Popular
Points
12K
GreenActionWithYou – A FreeTimePays community

Protecting our environment

Green Action with You is all about promoting and supporting social value, providing a shared digital space where people can showcase what they do and can together make a difference by helping to protect their environment.

Launch date: June 2019
Combined FreeTimePays following: 101K


Community sponsors:

Rivers, lakes & canals
26 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A walk around Edgbaston Reservoir back in June 2020

Back in June 2020, we had a walk around Edgbaston Reservoir (which was my first in about 4 months). Although this time went all the way around in an Anti-Clockwise direction. Social distancing measures were in force, and the car park was still closed off (even before the lockdown). The Tower Ballroom has been closed for some time now and covered in graffiti. People out getting exercise.

Related View community

A walk around Edgbaston Reservoir back in June 2020





Back in June 2020, we had a walk around Edgbaston Reservoir (which was my first in about 4 months). Although this time went all the way around in an Anti-Clockwise direction. Social distancing measures were in force, and the car park was still closed off (even before the lockdown). The Tower Ballroom has been closed for some time now and covered in graffiti. People out getting exercise.


Edgbaston Reservoir

Click here for my last post on Edgbaston Reservoir.

 

In June 2020, we headed for a Monday morning walk around Edgbaston Reservoir. It was the 15th June 2020. Back in February 2020, I'd only gone around half of the reservoir (in the middle of a long walk from Harborne to the City Centre). This time was just a walk around the Reservoir, and back to the car on Reservoir Road. Was a lot of people out for their daily exercise, either going for walk, taking the dog out for walk, riding the bike, or taking the kids out. Social distancing signs were around. We went in an anti-clockwise direction (not sure if we went the wrong way as when I left saw a sign saying follow the arrows, not that I remember seeing any). The walk took around 40 minutes or more. Was the closest I got to the City Centre in 3 months of lockdown (at the time). I wouldn't be able to travel back into the City Centre until the middle of July. Could also see the Port Loop development while there.

 

Heading down from the Reservoir Road entrance to the car park that hasn't been in use for ages (the gate is still locked).

There was the usual gulls and geese out on the Reservoir, including on this raised decking area.

Nice reflections of the clouds in the water.

Was heading in an anti-clockwise direction past The Tower.

Midland Sailing Club on the right. Yachts on the bank of the reservoir.

View towards the dam (left) and the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower (middle).

View to The Tower Ballroom, which sadly closed down in the last few years and is covered in graffiti at the entrance.

The City Skyline is visible from here as well as the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower.

Some outdoor gym equipment coming up on the right. Although at the time (due to the pandemic / lockdown), I don't think people were allowed to use them.

Was lovely to get back out around the Reservoir again.

The new footpath was on the right.

Hard to believe that this is all man made.

The distant view over to the Midland Sailing Club.

Midland Sailing Club

Near the end of the dam, to the right you can see the Midland Sailing Club.

Some of the boats behind the fence, not in use and covered up.

You can also see the club in zoom in from the other side of the Reservoir.

City Skyline

From the far end of the Reservoir, you can see the view of the City Skyline over the dam, including the rising 103 Colmore Row.

With 103 Colmore Row to the left, and The Mercian to the far right.

But when complete, neither building will be taller than the BT Tower, which is still the tallest building in Birmingham.

The Two Towers

Seen over The Tower (to the right of the dam) was The Two Towers. Perrott's Folly to the left and the Edgbaston Waterworks to the right. Click here for my post on The Two Towers.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
24 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Edgbaston Tunnel on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal

The Edgbaston Tunnel is located on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal below Church Road in Edgbaston. It is 105 yards long (or 96 metres long). The tunnel runs parallel with the railway tunnel on the Cross City Line. It takes boats about 2 minutes to get through the tunnel. In 2018, the tunnel was closed for months to allow for the towpath to be widened.

Related View community

The Edgbaston Tunnel on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal





The Edgbaston Tunnel is located on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal below Church Road in Edgbaston. It is 105 yards long (or 96 metres long). The tunnel runs parallel with the railway tunnel on the Cross City Line. It takes boats about 2 minutes to get through the tunnel. In 2018, the tunnel was closed for months to allow for the towpath to be widened.


Edgbaston Tunnel

The Worcester & Birmingham Canal was constructed between 1792 from the Birmingham end, reaching Worcester by 1815. The canal reached Selly Oak by about 1795, so it is fair to assume that the Edgbaston Tunnel was built sometime between 1792 and 1795. Probably dug out by navvies by picks and shovels. Built of red brick, the Edgbaston Tunnel is 96 metres long (105 yards long). It is well under Church Road. Today the closest exits with steps are on Islington Row Middleway (near Five Ways Station) and at The Vale (University of Birmingham student accommodation).

