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Protecting our environment

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Green open spaces
08 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Return to the Warley Woods in June 2020

At the beginning of June 2020, we had a walk around Lightwoods Park which continued into the Warley Woods. This time I had a full walk around the woods. Even passed the Visitor Centre (it reopened in late May 2020). But plenty of people out getting their daily exercise. Or looking for those rainbow doors. The golf course was open again as well.

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Return to the Warley Woods in June 2020





At the beginning of June 2020, we had a walk around Lightwoods Park which continued into the Warley Woods. This time I had a full walk around the woods. Even passed the Visitor Centre (it reopened in late May 2020). But plenty of people out getting their daily exercise. Or looking for those rainbow doors. The golf course was open again as well.


Warley Woods

Previous posts from the Warley Woods:

 

Heading up a path from Lightwoods Park towards Lightwoods Hill. We entered the Warley Woods for the next part of this walk. It was early June 2020. First was a walk around the woods going in a anti-clockwise direction. Then crossing through the large open field. After that following the perimeter paths around the golf course (which was open again and members were playing golf once more). There was also some sculptures to see in the woods and I also found the Visitor Centre.

 

First view of the Warley Woods this time from Lightwoods Hill before entering the gate.

Proceeding to walk in the woods off the paths.

Tall trees everywhere.

Back onto the path.

The wide open field. People were either sitting on the grass or having fun.

The gates to the Abbey Road entrance.

Some sculpted wood that looked like sarcophagus's.

Now onto the path that goes around the golf course.

A pair of yellow flags on the Warley Woods Golf Course.

By early June some lockdown restrictions had been eased, this probably included playing golf.

Later saw this Sidewinder lawnmower.

The Visitor Centre near the car park. Both of which are near Lightwoods Hill.

A bench near the golf course, which was close to the Visitor Centre.

The Visitor Centre and shop were reopened on the 21st May 2020.

One last walk into the woods to see some sculptures.

There was these carved stone sculptures to see in the Warley Woods.

Also this area with picnic benches. There was bear sculptures to the back, maybe it was a crazy golf course for kids?

Another set of sculptures, more like carved wooden sculptures.

Another look at the drinking fountain.

Back on the path walking to the exit.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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History & heritage
07 Sep 2020 - FreeTimePays
Did you know?

J.R.R. Tolkien and The Shire Country Park

The Shire Country Park follows the attractive and varied valley of the River Cole as a green ribbon for some four miles from Small Heath to Yardley Wood. It was named in 2005 to reflect Tolkien’s links with the local area. The ford at Green Road (formerly Green Lane) is one of the few remaining fords along the Cole Valley and would have been very familiar to the young J.R.R. Tolkien.

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Green open spaces
07 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Heath Park on the August Bank Holiday Monday

Had another park visit to a park I've not been to before now. West Heath Park. It was the August Bank Holiday Monday. The park has these various portals to enter that look like Stargates. There is also a playground / play area with a basketball court. Good for walks, runs and cycles. Not far from Kings Norton.

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West Heath Park on the August Bank Holiday Monday





Had another park visit to a park I've not been to before now. West Heath Park. It was the August Bank Holiday Monday. The park has these various portals to enter that look like Stargates. There is also a playground / play area with a basketball court. Good for walks, runs and cycles. Not far from Kings Norton.


West Heath Park

West Heath Park is located between Longbridge and Kings Norton in the West Heath area of South Birmingham. Between Staple Lodge Road, Oddingley Road (at the north end of the park) down to Rednal Road (to the south). Paths criss-cross the park and there is at least two playgrounds / play areas. The first is close to the Oddingley Road and the second near the Rednal Road entrance. There is also a basketball court next to the first play area. Mostly just wide open fields with trees all around.

On this visit we walked down and around the paths from Oddingley Road towards the Rednal Road exit. Then headed up Rednal Road and Vardon Way, before re-entering the park from a cul-de-sac called Thomson Avenue (which has two paths leading in and out of the park). It was the August Bank Holiday Monday. 31st August 2020.

 

Parking on Oddingley Road, I first headed to the West Heath Park roundel / portal / gateway. There is similar portals, a bit like Stargates all around the park.

First view of the play area / playground close to the Oddingley Road entrance.

There didn't appear to be any children playing at this play area.

There was also outdoor gym equipment.

A view of distant modern houses down on Oddingley Road.

