A 34-hectare wetland is to be created in rural Worcestershire after planners agreed the proposals.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s current wetland at Gwen FInch, Birlingham, will be effectively doubled in size by the development.

Clay dug out for the creation of the site will be carried by barge down the river Avon to create the new flood defences in Pershore.

Jurjen Annen, (correct) the trust’s water and wetlands officer, said the project would create a “really nice area” to boost biodiversity and increase wildlife and wetland flora in the area.

There will also be a birdhide accessed by a track in the wetland to allow for small-scale visits.

Mr Annen added: “The idea is to keep it low key and have the wildlife there for local people.”

A windpump will take water from the Avon and supply the wetlands which is to be made up of four ponds.

Speaking at Wychavon District Council's planning meeting Stephen Morris, of Birlingham Parish Council, said the wetland would be a better use of the land.

“It was a meadow land which flooded regularly and despite years trying to cultivate it as arable land, that has failed.”

He did ask for assurances from the trust the land would be kept maintained and whether the access track would be improved.

Mr Annen said the land would be maintained by grazing and cutting but “no major access or upgrade to the road” was going to be installed to keep the site low key.

Wychavon district councillor Ron Davis said: “I am extremely happy to be backing this”, while fellow planner Anna Mackison remarking: “This is a wonderful opportunity.”