New flood embankment will better protect properties in Birmingham

Work is underway to build a new £2million flood risk management scheme to better protect homes from flooding in the Pebble Mill area of Birmingham.

The £2m scheme will provide better protection from the River Rea to more than 100 residential properties. The area has historically been impacted by flooding with the most recent floods taking place in June 2016 and May 2018.

The scheme will see the construction of a 250m embankment within the Pebble Mill Playing Fields reaching a peak of 1.2metres. There is a risk of flooding to properties in the roads around the playing fields when water in the River Rea exceeds the existing capacity of the site and the embankment will divert flood waters away from properties back into the River Rea.

The work follows the removal of four weirs undertaken in partnership with Birmingham City Council last year. The removal of the weirs has improved water flow as well as the water quality by allowing water to flow naturally. It also benefits fish and invertebrate species as weirs act as barriers to their movement.

When the embankment is complete the restoration of the playing fields will include the creation of a wildflower meadow, providing bees, butterflies and other pollinators with food throughout the year. The restoration will also include re-alignment and re-surfacing of public footpaths and improved planting and landscaping to encourage local habitat diversity and increase biodiversity. Kingfisher boxes were also installed at the site as part of the works.

Jon Saner, Senior Flood Risk Advisor, Flood & Costal Risk Management for the Environment Agency in the West Midlands said:

“We are delighted to be delivering this new flood embankment for Peddle Mill which will help to better protect homes in the area from the devastation of flooding in the area while also supporting wildlife.”

The work follows similar schemes for Selly Park North and Selly Park South also on the River Rea.

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