Local volunteers from Redditch came out in force to help add the finishing touches to the first Natural Networks project.
Local residents and volunteers came on to the site at Church Hill Brook in Redditch on the 13th September for a Volunteer Planting Day. Their task being to help with the final stage of the project; preparing the ground and planting up the improvement works with a specially selected range of native plants.
The project has been headed up by North Worcestershire Water Management to prevent localised flooding and received funding from the Natural Networks programme to improve an area of marshy woodland for local people to enjoy and promote wildlife.
The project has seen the course of water from an existing pond, diverted away from nearby properties, significantly reducing the risk of flooding along Church Hill Brook. The creation of two new pools provides a new habitat to encourage fish and other amphibians to seek refuge from high flows and live during prolonged dry periods.
The mosaic of woodland, marshy grassland, scrub, and running water on the site provide potential habitats for a wide range of species. Various bird species are likely to use the site: feeding opportunities include various berries and a range of invertebrates which are likely to be attracted to the site, especially the wetter areas.
Councillor Tony Miller, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member with Responsibility for the Environment said: “We had a fantastic turn out of local people who want to get involved in their patch that will become a lovely place to walk in and provide protection from flooding for their properties.
Everyone got stuck in to replant the areas that have been improved. The plants were chosen by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust as part of support provided by the Natural Networks programme to compliment existing flora and fauna and encourage new species to the new marshland/ wetland habitat.
“The benefit of this greater range of habitats is not only restricted to the site but also along the whole of the green corridor upstream of the brook as far as Beoley and downstream all the way to Moons Moat Drive.”
The Natural Networks Programme is run by Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust to work with communities and landowners to conserve and restore Worcestershire's natural environment so that everyone can appreciate and enjoy our county's rich natural environment.
Natural Networks is a grant programme offering advice and funding to projects which aim to create and restore habitats for wildlife.
Grants are available between £2,000 and £200,000. Organisations can apply for a grant for up to 45% of projects costs.
To be eligible for the grant, the sites must have free and ongoing public access.
To find out more go to www.worcestershire.gov.uk/naturalnetworks or call 01905 843992 in office hours.