During the 1930’s and 1940’s, the City of Nottingham expanded to the North, encompassing the whole of the Day Brook catchment. Presently, the Brook is either culverted or bordered closely by housing and industry. Consequently, such development has substantially altered the nature and function of the Brook. Modification of the Brook has more importantly resulted in loss of floodplain connectivity and storage, loss of biodiversity and an overall reduction in water quality through various sources of pollution. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) classifies the Brook as being a Poor, Heavily Modified Water Body and as such there is now a drive to restore such watercourses.
The East Midlands branch of CIWEM visited three innovative restoration projects in the area to see what progress has been made.
- Thackeray’s Lane Park, Gedling: A river restoration and flood risk management project completed in May 2014. The project consisted of the re-naturalisation and re-grading of a 100m section of the Day Brook. Benefits of the project include but not limited to; increased floodplain connectivity and alleviation, improved landscape for the local community and visitors and improved foundation for greater biodiversity.
- Day Brook Water Meadows: A joint partnership project between the Environment Agency and Nottingham City Council aimed at improving an existing, grassed flood storage area. The successfully delivered project has created a welcoming and attractive environment with very good recreational and amenity value.
- Day Brook Rain Gardens: A retrofit SuDS project designed to improve surface water interception, attenuation and infiltration along a public highway. A total of 21 rain gardens have been constructed along Ribblesdale Rd, Day Brook. Through discussions with local residents it was clear that the rain gardens have been well received, although it was clear that there is a need for greater, future maintenance planning and more in depth collaboration with contractors on such projects.