BROMSGROVE will be one of three areas to benefit from an £80,000 scheme to improve water quality and wildlife habitats surrounding the county’s watercourses.
It comes after the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust secured the grant aimed at bettering the water for both people and animals.
Among the work being carried out in the town will be the creation of a Sustainable Urban Drainage (SuDs) in wetland areas to clean the run-off water from surrounding roads before it enters the Battlefield Brook. That will improve water quality by reducing diffuse pollution and the impact manmade structures have on the wildlife.
It will also help store rainwater and reduce downstream flooding and see habitats improved for water voles.
The number of the tiny creatures has drastically declined in Worcestershire and Bromsgrove is home to a few isolated populations. The habitat created by this project will increase food and suitable banks for the voles to dig burrows, hopefully allowing their numbers and range to flourish.
Further work with home-owners will help improve the banks along the Battlefield Brook that border people’s gardens.
The WWT’s water and wetlands officer Lucy Wood said: “We’re over the moon to have secured the funding to undertake crucial work that will improve more of Worcestershire’s waterways.
“We’ve already spent four years doing exactly this kind of work with landowners along the Bow Brook so are really keen to make a difference elsewhere in the county.
“We’ll be working with local authorities, Government agencies, landowners, home owners and communities along the Battlefield Brook in Bromsgrove, as well as the River Arrow and Blacksoils Brook in Redditch and the Teme in the northwest of the county.”
The projects slow down water flow and help increase the number of species living in watercourses.
“We’ll be installing sustainable drainage schemes, protecting river banks, creating fish refuges, monitoring wildlife and creating wetlands,” she added.
And there will be the chance for the community, including schools, to get involved through a number of planned events.
“It’s really important that we work with local residents to ensure that household goods like washing machines aren’t misconnected and we hope to help create rain gardens to soak up rainwater through soils rather than allow it to run off concrete and into drains.
“We’ll keep local communities abreast of what’s happening near them.
“As the work progresses, both local residents and local wildlife should start to benefit from the improvements,” said Lucy.
The funding has come from the Environment Agency’s Catchment Partnership Action Fund and the WWT will be supported in their work by Bromsgrove and Redditch District Council, the Environment Agency, North Worcester Water Management and the Severn Rivers Trust.