Running parallel with the canal is what is today the Cross City Line. This railway line was built as the Birmingham West Suburban Railway from 1876 until 1885. The Church Road Tunnel was built next to the Edgbaston Tunnel along with a Church Road Station which opened in 1876, not far from the North East Portal of the Edgbaston Tunnel. The station closed in 1925.

Located close to the South West Portal is Hallfield School and near the North East Portal is Sunrise of Edgbaston. When you are up on Church Road, it is a bit hard to see the canal and railway line from above (the brick wall is too high and there is a lot of tree coverage).

During 2018, the Canal & River Trust closed the tunnel, so that they could widen the towpath. This was completed by about May 2018. And now there is more space for cyclists and walkers alike, even with painted lines and "Slow" signs.

 

2016

First walk through of the Edgbaston Tunnel was during April 2016. I got onto the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Somerset Road in Edgbaston and walked up the towpath towards Five Ways.

Approaching the South West Portal of the Edgbaston Tunnel. To the left is the Cross City Line on the other side of the fence. Above behind all the trees and shrubs is Church Road.

Canal & River Trust sign for the Edgbaston Tunnel at the South West Portal. At the time it has space for two way traffic.

Nearing the South West Portal of the Edgbaston Tunnel. The towpath inside of the tunnel was quite narrow. So not enough room for both walkers and cyclists at the time.

This sign states that the Edgbaston Tunnel is 96 Metres in length (which is quite short).

The tunnel was lit up, so when you walk on the towpath, or have a ride on a narrowboat, it is not dark in there.

But as you can see, the old tunnel towpath was really too narrow.

Up ahead was a couple of narrowboats that were about to enter the tunnel, as well as a person out for a run on the towpath.

Just as one narrowboat entered the tunnel, to the right you can see the site of the lost Church Road Station.

Old Georgian and Victorian buildings on Church Road at Hallfield School. The engineering brick on the railway, always seems to get tagged by graffiti vandals. You can also watch passing trains here.

2017

The next time I walked through the Edgbaston Tunnel was during November 2017. This walk started from Bath Row and I went as far as The Vale before getting off.

Approaching the North Eastern Portal was this cyclist in an orange jacket.

This time I had a better view of the white building above the canal. The building is now occupied by Robert Powell Estate Agents.

While the cyclist in orange was riding into the tunnel, saw a narrowboat with all these flat caps and beanies on. Peaky Blinders?

Before I entered the Edgbaston Tunnel, saw a London Midland Class 323 train on the Cross City Line entering the Church Road Tunnel.

One of the men on the narrowboat was standing on it's roof as it went through the tunnel.

Now at the South Eastern Portal of the Edgbaston Tunnel, the gatehouse to Hallfield School is above to the left.

Then I saw another London Midland Class 323 entering the tunnel bound for Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley.

2018

The Edgbaston Tunnel was closed to the public from January to March 2018, so that the Canal & River Trust could widen the towpath, resurface it, and install a new safety railing. There was towpath diversion at the time from Islington Row Middleway to The Vale. By May 2018 it was open again, and I went back to check it out.

This was during a long walk starting at Selly Oak towards Five Ways, Already could see the new towpath extension and railings from the South West Portal.

It was mostly complete, but was still some temporary barriers to the left.

There was a sign for Cyclists Slow as there was a ramp onto the new towpath and it wasn't quite finished.

Inside I could see that the towpath was much wider, compared to what it used to be like.

It seems like the tunnel is long, but it isn't, just a trick of the light.

At the North East Portal, a cyclist waits at the Cyclists Slow sign.

Was also a man running through the tunnel, while a builder in yellow and orange overalls was at the other end.

Went back again in December 2018, after the white lines had been painted onto the towpath, and it had all been fully completed.

A cyclist in a yellow jacket heads towards the North East Portal of the Edgbaston Tunnel.

Another cyclist and on the right was a West Midlands Railway Class 323 train on the Cross City Line (passing the site of Church Road Station).

Approaching the Edgbaston Tunnel with the new ramp.

Painted on both sides of the ramp was Slow. Pedestrians get priority in the tunnel.

Before entering the tunnel, Saw a West Midlands Railway Class 323 train go past, in the new orange and white livery (replacing the old London Midland green).

