First stage of River Cole improvements finished

Work improves water quality and environment for wildlife and people.

The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, in partnership with Birmingham City Council and the Environment Agency, have completed the first stage of works to deliver environmental improvements to the River Cole in Birmingham. The works form part of a wider vision to develop the river for both wildlife and people with the focus on improving the habitat quality and resilience of the river.

The River Cole is the main river which flows through east Birmingham. Historic man-made changes to straighten its course have had an overall negative impact on both water quality and its populations of fish and invertebrates. The completed works were designed to re-naturalise the river by creating habitat variation along the bank edges and the creation of meanders, which aim to naturally slow the water flow, increase flood capacity and improve the water substrate for fish populations, as well as being more aesthetically pleasing.

The work was undertaken at three key sites – Stechford Ponds, Burbury Brickworks Nature Reserve and Bordesley Green Recreational Ground

Sammy Pritchard, Senior Planning and Biodiversity Officer at the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust said, “The wonderful thing about being able to undertake this project is that you can see a positive difference on the River Cole over a short space of time. With even more positive features developing over time as the river continues to naturalises around the works.”

The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust works to protect urban wildlife, restore wild spaces and inspire people for nature’s recovery, leading the way in demonstrating nature’s essential contribution to the health, prosperity and wellbeing of everyone who lives and works in Birmingham and the Black Country. More information about their work can be found here.