About Smestow Valley Local Nature Reserve

1772 The 46-mile long Staffs and Worcs Canal is completed and remained in profit most of its working life.

1913 The Great Western Railway Company starts work on the Kingswinford Branch Railway going through Compton and Tettenhall but the outbreak of war halts proceedings.

1925 The first steam train uses the line. Passenger transport only lasts for seven years.

1939 The line is used again as a freight route to avoid bombing raids on Birmingham.

1950s Commercial traffic ends on the canal and it eventually becomes a busy cruiseway for leisure boats.

1965 Branch line closures see the Kingswinford Branch Railway axed and trains stop running.

1970s The Smestow Valley forms the basis for a ground-breaking study called The Endless Village which leads to the first Urban Wildlife Group being formed. It becomes a template for all  ‘green corridor’ nature reserves in towns and cities throughout Britain.

1998 Smestow Valley is designated Wolverhampton’s first official Local Nature Reserve.

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