Woodgate Valley is a large country park that sits at a critical point in one of the Nature Improvement Area’s ‘Ecological Linking Areas’.
Over the winter of 2013/14 The Wildlife Trust and Birmingham City Council led a project that saw over 12 acres of dark and inaccessible plantation woodland thinned by 40%.
Following the works Woodgate Valley and Growing Local Flora volunteers under-planted the woodlands with locally native trees and shrubs and introduced field-layer species through seeding and planting.
At the same time as the plantations were being thinned a small area of grassland known to support a large population of common spotted-orchid was cleared of invasive scrub.
The Bourn Brook which flows through Woodgate Valley was failing its objectives under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) due to low invertebrate diversity and elevated ammonia levels.
There are ten weirs on the brook in Woodgate Valley which disrupt sediment movement and form barriers to fish and invertebrate movement. To help improve the ecological status of the waterbody a trial project has been completed which has seen a number of these structures modified or removed.
The NIA is supporting the establishment of a network of stream champions by providing freshwater invertebrate survey training and mentoring to groups of volunteers. In Woodgate Valley a FIN group is working with the Environment Agency and Birmingham City Council to monitor the impact of the channel improvements and identify any pollution incidents.