South Staffs Water volunteers help protect historic water source

Staff from South Staffs Water have been busy protecting one of Lichfield oldest and original water sources as part of the company’s Employee Volunteer Scheme.

A team of eight from the local drinking water supplier spent the day clearing back watercress from Leamonsley Brook, which feeds the city’s ancient Stowe and Minster Pools.

The activity was organised in partnership with the Pipe Green Trust, which is responsible for maintaining the ancient and ecologically important meadowland the brook runs through.

Pipe Green has been used for grazing since medieval times and is one of the few remaining examples of unimproved meadowland within Staffordshire. It is also officially recognised as a Site of Biological Importance.

Caroline Cooper, Head of Asset Management for South Staffs Water, said “Pipe Green is historically and environmentally very important in our catchment area, so we were delighted to help out the Pipe Green Trust with conserving its biodiversity.

“We spent the day helping to clear the brook which becomes clogged with watercress every year. This helps increase the flow of water which is vitally important for the maintaining the plant, animal and birdlife which thrive in the meadowland.

“It was a fantastic day. After a bit of a soggy start the sun came out, which made the job a lot more pleasant. The cattle seemed to enjoy the day too. As well as munching on the piles of watercress on the side of the brook they also showed great interest in our high vis jackets!”

Jane Arnold from the Pipe Green Trust, added: “We are very grateful to South Staffs Water for helping us maintain the brook. Active management is vital if we are going to sustain the conditions which have benefited wildlife on Pipe Green.”

South Staffs Water employees regularly help out with community initiatives as part of its Employee Volunteer Scheme.

The scheme enables employees to take up to three days paid leave to assist with community projects within their area of supply. The company is interested to hear from any organisations or initiatives that they may be able to support with volunteers. They can be contacting by emailing