The towpath is now much wider, and even the lighting seems to be brighter in here (not as dark).

Slow sign on the ramp close to the South West Portal.

And another pair of painted Slow signs closer to the exit of the tunnel.

2020

In August 2020, I had my first walk down the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in months (due to the pandemic / lockdown). Starting at The Mailbox and ending at The Vale (was thinking about Somerset Road but The Vale exit came first). Also my first time back in the Edgbaston Tunnel since the end of 2018.

A lady was running towards me, also had to let a couple pass me, due to social distancing.

It was a bit hard to see the at white building on Church Road, due to the amount of leaves on the surrounding trees.

A narrowboat was coming out of the tunnel.

Got this view from just inside of the tunnel as the narrowboat heading out.

Still the optical illusion of the tunnel being long (when it isn't).

A zoom in from the far end of the tunnel as the narrowboat was still heading on it's way.

One last look at the Edgbaston Tunnel as I continued my walk towards The Vale.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

Share  Connect with us
70 passion points
Green open spaces
20 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Chinn Brook Meadows in the Shire Country Park

In Yardley Wood there is two areas named after the Chinn Brook. The Chinn Brook Meadows (also called the Chinn Brook Recreation Ground) and the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve. I've been to both a couple of times (usually walking from one part into the next). In this post though we will take a look at the Chinn Brook Meadows. From Trittiford Road / Highfield Road to Yardley Wood Road.

Related View community

Chinn Brook Meadows in the Shire Country Park





In Yardley Wood there is two areas named after the Chinn Brook. The Chinn Brook Meadows (also called the Chinn Brook Recreation Ground) and the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve. I've been to both a couple of times (usually walking from one part into the next). In this post though we will take a look at the Chinn Brook Meadows. From Trittiford Road / Highfield Road to Yardley Wood Road.


Chinn Brook Meadows

The Chinn Brook Meadows is one of the satellite parks of the Shire Country Park. Many locals in Yardley Wood still refer it to as the Chinn Brook Recreation Ground (and is labelled as that on Google Maps). The Chinn Brook Meadows is a 34 Acre site that stretches from Yardley Wood Road to the west, towards Trittiford Road and Highfield Road to the East. To the north is Chinn Brook Road and Glastonbury Road is to the south. The Chinn Brook flows through the Recreation Ground, where it joins up with the River Cole in The Dingles. Also nearby is the Trittiford Mill Pool to the east. The site was renamed in 2010 from the Chinn Brook Recreation Ground to the Chinn Brook Meadows, as it was thought that Meadows better reflects it's character.

 

I've had at least two full walks through the Chinn Brook Meadows. In December 2014 on Christmas Day and in April 2020 on a lockdown walk.

2014

For a Christmas Day morning walk on the 25th December 2014, we started our walk in the Chinn Brook Meadows. Getting in from the main entrance on Trittiford Road. There was this information sign and map, although vandals had tagged it at the time.

A look at the Chinn Brook from the bridge on Trittiford Road in Yardley Wood.

The fingerpost in the Chinn Brook Meadows was looking relatively new at the time. Directions to The Dingles, Trittiford Mill Pool and the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve.

The playground / play area that is close to Trittiford Road. There is also an entrance to it from Chinn Brook Road.

S bend in the Chinn Brook.

One of the footbridges over the Chinn Brook.

Was a nice sunny morning at the time, as I had a look over the footbridge. Bollards at both ends.

The path in the Chinn Brook Meadows goes past the field, that most people still call The Rec.

But it's what was growing alongside the path and the Chinn Brook that got it renamed to Chinn Brook Meadows.

More of the same near the Chinn Brook.

Trees not far from the houses on Chinn Brook Road.

The path curving to the right.

Near the end of The Rec section before you walk down a path to Yardley Wood Road.

A couple take their dog for a walk.

The gate at the end of the path near Yardley Wood Road. Exit here and cross over the road to enter the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve.

2017

In January 2017, I saw this carved wooden sculpture close to Highfield Road in Yardley Wood. It was probably done by local Birmingham based carver, Graham Jones. You can find his work in other parks and green spaces around Birmingham.

It had various carvings around it, such as birds and flowers.

Some details at the bottom including a swan.

Later that year in December 2017, while it was snowing in Yardley Wood, I walked down to the Trittiford Mill Pool. While there I got these snowy views towards the Chinn Brook Meadows.

The roads around it had been gritted by the council, but looks quite slushy and dirty.

This side was closer to The Dingles, but was the view in the direction of the Chinn Brook Meadows. Not seen snow around there since then.

