Getting their hands dirty for wildlife

Worcester News: Rolling their sleeves up: Peter Case and Lucy Wood, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust wetland officers, with Bowbrook House School pupils George Waddington, aged 12, Lucy Hughes, aged 13, Matt Anning, aged 12, and Harry Broadley, aged 13, helping to restore w Rolling their sleeves up: Peter Case and Lucy Wood, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust wetland officers, with Bowbrook House School pupils George Waddington, aged 12, Lucy Hughes, aged 13, Matt Anning, aged 12, and Harry Broadley, aged 13, helping to restore w

SCHOOL jumper sleeves were rolled up as pupils worked hard to improve the village brook which lends their school its name.

Year eight pupils from Bow Brook House School in Peopleton learned more about an exciting project taking place in their village as well as helped wildlife to thrive.

Staff from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust took the children to see wetland restoration work on the nearby Lower Norchard Farm farm.

After learning about the Bow Brook, the youngsters got involved with planting a range of wetland plants to enhance the area for wildlife.

Peter Case, water and wetlands officer for the Trust, said: “It’s great to be able to get the local school involved in the work here.

"The children had the chance to learn how important their local watercourse, the Bow Brook, is for wildlife and how we can all play our part in helping the natural environment.

“It was also a great opportunity to get outdoors, have some fun and get mucky.”

Mr Case explained that over the last couple of years they had been working with landowner Barney Price to design and deliver a rural sustainable drainage system (SuDS) on his farm.

“This has involved the creation of a series of ponds that are really important because they trap silt that would otherwise have flowed straight into the Bow Brook.

“The physical earth moving took place last year and we seeded the site with a species-rich grass mix to stabilise the ground. Now, to make the site even more valuable, we are plug planting a wide range of wetland plants including marsh marigold, flag iris, jointed rush, false fox sedge and marsh woundwort.”

The extra vegetation will provide cover for fish and invertebrates in the ponds.

Vegetated water channels will also trap silt better and will help to protect the Bow Brook from soil pollution.

Lower Norchard Farm is one of five sites that the Trust will be planting up over the coming weeks as part of their work on the Bow Brook.

It is also planting species-rich traditional hedges that include willow, alder and black poplar.

Black poplars are one of the UK’s most threatened native trees, with only around 600 left in Worcestershire.

For more information about the work the Trust have been doing visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/water-wetlands.

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