View a map of all the active WatersideCare groups
Friends of Witton Lakes (F.O.W.L)
F.O.W.L is a Friends Group in the Witton Lakes area of Birmingham concerned for the well-being of wildlife on the lakes. They became a WatersideCare group in order to tackle issues of rubbish and invasive species. Two group members, Ian and David (pictured left) have taken on leadership of WatersideCare activities and are now running their own work parties. As well as removing rubbish from the lakes and Himalayan Balsam from a feeder brook, the group also plans to carry out invertebrate surveys of the brook. The results of this work will help show changes in the quality of water entering the lakes.
The charity Urban Devotion is a faith-based outreach group who work with young people in the Perry Common area of Birmingham. One of the group’s after-school clubs led by Liam Llewellyn (picture left) have carried out clean-ups of Hawthorn Brook, a brook that flows into Witton Lakes. The group have also been campaigning on water quality issues by carrying out Yellow Fish events (for more information on Yellow Fish, visit the Environment Agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk)
Druids Heath, Birmingham
The Druids Heath WatersideCare group is led by two senior residents who, together with other volunteers, local councillors, community support officers and council support, are tackling rubbish and Himalayan Balsam along a section of Chinn Brook in Druids Heath. The group are also aware of misconnection issues that are polluting the brook and recently highlighted the issue in the Druid’s Heath community newsletter. For more information on the problem of misconnections and the ‘ConnectRight’ campaign, visit www.connectright.org.uk.
Nuneaton McDonalds staff decided to become a WatersideCare group after taking part in a large community clean up event in June 2011, which was attended by over 60 people. Staff from two local restaurants, are able to take part in community work during work hours and are now focusing their efforts on the River Anker as it passes through Nuneaton town centre.
Nuneaton Scouts (11th)
Nuneaton 11th Scouts also become a WatersideCare group following the Nuneaton community clean-up event in June 2011 (see the press release in the ‘News’ section). Two of the scouts are working towards their Queen’s Scout Award and WatersideCare has given them the opportunity to run a local environmental initiative. Using canoes, they are focusing their efforts on the River Anker in the town centre and at a location further towards the outskirts of the town.
The Earlswood Lakes WatersideCare group, near Solihull, is made up of local residents keen to safeguard the wildlife rich but popular lakes from problems of neglect and misuse. The group are focusing on the feeder brooks that run around and into the lakes, which contain Himalayan Balsam and are overgrown. By cutting back overhanging tree branches and removing balsam, the group hope to improve the wildlife value of the feeders. During one autumn work party, the group made reptile hibernacula as grass snakes are known to be present on the site.
Heantun Housing Association
The Heantun Housing Association provide training for adults with learning disabilities in Wolverhampton. A group of eight students along with their key workers regularly clean up a section of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal around Pendeford, which they have also adopted.
The Finchfield WatersideCare group in Wolverhampton are a small but growing group of local residents who all responded to adverts in the local community newsletter. They have been working to remove overgrown vegetation and rubbish from Finchfield Brook in Wolverhampton, very near the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. The group carried out their first otter survey in early 2012 along the canal (and found otter spraints!) and will regularly monitor their stretch of canal for otter and water vole activity, passing on the records to British Waterways. This group is also working in partnership with Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust.
Nova Training provides opportunities for young people not in employment, education or training in Wolverhampton. They hope to focus their efforts on Holly Bank Basin in Walsall, off the Wyrley and Essington Canal, which suffers from problems familiar to urban waterways i.e. invasive species, water quality issues and dumped rubbish. Nova Training staff have taken on the responsibility for WatersideCare activities and hope that work will have a positive benefit for their students