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Creating a National Park for the West Midlands

With the youngest, fastest-growing, most diverse population in the UK, the imminent arrival of HS2, the hosting of City of Culture 2021 and the Commonwealth Games, the West Midlands has a unique opportunity to re-discover a vast, hidden landscape that has been largely overlooked and undervalued for decades.

Researchers

Advisory board

  • Andy Beer, National Trust
  • Mike Grimes, Environment Agency
  • Michele Farmer, Princes Trust
  • Emma Marsh, RSPB
  • Adnan Saif, Canal and River Trust
  • Gary Topp, Culture Centre
Special Advisors
  • Andy Argyle, KPMG (tbc)
  • Jo Capper, Public Arts Limited (tbc)
  • Duncan Mackay, Natural England (tbc)
  • Ian Shea, ULI
External Advisors
  • Dr Gareth Doherty, GSD Havard
  • Kristina Hill , University of California, Berkeley
  • Bruno Marques, University of Wellington
  • Michael Rodrian Schwarz, Ruhr project
  • Dirk Sijmons, H+M+L
  • Sir Tim Smith OBE
  • Rt Hon. Dame Caroline Spelman (tbc)
  • Elizabeth Nobrega de Araujo Tsakiroglou, President of the Maria Nobrega Foundation

Research background

The project seeks to establish a new kind of National Park for the West Midlands. This immense rolling landscape, the crucible of the industrial revolution, the nexus of the UK’s major agricultural regions, with its complex infrastructure of canals, highways and byways married to some of the most beautiful, forgotten areas in Britain awaits a re-imagining for millions of people with the creation of a West Midlands National Park.  

Project aims

  • Utilise major strategic initiatives throughout the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to support the resourcing of the plan
  • Propose a new type of National Park which champions the relationship between people and place
  • Recognise the opportunities provided by the imminent arrival of Commonwealth Games 2022, HS2, Coventry city of Culture 2021, UNESCO Geopark and more
  • Create improved collaborative and citizen-engaged solutions
  • Support the positioning of UK agriculture
  • Ensure that in a post-Brexit UK we are a showcase for innovative, cross-community models of rural / urban localism

Involvement and supporters

The project is under the direction of Professor Kathryn Moore, immediate past President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects, Professor of Landscape Architecture at Birmingham City University and the CATiD team of BCU.

A number of political, commercial and academic bodies including UNESCO, IPOGEA, Landscape Institute, IFLA and more are giving support to the Project.

For more information, please access the National Park for West Midlands PDF.