2020

In April 2020 we had a lockdown walk through the Chinn Brook Meadows before heading into the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve. Parking on Chinn Brook Road, we passed the playground / play area which of course (at the time) was closed due to the pandemic / lockdown. So no child on the swings or slides until the beginning of July.

Looking through the swings to the slide from Chinn Brook Road.

Notices from the Council, to not enter the play area. Then again, some people ignored these, and hoped over the gate.

The Chinn Brook Meadows fingerpost from Chinn Brook Road, near the entrance to the play area.

One last look at the equipment that children couldn't use from about late March until early July 2020.

Surprisingly, there was a lot of families out in the Recreation Ground for a walk and exercise (more than my previous visit). At the time, getting out for your one form of daily exercise was allowed (apart from getting essentials from the shops).

Was a nice blue sky as we walked up the path towards Yardley Wood Road. Grass nice and short.

As before, the path curves around to the right. People taking their dogs for a walk and having fun in the Chinn Brook to the left.

Plenty of space here to have a game of football, although at the time that kind of activity was not allowed under the restrictions.

Nearing the end of the path close to The Rec.

The path to Yardley Wood Road was a bit narrower, and the leaves on the trees hadn't fully grown back.

Bluebells growing close to the path. When you couldn't go far at the time, your local green spaces was the only place to see them.

Such a short period of time to see the bluebells in flower.

This sign close to the Yardley Wood Road exit reminds you that this area is part of the Millstream Way. Also that it is illegal to access and ride with off-road motorcycles within the City Council parkland. But idiot youths keep ignoring this. And they spray painted over the West Midlands Police logo!

Later on the walk back from the Chinn Brook Nature Reserve down Chinn Brook Road. This was another one of the entrances. Such bright sunshine from that side.

Yellow flowers growing near the gate on Chinn Brook Road. According to Google Lens, they are called Gorse.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Green open spaces
17 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Fox Hollies Park from March to June 2020

Fox Hollies Park for me is the closest park in walking distance. Not that I always wanted to go there (due to shady characters). Popped in or nearby several times during the lockdown from March to June 2020. Usually on walks to or from Acocks Green. Recently local volunteers have gone around the park litter picking.

Related View community

Fox Hollies Park from March to June 2020





Fox Hollies Park for me is the closest park in walking distance. Not that I always wanted to go there (due to shady characters). Popped in or nearby several times during the lockdown from March to June 2020. Usually on walks to or from Acocks Green. Recently local volunteers have gone around the park litter picking.


Fox Hollies Park

This is my second Fox Hollies Park post. Find my original post here: Fox Hollies Park through the years.

March 2020

At the beginning of the lockdown, I had a late March 2020 walk around Fox Hollies Park. There wasn't many people in the park. As usual entered at Shirley Road and walk around the path along the Westley Brook. Saw a Jet2 plane taking off. Was starting to get rare to see passenger planes in the sky.

A look at the Westley Brook and the tree branches.

Taking a slightly different route through the trees along this dirt path.

More parts of the Westley Brook.

Trees leaning over the Westley Brook.

Trees without leaves on the path to the pond.

The Round Pool.

Danger No Swimming or Paddling. Duck on the left.

Metal footbridge on the right hand side of the Round Pool.

Pair of Canada geese.

Another duck.

April 2020

An afternoon walk around Acocks Green, and we briefly popped into Fox Hollies Park from Pool Farm Road near Fanshawe Road. It was a sunny afternoon and more people about.

Walked towards the Gospel Lane exit. Blue sky and leaves growing back on the trees. At the time you were not allowed in the play area, yet some men were inside playing with a remote controlled car!

Saw this structure from Gospel Lane. Probably somewhere for teenagers to hang about. After this continued my walk around Acocks Green and back into Hall Green.

June 2020

Early June 2020, and I went down Shirley Road to take something to the Post Office. Took this photo on my smartphone camera of the grass cut in stripes for social distancing.

Late June 2020, and walking back up Shirley Road after an evening walk down to Acocks Green Village.

The main entrance to Fox Hollies Park from Shirley Road through this new gateway.

The grass still cut at different levels for social distancing.

Long grass in a look towards the Shirley Road Play Area (which was still closed at the time).

