Love Your River Bromsgrove training

Wednesday 27th January 2016

Battlefield Brook Bromsgrove (c) Roger TylerBattlefield Brook Bromsgrove (c) Roger Tyler

A group of Bromsgrove residents has received training in how to test their local watercourse for pollution incidents.

Testing water (c) Roger TylerThe training is part of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s Love Your River Bromsgrove project, funded by the Environment Agency and supported by Waterside Care. The project is helping to improve water quality throughout Bromsgrove and inspire residents to love their brooks, streams and other waterways.

Lucy Wood, Water and Wetlands Officer for the Trust, explained “Bromsgrove’s Battlefield Brook is really important for both wildlife and people.

“Residents can be proud, for example, that the brook is home to Worcestershire’s last remaining population of water voles. And not only is the brook a lovely feature to have running through the town but ensuring its health has a direct impact on people from reducing flooding to the bills they pay.

“As well as lots of work taking place in Sanders Park and the George Wagstaff Memorial Park, we’re also training local residents to identify pollution in the brook – Severn Trent Water estimate that spotting incidents early can ultimately save millions of pounds on water bills.”

Identifying pollution

Testing water in the Battlefield Brook (c) Roger Tyler24 people joined Lucy and staff from Waterside Care on Wednesday 20th and Saturday 23rd January to learn about safe ways to sample water and what to look; they also tested water in the brook using temperature, turbidity, ammonia and pH.

The group on Saturday discovered a pollution incident following a diesel spoil on the M5. The Environment Agency hotline was called and the EA had responded before the training had finished.

Lucy continued “Trainees will be paired up and will start monitoring their chosen stretch of the brook from February. We will be offering other sessions, including freshwater invertebrate training as well as litter and invasive plant clearance.

“The project will be installing sustainable drainage systems and porous surfaces, improving bankside vegetation and more besides. At the same time, it would be great if all Bromsgrove residents ensure that household items like washing machines aren’t misconnected and that they think about what they’re putting down the sink and road drains.

“We’re working with a number of local schools to help spread the word and hope to help create rain gardens to soak up rainwater through soils rather than it running off concrete and into drains.

“As the project goes on, both residents and wildlife should start to benefit from the improvements.”

Report pollution

Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident should call the Environment Agency pollution hotline 0800 80 70 60. Any residents who would like to get involved with the Love Your Rivers project should email Lucy Wood or call 01905 754919.

Tagged with: Bromsgrove, Love Your River