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Reed Beds

Reed Beds

Reed bed water treatment

In addition to the large property portfolio of schools, offices and other buildings managed, Worcestershire County Council also manage 4500 acres of tenanted farm estates. Rural properties which are not serviced by mains drainage present a problem as traditional septic tanks and soakaways do not function due to the predominantly clay soils in Worcestershire.

Package treatment plants were the only solution until the Council began to explore the use of reed beds- the first reed beds being used as a demonstration project at Bishopswood Environmental Education Centre. Since then four have been installed to service rural dwellings, and more are planned for future installations.Phragmites Australis

Principles of reed beds

Common reed (Phragmites Australis) has the ability to transfer oxygen to root zone.

Large populations of micro organism found in root zone.

Pollutants digested and rendered innocuous by a range of organism similar to a conventional sewage works.

Advantages of reed beds

  • Operation does not require any electricity or fuel supply.
  • No mechanical systems involved- reed beds do not break down!
  • Solution is visually unobtrusive and provides natural wildlife habitat.
  • Water Management is an integral part of farm management

Country Farm Estates- Countryside Stewardship Schemes

The scheme is funded by the DEFRA (Department of Environmental Food and Rural Affairs) and aims to encourage farmers and land owners to alter management practice in order to enhance biodiversity. Management agreements last for 10 years and DEFRA will grant aid capital works and annual management payments.

The County Council encourages its farm tenants to participate in the scheme. Last year Church Farm, Castlemorton was entered into the scheme with management practices adopted aimed at:-

  • Recreating traditional wildflower meadows.
  • Improved hedgerows by coppicing, laying and bi-annual trimming.
  • Sympathetic managing a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
  • Restoring and replanting traditional fruit orchards.
  • Managing ponds and ditches.

More farms are currently being considered for entry into the schemeReed Beds

Further Information

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This page was last reviewed 5 November 2013 at 10:07.
The page is next due for review 4 May 2015.