Wetland for water voles in Bromsgrove

Tuesday 19th April 2016

Sanders Park - looking to the new wetland area (c) Wendy CarterSanders Park - looking to the new wetland area (c) Wendy Carter

Work to improve the Battlefield Brook through Sanders Park will start on Tuesday 3rd May.

Water from one of the concrete storm drains in Sanders Park will be diverted into a newly created wetland area as part of the Love Your River Bromsgrove project, run by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and funded by the Environment Agency. The wetland will help to filter out pollution before the water returns to the Battlefield Brook as well as help to slow down run-off to reduce flooding downstream.

Lucy Wood, Water and Wetlands Officer for the Trust, explained “This is a great opportunity for us to make a difference for both people and wildlife in Bromsgrove.

“The Battlefield Brook is currently failing international water quality legislation for invertebrates, plants and phosphate levels so the work we’re doing here is crucial to its future.

“As well as creating a lovely feature in Sanders Park for people to enjoy, we also hope that the wetland area will provide better connectivity for Bromsgrove’s water voles. This is one of only two known populations in Worcestershire and the current concrete channel and poor water quality from the storm drains hamper their ability to move through the landscape.”

 

 

River rangers

The work is part of a series of activities that Love Your River Bromsgrove is organising across the District.

27 volunteers have been trained to be the eyes and ears of the Battlefield Brook – looking for and reporting pollution incidents to the Clean Stream Team of Severn Trent Water, Bromsgrove District Council and Environment Agency as well as monitoring its quality and wildlife.

The project has already installed new porous surfaces on the car park at Sanders Park, stopping flooding and allowing water to cleanse before getting into the brook.

Children in local schools have become River Rangers – discovering how to improve their school grounds for wildlife and why it’s important to think before you put things down the sink.

Wetlands for wildlife and people

Water vole (c) Tom MarshallThe new wetland will have shallow depressions to guide the water through grass and water-tolerant native plants. The planting will help to slow the flow of the water; hold more water during flood events, as well as cleanse the water before it enters the brook and act as a food source for water voles.

Any spoil generated from the wetland creation will be used locally to enhance and build up access tracks and footpaths.

Bromsgrove District Councillor Rod Laight, who is responsible for leisure services, said: “We’re delighted to work with the trust on these latest improvements to our park, which will boost waterways and wildlife habitats.”

Lucy added “This is the largest part of the project and we really hope that it will make a big difference to Sanders Park and to Bromsgrove. Once created, the new wetland area will be used to demonstrate how urban wetland areas can be great for both people and wildlife.”

Environment Agency logo

Tagged with: Living Landscapes, Bromsgrove, Sanders Park, Water voles