For another nearby park in the area, check out my post on Langley Hall Park. It's just down Gospel Lane from Fox Hollies Park. And can be entered via Swanswell Road. It's just over the Birmingham / Solihull border in Olton / Kineton Green.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

 

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
17 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Brandwood Tunnel on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal

One of the oldest structures on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal is the Brandwood Tunnel near Brandwood and Brandwood End in South Birmingham. Located between Kings Heath and Kings Norton, it was built between 1793 and 1796 and opened by 1802. It is over 300 metres long. No towpath inside, so the towpaths go up to road level and you have to find the other end. But it's not signposted.

Related View community

The Brandwood Tunnel on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal





One of the oldest structures on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal is the Brandwood Tunnel near Brandwood and Brandwood End in South Birmingham. Located between Kings Heath and Kings Norton, it was built between 1793 and 1796 and opened by 1802. It is over 300 metres long. No towpath inside, so the towpaths go up to road level and you have to find the other end. But it's not signposted.


Brandwood Tunnel

The Brandwood Tunnel is on the Stratford-on-Avon Canal in Birmingham. In September 2018 I had a walk of the canal, starting at Alcester Road South near Kings Heath and Alcester Lanes End, and walking towards Kings Norton Junction. It was Birmingham Heritage Week at the time, although my walk here was nothing to do with that.

There is no towpath in the tunnel, so you have to walk up the towpath ramp towards Brandwood Road. And make your way to Shelfield Road for the other end. It was not signposted, and had to check Google Maps at the time (at one point I walked up Monyhull Hall Road in the wrong direction before I turned back and consulted Google Maps).

 

East Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel

Located on the walk between Alcester Road South and Monyhull Hall Road, is the East Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel. It is a Grade II listed building. It was built from 1793 until 1796 of brick and stone. The canal engineer was probably Josiah Clowes. In an age before motorised narrowboats, the narrowboat would have been pulled by a horse. But the horse would have been taken up to road level, while a pair of men legged it through the tunnel. The towpath leads up to Monyhull Hall Road. You have to walk down Brandwood Park Road to Shelfield Road to get to the other part of the canal, and the West Portal.

Was a nice reflection in the water of the tunnel entrance at the east end.

Sign about the Brandwood Tunnel at the East Portal. Canoes can go through, but they must check that the tunnel is clear and have a forward facing white light on.

From this point, the towpath starts to go up the hill.

Both ends have a portrait, but the East Portal seems to be missing a portrait (maybe it eroded due to weather over 220 plus years?). There was unsightly tags at the top of the East Portal brickwork.

The Brandwood Tunnel sign looked like it was in need of a repair.  It's hard to tell who this portrait was of.

The Brandwood Tunnel is 322 metres in length.

Steps down for someone in a narrowboat to use. Such as the person with the key to the locks.

Last look at the East Portal before walking up to the road level. Some more graffiti tags on the right.

West Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel

This portal is located near Shelfield Road in Brandwood End. Easy to miss as it was not signposted at road level, so had to check Google Maps to find the towpath. The West Portal is also a Grade II listed building and was built from 1793 to 1794. The north section of the Stratford-on-Avon Canal opened in 1802. This side has a portrait of William Shakespeare (as people in narrowboats will most likely be heading for Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon). Beyond here the canal leads to Kings Norton Junction where it meets the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Kings Norton (just after a guillotine lock).

Heading down the towpath next to the West Portal. More graffiti on the brickwork to the left.

First proper glimse at the West Portal of the Brandwood Tunnel, as I headed down the towpath.

A view of the portrait of William Shakespeare.

This portrait of Shakespeare has survived the centuries, but looks weathered around the edges.

Even this side mentions that the Brandwood Tunnel is 322 metres long.

One last look at the Shakespeare portrait.

A proper look at the West Portal before continuing the walk towards Kings Norton.

The Brandwood Tunnel sign at the West Portal at the time was heavily vandalised with graffiti tags. Hopefully the Canal & River Trust has cleaned it up since. But the canal down here always gets tagged, even at the guillotine lock at Kings Norton a bit further down.

 

There are other tunnels that you can walk through. Such as the Edgbaston Tunnel and Broad Street Tunnel on the Worceser & Birmingham Canal, which I can cover in future posts.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

Share  Connect with us
60 passion points

Top Contributors

Elliott Brown
GreenActionWithYou points: 8990
Combined FreeTimePays points: 73K
Karl Newton
GreenActionWithYou points: 1130
Combined FreeTimePays points: 2910
FreeTimePays
GreenActionWithYou points: 1101
Combined FreeTimePays points: 23K
Laura Creaven
GreenActionWithYou points: 920
Combined FreeTimePays points: 940
The Friends of Kings Heath Park
GreenActionWithYou points: 270
Combined FreeTimePays points: 505

Show more