Witton Lakes transformation set for completion

By on 17/01/2012 in News

Three years after pollution killed hundreds of fish, the remarkable transformation of a Birmingham beauty spot is set for completion.

Funded by Birmingham City Council and the Environment Agency, work to improve pathways and water quality at Witton Lakes begins this week.

Workmen will:

  • Temporarily drain and de-silt the upper lake to improve water quality and wildlife habitats.
  • Reshape the stream between Erdington Town Centre and Witton Lakes
  • Add more reeds and other wildlife friendly plants.

The work is scheduled to take around six weeks, with parks officials aiming to complete the project before scores of ducks and swans nest at the Stockland Green site.

In 2009 hundreds of fish died in Witton Lakes as heavy rainfall caused drains to overflow, polluting the Rivers Trent, Tame and Anker.

The Lakes have since been re-stocked and the improvement work will complete the site's transformation.

Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, Cllr Martin Mullaney, said: “Parks staff, local councillors and a very active friends group have all worked together on this project. We're also grateful to the Environment Agency for funding and support.

“There will be some disruption at Witton Lakes in the coming weeks but the end result will be an even better spot for both wildlife and visitors.”

Cllr Matt Bennett (Stockland Green) said: “This work has been planned for a long time and has been a real team effort. We came together after the awful events of 2009 and used it to create something a positive. It’s really exciting to see it now taking shape.”

Linda Hines, MBE, acting chair of the Friends of Witton Lakes, added: “Our comments have been listened to and acted on where possible and we’d like to thank all partners involved in making this vision a reality.”

The Friends group is preparing for the fourth annual Duckling Watch – a Birmingham City Council backed scheme to protect waterfowl at Witton Lakes.

Duckling Watch was launched in 2009 to deter potential vandalism of nests and the destruction of eggs. Volunteers patrol the Lakes from February to September, reporting any problems to officials.

ENDS

Notes to editors

In addition to the planned work, Short Heath Brook, which flows into the lakes is affected by sewage from nearby properties when foul water is plumbed into the surface water drainage and ends up in the brook. Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency are working to resolve this. Residents can help by ensuring that any building works in future (extensions etc) are connected to the right drain. This will help protect the brook and lakes from pollution.

If you have any media enquiries contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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