts of China and elsewhere in Asia.

A robin.

Natural England are ruffling feathers

Recently it seems that the Government's nature conservation agency, Natural England, are doing the opposite of helping our beleaguered species.

Cannock Chase

How the EU Elections can alter nature conservation

Without European laws and regulations, weak and badly implemented as some of these are, our wildlife would be even worse off than it is.

A bee on a flower

Black Country insect miners remind us of their presence

Mining bees in particular remind us of their presence throughout the spring months.

Much of the artwork at nature areas is excellent, and arises from community involvement

The Nature of Birmingham

There is still an assumption that nature is something found only in the countryside, that it is surprising to find genuine wildlife in a city.

Wild flowers

Where have all the flowers gone?

Although woodland flowers currently dominate the scene later the focus is on grasslands, and there lie many problems.

The country park side of Walsall Arboretum.

Wonderful or whimsical? A Black Country garden city

The Black Country's innovative garden city proposal has been entered for a £250k prize for new garden city designs put up by the Wolfson Foundation.

Isla dogtooth cardigan, £18, Amelia geometric top, £14, skirt, £18, hat, £12, all Boohoo, boohoo.com

GALLERY: Monochrome fashion - it's all there in black and white

Cool, clean and classic, the fashion pack love monochrome. Emma Johnson picks out easy pieces

A Great Tit takes food from a ball of fat hanging at the bird table

Enjoy a free concert with International Dawn Chorus Day

Suddenly blossoms are filling our waysides, parks and gardens instead of incessant rain and floods.

Flooding

Taming the Tame

The much-maligned Environment Agency, local authorities, civil engineers and conservation bodies have had enormous success in alleviating flooding in many parts of the country.

A bench

Ironic approach to managing open spaces

A bench on a stretch of disused canal in the Black Country has been removed, apparently because people have been using it too much!

Woodland

Off with Offsetting

Would you like to drive for up to an hour to enjoy a stroll in your 'local' green space or wildlife site?

Call time on duty

Call Time On Duty!

The amount of tax we pay on our wines and spirits in this country is one of those things that I'm always subconsciously aware of but never really took the time to look into.

Consumer advice: Call to Apple to be fair to UK parents

Inadequate security measures causing children to run up huge bills

Videos & Photos

The City of Colours festival will make a second outing next year and expand from one day to two

City of Colours street art festival set to double next year

1920s detached home in Arthur Road, Edgbaston.

Home of the day: £1,750,000 1920s detached home in Edgbaston

Stoners Farmhouse, a delightful period property in Feckenham, Worcestershire.

Home of the day: £895k Stoners Farmhouse in Feckenham, Worcestershire

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In This Week's Paper

Journalists

Graeme Brown
Regional Head of Business
Enda Mullen
Business Reporter
Cillian O’ Brien
Business Reporter
Jon Griffin
Business Reporter
Alison Jones
Features writer
Ben Hurst
News Editor
Jonathan Walker
Political Editor