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Feckenham provides refuge for fish
9:10am Saturday 21st September 2013 in News
A SECTION of a brook near Feckenham is to be used as a refuge for fish as part of work by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.
The Trust has been working with landowners along the length of the Bow Brook from Redditch to Deptford, and its work on Grove Farm in Feckenham is helping to improve the habitat specifically to help fish.
Peter Case, wetlands officer for the Trust, said: “The work we’ve been carrying out at Grove Farm is part of a much bigger project across the entire Bow Brook catchment to improve water quality.
“Dredging and straightening of the channel in this area has been carried out to aid water drainage. Unfortunately this has overly deepened the brook in many parts which had degraded the habitat for fish – particularly for spawning and for juvenile ‘fry’.
“Added to this is that the brook would naturally spill out onto the floodplain when water levels rise in times following rain. The deeper channels stop this from happening and the increased volume of water creates a flow in the brook that is too strong for many smaller fish to survive.”
The refuge for juvenile fish, known as ‘fry’ is made up of a channel open to the brook, where they can get away from the strong flow of water and feed.
The fry refuge also has the benefit of heating up more quickly in warmer weather, encouraging the right food, and increasing the likelihood that fish will survive into adulthood.
Mr Case, said: “We have seeded the banks with a carefully selected wetland mix containing species such as marsh marigold, flag iris and ragged robin; a good range of marginal vegetation will encourage invertebrates to the pool which in turn will provide food for fish and birds.”
Giles Matthews, biodiversity officer at the Environment Agency, added: “Working in partnership with the Wildlife Trust has proven to be a fantastic way of engaging with landowners to address the poor habitat and water quality issues along the Bow Brook.
“All of the improvements will benefit local wildlife, and help to bring the brook up to good ecological condition.”
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