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.