The River Stewardship Company have recently created a series of wetlands on both sides of the Shire Brook located at Shire Brook Valley Nature Reserve on behalf of Sheffield City Council.
The wetlands are designed and built to carry out a 2 phase treatment of groundwater pollution which has been contaminating the local watercourse for a number of years.
Historic mining activities have led to the release of contaminated minewater at the site which appears as orange ochre as the iron ore interacts with the above ground oxygen. The minewater is released to the surface around the Shire Brook through a number of groundwater springs.
The wetland project has been designed to attenuate the build up before a 2 stage natural filter consisting of reed bed filtration and willow mattress to further remove the suspended solids from the run off. The result is that the overland discharge to the watercourse is much improved and improves the water quality recorded downstream of the site.
In March, our Riverlution River Stewardship Skills Group worked alongside the RSC's Rosie and Jim to complete the final stage of the project which involved planting over 800 wetland plant plugs including water mint, bullrush, and yellow Iris.
The team were joined by Sheffield City Council Biodiversity Officer, Angus Hunter who commented on the work undertaken by the RSC here at Shire Brook:
"While channel clearance and pollution mitigation is standard fare for the RSC, this kind of habitat work also forms part of a much larger landscape scale national Willow tit recovery project.
Following the Environment Act, this kind of bioremediative work, that stacks multiple ecosystem services and species recovery is going to be in high demand in the forthcoming years, and its great that the RSC is leading on it"