Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 14:22 UK

Birmingham bog which inspired Tolkien to be restored

JRR Tolkien
Tolkien used to live close to the bog and played there as a child

A Birmingham nature reserve that was a favourite childhood playground of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has been awarded a £376,500 lottery grant.

Tolkien said Moseley Bog had inspired the mystical Old Forest that his Hobbit characters travelled through in the Lord of the Rings.

The reserve is owned by Birmingham City Council and managed by the Friends of Moseley Bog and a wildlife trust.

They said the grant would fund an outdoor theatre and restore hedgerows.

Part of the reserve was once used as a rubbish tip but the area has since been designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and is also home to a scheduled ancient monument dating back to the Bronze Age.

Moseley Bog
Moseley Bog is recognised as an important conservation site

Katie Foster, who chairs the Heritage Lottery Fund's West Midlands committee, said: "We are delighted to play a major part in safeguarding and improving an area beloved by so many people in the region."

Other planned improvement work at the bog includes restoring hedgerow and meadows and repairing boardwalks, steps, pathways and signage.

Neil Wyatt, chief executive of the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, said it was a "remarkable" place.

"It inspired Tolkien, and it has inspired local people to stand up for their local green spaces across the country," he added.

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