Passing a wide open field with grass cut at different levels.

It doesn't take long to walk around this park towards Rednal Road.

Another view of those new houses on Oddingley Road.

Spliting paths.

Another path to take.

The path to Rednal Road.

Up ahead was the portal exit to Rednal Road.

View of the Rednal Road portal from outside of the park. Next was the walk towards Vardon Way.

After the walk along Rednal Road, and up Vardon Way, we got back into the park from these gates at the end of Thomson Avenue.

View of the playground / play area near Rednal Road. There was at least one dad and his son here.

The path back into the park from the Thomson Avenue entrance.

Saw a squirrel.

On the path back down towards Oddingley Road.

The basketball court and some residential tower blocks under scaffolding.

Over the bushes saw this wall with graffiti all over it.

There was also this teenager hangout shelter near the basketball court and play area near Oddingley Road.

After this we drove to Kings Norton Park for the next walk. Which will be detailed in a separate post.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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Green open spaces
07 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Arrow Valley Country Park over in Redditch, Worcestershire

Lets head over to Redditch in Worcestershire for this park post. Arrow Valley Country Park is located near Battens Drive in Redditch. In your car from Birmingham follow your SatNav down the A441 or A435. The park is off the A4023 Coventry Highway. Back in July 2020 for a walk around the lake. The play area was open again. Not sure if the Visitor Centre was open though.

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Arrow Valley Country Park over in Redditch, Worcestershire





Lets head over to Redditch in Worcestershire for this park post. Arrow Valley Country Park is located near Battens Drive in Redditch. In your car from Birmingham follow your SatNav down the A441 or A435. The park is off the A4023 Coventry Highway. Back in July 2020 for a walk around the lake. The play area was open again. Not sure if the Visitor Centre was open though.


Arrow Valley Country Park

Before the lockdown kicked in during late March 2020, we were thinking of going to Arrow Valley Country Park in Redditch, Worcestershire. But until lockdown restrictions were eased for travel and distance, we didn't end up going until the middle of July 2020.

The park was developed in the 1970s by the Redditch Development Corporation. The park is close to the River Arrow. The lake is home to the Redditch Sailing Club. The Arrow Valley Visitor Centre was opened in 2000. There is a playground / play area in the park. The park is on the National Cycle Network route 5. Which takes cyclists between Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Redditch (in Worcestershire) and towards Studley and Stratford-upon-Avon (in Warwicshire).

 

First view of the lake at the Arrow Valley Country Park. We headed around the lake in a Anti-clockwise direction.

Lots of trees surrounding the lake.

First look at the playground / play area. Looks like coloured pencils from here.

First glimpse of the Visitor Centre from the lake. Scaffolding to the right.

Play areas up and down the UK reopened in July 2020, but to a limited number of kids and parents at one time.

A wide open field going up the hill.

Heading down the path near a Cycle lane.

In one direction was the gate of the Redditch Sailing Club. Boats / yachts not in use seen behind.

Continuing around the lake.

View of the club house of the Redditch Sailing Club.

Another view of the many boats / yachts of the Redditch Sailing Club.

A wider view of the boats and club house.

Was more views of the Visitor Centre from the other side of the lake.

There was some small ramps onto the lake. For fishing maybe?

All the usual birds in the lake, geese and ducks.

Some nice reflections of the trees and clouds in the lake.

Onto the final leg of the lake.

Another view of the boats / yachts.

And another view of the club house.

I'm not sure if the Visitor Centre had reopened. There was an ice cream kiosk nearby but we didn't walk close to it.

Kids in the summer having fun in the playground. They'd be back at school by now.

There is more to the park than the lake, maybe we'll go again and walk around other areas next time.

There was also a view of a church spire in Redditch Town Centre.

Getting close to completing one lap of the lake. Visitor Centre again.

Looked like two lines of ropes in the lake with buoys on them.

I have been to other parks around the West Midlands Shire counties over the years. I might set up more projects and post for those (although might not be as many photos). Such as parks in Bromsgrove, Stafford, Warwick or Lichfield.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Green open spaces
01 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Chinn Brook Nature Reserve in the Shire Country Park

Continuing on from the Chinn Brook Meadows, is the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve. It is a 17 acre site bound by Yardley Wood Road and Warstock Lane, with the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal to the south. The Chinn Brook flows through here. Beyond is the Cocks Moors Woods Golf Course. The area is quite small. Heading to the north you end up at Haunch Lane, and beyond is Billesley Common.

