The Birmingham bog which was the inspiration for JRR Tolkien’s celebrated fantasy fiction Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit has been awarded a £376,500 grant.
The Wildlife Trust will use the money to restore Moseley Bog and Joys Wood local Nature Reserve to its former glory.
The bog, which is situated between Yardley Wood Road and Wake Green Road, is home to a rich diversity of habitats, various dry woodlands and a variety of species including birds, invertebrates and small mammals.
The site is also home to two Bronze Age burnt mounds with Scheduled Ancient Monument status, and a former mill pool dam, a pond and water mill.
The money was officially announced by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the trust will use the cash to restore hedgerows, manage the meadow, tackle tree safety and improve the boardwalks, steps, pathways, and signage around the site to ensure visitor access.
Interpretation at the site will also be improved, and a range of learning materials, an outreach programme for schools and community groups, a website, and self guided MP3 tours, will be produced.
Katie Foster, of the Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands committee, said: “We are delighted to play a major part in safeguarding and improving an area beloved by so many people in the region and connected with such a well-known writer whose childhood heritage here influenced his writing now known worldwide.”
Bob Blackham, leader of the volunteers of Moseley Bog and Tolkien expert, said: “Moseley Bog has been affected and changed by human activity for at least the last 3,000 years as can be seen by the Bronze Age burnt mounds, the medieval earthworks of the dam and the remains of the Victorian/Edwardian gardens.
“Nature has always repaired and restored the works of man but for the last 13 years the bog has been helped by the Moseley Bog Volunteers, without whom this project would not be possible.”