Image: River Rea beneath the City of Birmingham.
Clean Rivers Trust lost a meeting in September.
It has been a busy few weeks through the autumn, with the majority of activities being based around Derbyshire and the Midlands. The activities have involved structural issues regarding Blue Carbon and the West Midlands conurbation, Minewater, contaminated land: particularly acid tars, restoration of water to an aquifer, detective work regarding a cut drain and an interesting piece of commercial research.
1/ Waingroves Wetland and associated issues, has seen activity to restore water to the woodland due to clay mining at its perimeter. The Trust has been advising and attending meetings with various parties involved including the minerals authority who have been most supportive. Water from the quarry has been restored in a spasmodic and somewhat amateur way to the woodland and adjacent medieval fishpond but only for limited periods and at too great a volume.
The Trust has agreed with the regulator a possible way forward to achieve a sustainable plan going forward. The loss of part of the water supply that was already imported from a restored National Coal Board open cast site is being investigated at the present time.
2/ Blue Carbon, carbon sequestration for the Birmingham and Black Country conurbation has seen meetings with local authorities and Wildlife Trusts. The idea of carbon sequestration on a large scale is gaining interest from all quarters.
3/ Contaminated land in Derbyshire: one of the worst contaminations in the Midlands is adjacent to the Bottle Brook near Denby, a large opencast site that was used afterwards for the disposal of acid tars and other liquid waste from the hydrocarbon and petro-chemical industries. The Environment Industry asked the Trust to look at the issues and possibly formulate a way forward for the site to be decontaminated. The Trust has been researching the torturous history of planning and protest regarding Cinderhill and hopes to take the project further.
4/ The Trust has been invited by Tidy Britain to be involved further with the River Rea and other West Midlands streams supporting ‘Citizen Science’.
5/ The Trust has been looking at issues of aquifer contamination in the Warickshire Coalfield and found a need for research, there is a data shortage regarding historic pumping with little if any information recorded.
6/ The Trust visited the Coal Authority’s new minewater treatment works A Winning in Derbyshire at the invitation of the Environment Agency. The site discharges to the Bottle Brook elevated chloride levels that are having an effect on the local stream ecology.
7/ Contact has been made with Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University and there is possible research into inland salt marsh and minewater, natural chloride infiltration of freshwater ecosystems.
8/ A piece of commercial research was undertaken in South Yorkshire looking at land use history and possible hydrogeological issues.
9/ Minewater issues in Devon has been highlighted with fresh flows of highly acidic water being found emanating from two sites that previously had not been a problem. Iron rich water is the other contaminant and is rapidly destroying the local ecology. It appears to have been caused by unknown events below ground.