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Chinn Brook Nature Reserve in the Shire Country Park





Continuing on from the Chinn Brook Meadows, is the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve. It is a 17 acre site bound by Yardley Wood Road and Warstock Lane, with the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal to the south. The Chinn Brook flows through here. Beyond is the Cocks Moors Woods Golf Course. The area is quite small. Heading to the north you end up at Haunch Lane, and beyond is Billesley Common.


Chinn Brook Nature Reserve

The walk around the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve continues on from the Chinn Brook Meadows in the Shire Country Park. Located in Yardley Wood. The main entrance is on the east side on Yardley Wood Road. Paths goes around it and over bridges that cross the Chinn Brook and Haunch Brook. Eventually you would get to Warstock Lane to the west, where there is access to the towpath onto the Stratford-on-Avon Canal which is the southern boundary of the nature reserve. Use the steps and not the muddy hill (I once tried to climb up it but slipped down and got mud on my hands). Another way out is if you head up the path towards Haunch Lane. If you want to, you can continue your walk around Billesley Common.

The Chinn Brook Nature Reserve is a 17 acre site, with a variety of habitats. In the 1900s this area formed part of the area known as the "Happy Valley", the working mens picnic spot. On Sundays and Bank Holidays, boats could be hired, and there used to be a fairground on the open space. Yardley Wood Bus Garage was the location of the original Happy Valley Tea Gardens. Since the 1920s various parts of the site had been used as allotments and during WW2 parts were used to grow corn. There used to be a BMX track in what was known as Cocks Moors Wood in 1986-87. Site improvements in 2010 including new footbridges and fencing over the Chinn Brook.

2014

This was during the Christmas Day 2014 walk which started in the Chinn Brook Meadows and continued around the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve on the 25th December 2014.

Information sign at the Yardley Wood Road entrance.

Enter through the gate on Yardley Wood Road to get in.

Shire Country Park fingerpost. Head towards either Warstock Lane and the Stratford upon Avon Canal, or to the Chinn Brook Meadows and the River Cole.

Heading along the path, the trees were quite bare of leaves.

Trees on the left.

Seems like branches lower down had been cut off.

This footbridge goes over the Chinn Brook and the path leads to Haunch Lane.

A look at the Chinn Brook from the footbridge.

A lot of bright sunlight over the green area.

The bridge on Warstock Lane. Beyond here is the golf course.

View of the Chinn Brook from Warstock Lane.

Also the view of the Chinn Brook as it flows into Cocks Moors Woods Golf Course.

A fence from Warstock Lane. The golf course is on the other side (I think).

Looking up Warstock Lane.

Heading back into the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve, there was two paths you could walk on.

A large green lawn that you can walk past.

2020

This continues the April 2020 lockdown walk into the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve from the Chinn Brook Meadows. As before entered on Yardley Wood Road.

This time there was more green leaves on the trees, as I had a look at the Chinn Brook.

The Chinn Brook is not where you dump your wheel and tyre! Take it to a garage!

Onto the path, as this point, not all of the leaves had grown back onto the thin trees on the left.

A blue sky with the green open space.

Growing in the grass was yellow iris.

Continuing along the path towards Warstock Lane.

After Haunch Lane, we headed towards Haunch Lane, and when I saw people who stopped for a chat, we took a different path to be socially distant from them.

Then over the bridge that crosses the Chinn Brook, with a bike on the left.

So lush and green around the Chinn Brook on both sides.

Yes this is in Birmingham, but it could be in the countryside. But it's in Yardley Wood.

The path to Haunch Lane surrounded by all these trees.

It looks wonderful and natural here.

Flats on the right reminds you that you are still in an urbanised environment, as we got close to Haunch Lane.

With the lockdown, the only place to see bluebells was your local nature areas such as here.

The Shire Country Park fingerpost close to Haunch Lane. Head left to the Stratford upon Avon Canal and Warstock Lane. Or go right to Haunch Lane and Billesley Common.

After this headed up Chinn Brook Road back to the car, going past the Chinn Brook Meadows.

Future Shire Country Park posts will include:

  • Scribers Lane SINC
  • Hollybank Spinney
  • The fords on Slade Lane and Scribers Lane

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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