Schoolchildren help create Bromsgrove wetland

Tuesday 11th October 2016

Pupils from Catshill Middle School carrying plants (c) Ann WillettsPupils from Catshill Middle School carrying plants (c) Ann Willetts

15 schoolchildren from Catshill Middle School have got their hands dirty to plant a section of the Battlefield Brook to bring improvements for both people and wildlife.

The brook’s banks were improved earlier this year by removing concrete sandbags and scrub as well as being reshaped to create a more natural profile. The work took place as part of Worcestershire Wildife Trust’s Love Your River Bromsgrove project to improve water for wildlife.

Catshill Middle School planting in George Wagstaff Memorial Park (c) Jane Sedgeley StrachanThe children worked on a section of the brook in the meadow opposite their school.

The improvements were made to both the main Battlefield Brook and also the Marl Brook, which mostly runs in pipes underground but is briefly out-of-pipe in the corner of the meadow. The work also aims to help reduce localised flooding through altering bank heights and removing some of the scrub that previously held water back.

Lucy Wood, Water and Wetlands Officer for the Trust explained “The digger work we did was just the start, having the school out to plant up the banks will help reduce erosion, reduce nutrients in the water and provide much needed habitat for wildlife.

“Catshill School took part in our River Rangers programme and learnt about water pollution and the invertebrates living in the brook.

“The children have planted flag iris, marsh marigold, juncus grass and other native wet-loving plants. It is really nice that they can now do some planting and make a physical difference to their local watercourse - and we are really grateful they want to be involved.

“Thank you too to the trustees of the park for all their support and positivity about working in the park; we hope that people will enjoy the brook for many years to come!”

Improving water quality

New wetland planted by Catshill Middle School (c) Jane Sedgeley StrachanThe project, funded by the Environment Agency and with support from Severn Trent Water, Bromsgrove District Council and the George Wagstaffe Memorial Meadow Trustees, aims to improve the quality of water in the Battlefield Brook, which is currently failing international water quality legislation for invertebrates, plants and phosphate levels.

Love Your River Bromsgrove has already trained 27 volunteers to monitor the quality of the brook, created River Rangers in three local schools and installed a new porous surface on the car park at Sanders Park to prevent flooding.

Lucy continued “The Love Your River Bromsgrove project has been a fantastic opportunity to speak to local communities and engage with them on all sorts of watery issues. We have teamed up with the council, Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water and are working much more effectively as a partnership”.

Follow the project on Twitter @LYR_Bromsgrove

Tagged with: Love Your River Bromsgrove