Today (Friday 2 December 2016), the Environment Agency has started maintenance work on the Kidderminster Flood Scheme and River Stour which flows through Puxton Marsh SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).
The work, which will take place over the next week, will involve the pruning of willows branches blocking the watercourse and removal of fallen trees which have the potential to block the river. The team involved will also be clearing rubbish from the River Stour which has drifted downstream and collected against the fallen trees.
During the works the footpath through the marsh will be closed off to members of the public for health and safety reasons between the hours of 7:30am and 3:30pm (weekdays) as heavy plant equipment will need to be used in the area to carry out the maintenance work.
The Environment Agency team have been working in partnership with the site landowners Wyre Forest District Council to minimise disruption to the site and to ensure the sensitive SSSI doesn’t get damaged during the work.
During periods of heavy rainfall the Kidderminster Flood Scheme stores flood water from the River Stour catchment on the Puxton Marshes to help reduce the risk of flooding to 180 properties in the town.
Barry Killner from the Environment Agency’s Worcestershire Field Team said:
This work will help ensure that our flood scheme is in the best shape possible to help reduce the risk of flooding. Puxton Marsh and the River Stour is an important place for wildlife and the people of Kidderminster so it’s great that we have been able to help clean up the river and improve the area while we are doing our annual flood maintenance work.
Adam Hamilton, Conservation and Biodiversity Officer from Wyre Forest District Council said:
Puxton Marsh is one of the most valuable wildlife sites in the county. The works are welcomed by us and all who use the reserve; we are pleased to have been involved in the project to make our rivers cleaner and safer.
Notes to editors
The Kidderminster Flood Scheme is a storage reservoir which reduces the risk of flooding to 180 properties in the town. It stores flood water from the River Stour catchment on the Puxton Marshes to help prevent flooding. Flows in the Stour are controlled by a concrete culvert.
The scheme, which was completed in 2003, cost £6 million and was a joint project between the Environment Agency and a private developer.