Wednesday, November 14, 2007

River Tame and Perry Hall Park

There was some alarm when the Environment Agency announced it wanted to rework the banks of the River Tame south of the central bridge in Perry Hall Park.

We had a useful meeting the park last week with Agency officials and a number of users.

The agency proposes to get the work done over the winter months with a view to stabilising the banks. The earth banks will be replaced with stone banks - as has been done further upstream. By using "natural" rocks, a good wildlife habitat is created with refuges for voles and other animals. Practice in the past has been to wiremesh foundations which prevents access for animals.

This will create a firm line of banks and prevent them encroaching into the river. There was some discussion about maintenance of the banks and concern that regular cutting may destroy bird nests.

Having looked at that part of the river we walked upstream and looked at the lake that was created during the Euro-funded work a couple of years ago. It had been hoped this would become another habitat for birds but it was plagued from the start by dumping. A shale island has silted up but has not sprouted any vegetation. Some of the park users feel that it never will as the river periodically rises over it, sweeping anything away.

So the Agency are going to get one of their experts to look at it and maybe suggest simple planting ideas that could move this lake forward. I think a bed of reeds would create a stable environment. We shall wait and see.

Jon Hunt

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