The RSPB now owns more than 200 nature reserves throughout the UK with many large and wonderfully wild places to visit.
Some have featured on natural history programmes showing a widespread variety of wildlife, from scarce and rare orchids to the success stories surrounding the re-introduction of larger species like the white tailed eagles and red kites.
All of them hold a fascination to visitors in some way or other, individually or collectively – wildlife comes in many forms.
Did you know you don’t have far to travel to experience your own local wildlife encounter?
Just a few miles from the centre of Birmingham lies an urban oasis which is full of its own surprises.
Let me explain what an urban oasis really means.
When you mention Sandwell Valley to visitors from out of the area, you are met with a bemused expression of sympathy – how can such a place exist in the Black Country?
It’s not until you go on to describe what the valley has that the visitor realises what they’re missing.
The RSPB reserve covers just 26 of the 400 acres of the Sandwell Valley and we have more than our fair share of wildlife.
More than 60 species of birds, 80-odd types of bees and wasps, hundreds of different insects, wild orchids and too many other types of wildflowers to mention in this article.
All within touching distance of city-life (a different type of wildlife).