The Bow Brook Project

The Bow Brook (c) Harry GreenThe Bow Brook (c) Harry Green

The Bow Brook Project

The Bow Brook is a Local Wildlife Site that stretches from Redditch in the north to the village of Defford, near Pershore, in the south. It flows through and near many small towns and villages including the villages of Feckehnam, Hanbury, Crowle, Peopleton and Drakes Broughton. The Bow Brook catchment forms part of the historic ‘Forest of Feckenham’, which was once used as a royal hunting ground.

The catchment has lost many of its original associated habitats and historical features such as traditional meadows; many old ponds and wet fields that would have been home to rare plants and animals have been lost through drainage. In some places the watercourse has become overgrown with in-channel vegetation and backside cover; elsewhere it has higher than expected levels of pollutants and chemicals from roads, gullies and land drainage. In other parts of the catchment, however, there are still valuable wildlife areas such as some our own nature reserves, well managed permanent pastures, small wetlands and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The brook corridor, as well as being home to wildlife itself, acts as a pathway for migrating and dispersing wildlife such as wading birds and otters, connecting up larger areas of potential habitat. As part of our work we are focusing on reconnecting remaining quality habitats including wetlands, grasslands and hedgerows. We are working and engaging with communities, landowners and farmers across the whole catchment to increase not only the quality of the existing habitat but also the brook's potential as a corridor for wildlife connectivity as well as to enhance and improve wildlife habitat.

The Bow Brook Project is a pilot scheme for Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.  For the first time we are working on a catchment scale in the hope that we can develop an effective, efficient and robust approach that can be rolled out across Worcestershire watercourses. You can find project updates on the links at the bottom of the page.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD)

In 2011 we partnered with The Environment Agency (EA) to help them to meet targets for the Water Framework Directive (WFD). This directive is a piece of European Legislation that requires the EA to “deliver good ecological condition’ on its watercourses by 2027.

As with many of the country’s watercourses ecology has declined in the past 50 years through increased drainage, agricultural improvements and urbanisation. Widening and deepening of watercourses along with increased inputs from the land (road silts/ soils/ pesticides/ oils/ fertilisers/ sewage) has resulted in unnatural river structures both physically and biologically.

The Environment Agency has provided funding to the Wildlife Trust to facilitate projects through the Bow Brook catchment that will deliver improvements to the water quality and ecology of the brook to improve conditions for invertebrates and fish populations. This funding allows us to extend our focus outside of agri-environment work and towards landowners who may not qualify or wish to join these schemes.

You can catch up on our latest projects through the following links

Bow Brook 2011-2012

Bow Brook 2012-2013