£5000 for eels and fish in Redditch

Thursday 29th November 2018

Mettis and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust staff at Lower Smite FarmMettis and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust staff at Lower Smite Farm

Redditch-based company Mettis Aerospace have donated £5000 to improve water habitat and to reconnect the Batchley Brook and Red Ditch.

The £5000 was presented to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust in November who are now drawing up plans for the work.

Mettis Aerospace are committed to protecting and preserving ithe environment as well as promoting best practice. Looking after the environment is especially important at Mettis because their factory is surrounded by brooks, rivers and lakes.

Across the UK, historic barriers in river and brook channels are impacting biodiversity by affecting wildlife’s ability to migrate. They may also pose flood risks.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has been working in conjunction with the Environment Agency and North Worcestershire Water Management to enhance the biodiversity of the Batchley Brook, which runs close to the Mettis site.

To help enable this, a historic culvert (underground water pipe system) will be replaced with an open drainage channel. This should enhance the local habitat and allow wildlife to travel between the Batchley Brook, the onsite lake and the Red Ditch. The work should also reduce flood risks in the area.

Eel migration and breeding fish

The £5,000 contribution will help fund the fitting of elver tiles to a weir structure for eel migration, desilting the pond to increase the availability of substrate for invertebrates and fish breeding habitat as well as potentially reprofiling the banks to increase marginal aquatic flowers.

Aaron Nagha, Environmental Engineer at Mettis, and Jack Hinton, who was recently awarded Advanced Apprentice Graduate of the Year, visited  Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s fascinating, operational base at Lower Smite Farm to present the donation.

Daniel Roberts, Catchment Partnership Agricultural Advisor for Worcestershire Wildlife Trust said: “We are very grateful to Mettis for its contribution towards improving biodiversity on its site and we are looking forward to working together to implement all the wonderful ideas that have been discussed.”

Technical designs for the solution are currently in production along with flood-risk modelling to take into account the increasing pressure on the area from new housing.

Once the work is complete, a green space around the new channel will be created for people to enjoy during their breaks and appreciate the wildlife that will hopefully flourish in the area.