Sandwell Valley RSPB reserve, panorama from visitor centre, May 2003

The Environment Agency has started improvement works at RSPB Sandwell Valley as part of the Perry Barr and Witton flood scheme.

The work will see improvements to the existing habitat as well as creating new areas for ground-nesting breeding birds and feeding waders. The scheme has been designed in partnership with the RSPB who manage the site and monitor the wildlife.

The Sandwell Valley work is being done as part of the Perry Barr and Witton flood risk management scheme to deliver better protection to nearly 1,400 properties. The scheme may lead to more frequent fluctuations in lake water levels. To compensate for the disturbance to wildlife the works will provide greater available habitat for the wildlife which includes increasing the amount of island edge in the lake by creating areas of shallow water and gradually sloping banks.

Kathryn Edwards, Senior Environmental Project Manager, at the Environment Agency said: “We’re really pleased to be working with the RSPB on this project and hope it will result in many more birds nesting at, and visiting, the site.”

Work at RSPB Sandwell Valley is expected to be completed by the end of this week. The work is being complemented by habitat creation and restoration work elsewhere across the construction site and in adjacent areas. This includes woodland and hedgerow creation and management, grassland management and wetland habitat creation. Species that will benefit from the work include lapwing, little ringed plover and snipe.

To learn more about RSPB Sandwell Valley visit www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/sandwell-valley