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Work to start on creating reed bed beside River Cole

Solihull Council is starting works to improve a drain connection into the River Cole in late June.

The works will take place on an area of public open space next to the river, near to the junction of Fordbridge Road and Gilson Way, and will last until mid-August.

This Fordbridge Road Reed Bed Creation forms part of the wider Solihull Habitats and Nature Improvement Project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

An existing grassed area next to a drain connecting to the River Cole will be mechanically excavated to create a level area lower than the surrounding land. A spill-over channel will be installed to allow the water to feed more gradually into the river.

The area will also be planted with wetland plant species to include common reed and reed sweet-grass. These wetland plants act as natural filters, cleaning the grey water as it flows through, while also slowing down the rate of water flow. This allows any suspended sediment to drop out of the water flow, limiting pollution. These plants also provide food and shelter to freshwater invertebrates, fish and birds whilst oxygenating the water and filtering salts and pollutants.

Cllr Dicicco, Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing, said:

“We are proud of the borough’s high quality natural environment, and these works will protect and enhance our natural assets in the north of Solihull for the benefit of wildlife, residents and visitors alike.

“There will unfortunately be some temporary disruption to achieve this, with footpath closures and some noise due to the machinery being used. However, we will aim to keep any disruption to a minimum, with the area of work fenced off and signs in place to inform residents of any changes.”

For more information, visit: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Resident/Leisure-parks/parks-and-open-spaces/Solihull-Habitat-and-Nature-Improvements-Project

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