Hidden away under the M5 motorway Titford Pools is located along the Titford Canal and is part of the Birmingham Canal Navigations - which this year is celebrating its 250th birthday. The Pools were originally constructed as a small reservoir in the 1770's to feed the Titford Canal and today feeds water to both the canal and to Edgbaston Reservoir in Birmingham.
The pools are a quirky surprise to anyone exploring the end of the Titford Canal in Oldbury however, over the years, they have become silted up which is affecting the water quality and impacting on the amount and variety of wildlife visiting the pools.
The two-year project will involve dredging the pools to remove the build-up of silt and a redesign of the drainage channels from the M5 motorway to stop road debris from entering the pools. Work will also include cutting back the trees, bushes and shrubs to open up the pools to encourage more plants and wildlife to the area as well as clearing pathways and updating the visitor signage.
Adnan Saif, director of West Midlands at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Recent research shows that being next to water is good for your mental and physical health so it's important we look after our waterways as they are important resources right on the doorstep for millions of people.
“Once the work is completed Titford Pools will be a thriving nature reserve with lots of animals and insects flying and fluttering around and with colourful boats in the pools making it a great place to for local communities throughout the year.”
Highways England's regional director, Catherine Brookes, said: “We're delighted to see Titford Pools benefit from this work and we're pleased to be able to help support this project. We are always keen to help protect local wildlife and habitats near the road network and we look forward to seeing local wildlife flourish once the work is complete.”
Sandwell Council's cabinet member for Safer Communities, Councillor Maria Crompton, said: “We are delighted to be part of this project to improve Titford Pools, which will bring a wide range of benefits to the canal and its wildlife. We are also extremely grateful to the Canal & River Trust and Highways England for working with us to create a place that will encourage people to enjoy the outdoors and take a walk or cycle there.”