The West Midlands is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It covers the western half of the area traditionally known as the Midlands. The region consists of the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire. The largest city in the region is Birmingham.
The region is geographically diverse, from the urban central areas of the conurbation to the rural western counties of Shropshire and Herefordshire which border Wales. The longest river in the UK, the River Severn, traverses the region southeastwards, flowing through the county towns of Shrewsbury and Worcester, and the Ironbridge Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Staffordshire is home to the industrialised Potteries conurbation, including the city of Stoke-on-Trent, and the Staffordshire Moorlands area, which borders the southeastern Peak District National Park near Leek. The region also encompasses five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Wye Valley, Shropshire Hills, Cannock Chase, Malvern Hills, and parts of the Cotswolds. Warwickshire is home to the towns of Stratford upon Avon, birthplace of writer William Shakespeare, Rugby, the birthplace of Rugby football and Nuneaton, birthplace to author George Eliot.
West Midlands community action[edit | edit source]
Sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]
- Action 21
- Herefordshire New Leaf, small not-for-profit co-operative & exempt charity working with people around the county to develop ways of saving energy and living more sustainably.
- Transition Evesham Vale
- Transition Malvern Hills
- Transition Shipston
- Transition Stourbridge
- Transition Stratford
- Transition town Leamington
- Transition Worcester
- West Midlands Green Communities Network, Sustainability West Midlands
- Whittington & Fisherwick Environment Group
- Worcester Roots Foundation, youth-led environmental volunteering charity, which aims to develop young people's skills whilst promoting and raising awareness of sustainability issues to the community as a whole.
Local sustainability initiatives[edit source]
Please see our Local communities in West Midlands pages, where of course you can share any more information you may have about local sustainability initiatives.
Climate action[edit | edit source]
see Community energy below
Biodiversity[edit | edit source]
- Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, added 16:04, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
- Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country
- Worcestershire Wildlife Trust
- Harbury Energy Initiative, a village low carbon group, added 14:55, 23 February 2021 (UTC)
- Chase Community Solar
- Community Energy Warwickshire
- Southern Staffordshire Community Energy
Fairtrade in Solihull, information from solihull.gov.uk
It’s Our County, an independent local party just for Herefordshire
The region contains five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), including all of the Shropshire Hills, Malvern Hills and Cannock Chase, and parts of the Wye Valley and Cotswolds. The Peak District national park also stretches into the northern corner of Staffordshire. W
The region, from studies of multiple deprivation, shows similarities with Yorkshire and the Humber, and is more deprived than the neighbouring East Midlands. From the Indices of deprivation 2007, it can be seen that, in common with Northern England, the region has more Lower Area Super Output Areas in the 20% most deprived districts than in the 20% least deprived districts. The region's most deprived council districts, in descending order, are Birmingham (10th highest in England), Sandwell (14th), Stoke-on-Trent (16th), Wolverhampton (28th), Walsall (45th), Coventry (61st), and Dudley (100th). These have Labour MPs except for a Conservative MP in Walsall, one in Sandwell, one in Dudley, and one in Wolverhampton (Wolverhampton South West)
The least deprived districts in 2007 (before Shropshire became a unitary authority in 2009) were Bromsgrove, South Staffordshire, Warwick, Wychavon, and Lichfield. These areas, like all rural areas of the West Midlands, have Conservative MPs. At county level, the least deprived areas, in descending order, were Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Solihull, Staffordshire, and Shropshire.
In March 2011 the region had the second highest overall unemployment claimant count in England at 4.7%, second to North East England. The highest in the region was Wolverhampton at 7.7%, the joint second highest (with Manchester) unemployment rate in England. Next is Sandwell with 7.1%, Birmingham with 7.0%, and Walsall with 6.4%. The lowest rate in the region is the district of Stratford-on-Avon, with 1.6% – one of the lowest unemployment rates in England.
West Midlands Metro (originally named Midland Metro) is a light-rail/tram system in the county of West Midlands, England. Opened on 30 May 1999, it consists of a single route, Line 1, which operates between the cities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton via the towns of West Bromwich and Wednesbury, running on a mixture of reopened disused railway line (the Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Low Level Line) and on-street running in urban areas. The line originally terminated at Birmingham Snow Hill station, but with extensions opened in 2015 and 2019, now runs into Birmingham City Centre to terminate at Library in Centenary Square, with a further extension to Edgbaston due to open in 2021.
The system is owned by the public body Transport for West Midlands, and operated through Midland Metro Ltd, a company wholly owned by the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Extensions to Line 1, to Edgbaston at the southern end and Wolverhampton railway station in the north are under construction with passenger services expected to commence in 2021. Construction of a new Line 2 from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill was approved in March 2019 and started in February 2020 and due to be completed in 2022 for the Commonwealth Games. A further extension will create a new Line 3 from Edgbaston to Curzon Street, Digbeth, Solihull or Chelmsley Wood and Birmingham Airport planned to open in phases in 2023 and 2024-2026 depending on when planning permission is accepted.
The National Forest is an environmental project in central England run by The National Forest Company. From the 1990s, 200 square miles (520 km2) of north Leicestershire, south Derbyshire and southeast Staffordshire have been planted in an attempt to blend ancient woodland with newly planted areas to create a new national forest. It stretches from the western outskirts of Leicester in the east to Burton upon Trent in the west, and is planned to link the ancient forests of Needwood and Charnwood.
In January 2018 the UK government unveiled plans to create a new English Northern Forest extending from Liverpool to Hull. It will shadow the path of the east-west M62 motorway.
The Forest of Mercia lies within the northernmost boundary of the more ancient and well-known Forest of Arden which covered the area when it formed part of the Kingdom of Mercia, and is one of twelve community forests established close to major towns and cities across England. It covers an area of 92 square miles (23,000 hectares), and is focused around the town of Cannock in South Staffordshire.
Resources[edit | edit source]
Citizens data initiative[edit | edit source]
Community resources[edit | edit source]
Maps[edit | edit source]
- Cycle Map, mappa-mercia.org
- Cycling Maps in Worcestershire, worcestershire.gov.uk
- Walking Maps in Worcestershire, worcestershire.gov.uk
Video[edit | edit source]
News and comment[edit | edit source]
Bringing Warwickshire's rural communities together to take action on climate change, Feb 18 
Taking Trade School Online by @dosticen, Jan 18 
Free beer (and ice cream) for cycling in Bologna, local retail services for volunteering in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Communities can incentivise themselves, Dec 14 
Reducing food waste with the Worcestershire Gleaning Network, November 
Did you know that over a quarter of all households in Herefordshire are living in Fuel Poverty? September 11 
Go ahead for solar panels at Leamington Spa Hospital, May 21 
Local communities in West Midlands[edit | edit source]