WORK has got underway this week to build a new wardens base and education centre at the borough's much-loved Saltwells Nature Reserve.

The building, which is expected to be completed this winter, will provide a much-needed base for Dudley Council’s wardens and people who volunteer at the 247-acre green space at Netherton.

It will also act as an education centre for school groups and community activities and sessions.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley Council's cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services, said: "We are incredibly proud of Saltwells Nature Reserve, it has received national and international attention for its incredible biodiversity and geological significance."

Renowned for its geological importance, extensive bluebell woodland and wildlife, the site which attracts thousands of visitors each year is set to receive National Nature Reserve status later this year and cllr Shakespeare added: "This new base will act as welcome space for the wardens and volunteers who have helped to improve and maintain this beautiful green space.

"The building will also benefit community groups and schools, who will be able to use it for education and group sessions."