WILDLIFE charities and the Environment Agency have joined forces to support wildlife on the Hoo Brook, a tributary of the River Stour.

Staff from the Environment Agency will be placing root plates of willow trees into the bank of the brook to help vary the flow of the water and to provide refuges for young fish.

The work is part of the Salmon in the Stour project, which is helping to improve the river for both wildlife and people.

Jess Nott, a conservation officer for Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and the project leader said:“It’s really exciting that this work is coming to fruition. The Environment Agency has already removed vast quantities of plastic that had been blocking the brook in this area so it’s great that we can move onto the next stage.

“The Hoo Brook at this point is quite a straight channel so installing the tree root plates into the bank will create a more dynamic flow for the water. Water flowing at different speeds will improve conditions for fish and invertebrates that live in the brook.

“Fish need different habitats at different stages of their lives and the immediate area of water downstream of each root plate will provide them with shelter and refuge. Invertebrates will be able to take shelter between the roots and will be an important source of food for the fish.”

The work to install seven root plates will take place at the end of January.

The trees, removed as part of forestry works in Derbyshire, will be securely fixed into the banks of the Hoo Brook with just their root plates exposed in the brook.

The River Stour rises in the Clent Hills, goes through the Black Country before flowing through Worcestershire.

The project not only wants to see salmon breeding in the catchment headwaters again but also wants to see wildlife like otters, kingfishers and water voles thrive.

Jess added: “This is just one part of a much bigger plan to make the River Stour a wonderful river for both the wildlife that lives in and around it as well as the many people who enjoy it.”