The next stage of the Environment Agency’s £32m project in Perry Barr and Witton, reducing flood risk for 1,400 properties, started with a fish rescue.
On Friday 23 November, Environment Agency ecologists removed a number of coarse fish from a section of the River Tame, as Phase 2 of the Perry Barr and Witton Flood Risk Management Scheme gathers pace.
This part of the scheme involves diverting a 120m stretch of the River Tame, to enable the main flood control structure to be constructed in dry. The control structure is an outlet that will help reduce the flow of water travelling down the River Tame. In times of heavy rainfall and potential flooding, the outlet structure will enable water to backfill into the flood storage area, created as part of the scheme, to reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses within the Perry Barr and Witton community.
The work on site involved creating a dam at each end of the channel, to enable Environment Agency ecology experts to carefully remove the fish from this section, and relocate them to another part of the river. Once the fish were removed, the contractors were able to start the construction of the outlet in a dry area.
Josh Harris, Environment Agency Project Manager said:
The river needed to be temporarily diverted, so that the main construction works can be undertaken. The fish rescue ensured that fish were relocated to a suitable habitat elsewhere in the river, before the river is placed into its new temporary channel.
The timing of the fish rescue and these works are important. The River Tame is a coarse fish river with species such as perch, chub, stone loach and bullhead, spawning in the spring and summer, calling this urban river their home. The work needed to be done during the winter months, to ensure that we did not disturb the river during spawning periods for these fish.
The construction of the outlet structure is expected to take around 9 months to complete. Following completion of the works, another fish relocation mission will take place, when the River Tame is returned to its original flow.
If you would like more information about the Perry Barr and Witton Flood Risk Management Scheme, please visit the Environment Agency webpage at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/perry-barr-and-witton-flood-risk-management-scheme or contact the Environment Agency project team at witton.frms