Our Salmon in the Stour project has been chosen as one of 21 finalists from more than 750 projects across Europe to win £150,000 of funding from Ecover’s Fertilise the Future initiative.
The final decision will be influenced by the ‘People’s Choice’, so please show your support for Birmingham and the Black Country Wildlife Trust by using the hashtag #BBCWildlifexEcover on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram) between 30th November 2020 – 7th December 2020.
With your help, we can transform the River Stour and the green spaces along its banks into a beautiful and wildlife-rich source of pride for the communities of the Black Country.
Once at the heart of the region’s heavy industry, the River Stour suffers from a legacy of bad decisions and neglect - having been straightened, concreted and hidden underground. The river is classed as Poor ecological status by the Environment Agency, with long-disused manmade structures forming barriers to fish, industrial and domestic pollution continuing to poor into its waters, and invasive species pushing out native wildlife. The Stour no longer supports wildlife such as salmon, and the towns along its banks have turned their backs on the river.
Salmon in the Stour will help to reverse over 200 years of damage. Wildlife such as otter, dipper and water vole will be able to return, whilst local people will discover and enjoy the river and its green spaces for the first time, helping to improve the region’s health and wellbeing.
The Fertilise the Future funding will see us employ a River Restoration Officer and a River Engagement Officer. Working with our partners including Riverside House, Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency, they will create a team of ‘River Guardians’, volunteers that will be trained and supported to lead community clean-ups, create new wildlife habitats and run events that bring local people to the river.
In 10 green spaces we will improve the river and create riverside habitats including reedbeds, woodlands, meadows and ponds. Artificial banks along parts of the Stour will be re-naturalised to restore the river’s natural flow, helping the river to clean itself and providing new habitat for wildlife. These improvements will increase biodiversity as well as access, enabling people to benefit from and appreciate these spaces.
We will run a campaign that will see local communities becoming aware of, passionate about and proud of their river. People will learn about the impacts of plumbing, plastics and pollution on the quality of the local environment, helping to reduce the amount of chemical pollutants and plastic rubbish entering the river – and ultimately the sea.
We will also assess the ‘Ecosystem Services’ that the river provides, helping us to understand and increase how the Stour helps tackle climate-change, poor air quality and flooding, and improve biodiversity, wellbeing and recreation. This understanding will inform our long-term approach to improvements to the river, and will provide planners, developers and businesses opportunities to deliver even more natural solutions for local communities.
We need your help to win this fund!
Vote for our project by using the hashtag #BBCWildlifexEcover on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram) between 30th November 2020 – 7th December 2020.
Some suggested wording for your posts...
I vote for #BBCWildlifexEcover in the @EcoverUK #FertiliseTheFuture fund! Good luck @WTBBC @SalmonStour
I want the @SalmonintheStour project to win the @EcoverUK #FertiliseTheFuture fund #BBCWildlifexEcover @wtbbc
My vote goes to #BBCWildlifexEcover for the Salmon in the Stour project to win the @Ecover #FertiliseTheFuture fund @The Wildlife Trust For Birmingham and the Black Country
Join me in voting for #BBCWildlifexEcover to win the @Ecover_UK #FertiliseTheFuture fund. Good luck to the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country!