Work starts next month on measures to restore the water quality of Babbs Mill Lake and the River Cole.
The project is community-led and will help to further improve the environment around Yorkswood and the Kingfisher Country Park. A partnership between the Friends of Kingfisher Country Park, Birmingham and Solihull Councils, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the Community Service Volunteers will be delivering the works.
The scheme includes:
Creating a reed bed system to filter polluted water before it enters the lake from the channel adjacent to Yorks Wood.
The reed bed system will involve creating a large, shallow pond planted with Common Reed (Phragmites) to form a wetland area. This will filter pollutants and silt from the water before it enters the lake.
Removing the concrete channel and “renaturalising” the Yorks Wood stream.
The concrete channel which runs adjacent to Yorks Wood has been a constant problem and a target for fly-tipping, as well as being the main source of pollution to the lake. The plan is to remove the channel and allow the stream to be moved over into the scrubland in a natural meander, improving the habitat value as well as helping to aerate the water. It will also help to reduce the fly-tipping into the water course.
Creating a shallow-water shelf in the lake, allowing a second reed bed to establish naturally.
This will be created by recycling material excavated from the new pond. The shallow area will be colonised naturally by Common Reed and Reedmace (typha) which are already established around the lake edge. This second reed bed will provide a further filter for the water from both the brook and the inlet from the river.
One of the main causes of pollution has been plumbing misconnections further upstream, which have resulted in washing detergents and other waste entering the stream rather than the sewage system. Work will be carried out as part of this project to trace some of these misconnections and put things right.
This is great news for the neighbourhood and should help to further improve the fantastic green spaces we have at the heart of the Ward.
Plans to develop a walking and cycling route along the River Cole have been published by the City Council.
The proposed route follows the existing “desire line” that runs alongside the river, from Stechford Lane to Buckland End and then from Copplestone Close to Babbs Mill. The proposals are as follows:
- Construction of 2.5m wide bitmac path, following the existing desire line path from Stechford Lane to Bucklands End.
- Resurfacing the existing breedon gravel and stone paths with a 2.5m wide bitmac path from Copplestone Close to Babbs Mill. There will also there be new links into Bramblewoods in order to improve the access into the park.
- Transportation engineers are working on a proposed crossing at Packington Avenue to create a better link between the two open spaces.
The Council are working in partnership with Sustrans on this project, which it is intended will form part of the National Cycle Network.
You can also have a look at the detailed plans by clicking on the links below:
There will be a presentation on the proposals at the next meeting of the Shard End Ward Committee, which will be held at Yardley & District Rugby Club, Cole Hall Lane, at 7pm on Monday 30 July. If you have any questions, please do come along to put them direct to the Council officials leading on the project. If you can’t make it but have a point you’d like to raise, please let me know via the Contact Me page and I’ll take it up and report back to you.