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Green open spaces
16 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
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New Hall Valley Country Park: From Sutton Coldfield Town Centre towards Pype Hayes Park (January 2019)

I initially became aware of New Hall Valley Country Park during the Christmas Day 2018 walk up from Pype Hayes Park along the Plants Brook. So a month later in January 2019, got a bus up to Sutton Coldfield Town Centre, and made my way to the park. And walked down the path. Passing the New Hall Water Mill and Walmley Golf Club. Eventually back on the same paths I was on the month before.

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New Hall Valley Country Park: From Sutton Coldfield Town Centre towards Pype Hayes Park (January 2019)





I initially became aware of New Hall Valley Country Park during the Christmas Day 2018 walk up from Pype Hayes Park along the Plants Brook. So a month later in January 2019, got a bus up to Sutton Coldfield Town Centre, and made my way to the park. And walked down the path. Passing the New Hall Water Mill and Walmley Golf Club. Eventually back on the same paths I was on the month before.


A walk through New Hall Valley Country Park during January 2019. Starting from Sutton Coldfield Town Centre and heading in the direction of Pype Hayes Park.

First up some information taken from the Wikipedia page (link above). It is a country park located in the New Hall Valley between Walmley and Wylde Green in the Sutton Coldfield. Birmingham City Council created the park in 2005. The land was formerly part of the New Hall Manor Estate. There is ancient woodland, historic wetland grazing meadows, former farmland, and part of Plants Brook within the country park. There is also a 17th Century listed watermill called New Hall Mill.

 

During a Christmas Day 2018 walk from Pype Hayes Park (link to the post is above), on a path along the Plants Brook, I got to this point where I saw a fingerpost for the New Hall Valley Country Park. Making a mental note about this park at the time. It was just beyond the railway line for the Sutton Park Line. We turned back in the direction of Pype Hayes Park from near here. I would be back a month later.

In January 2019, I ended up getting a National Express West Midlands Platinum bus all the way to Sutton Coldfield Town Centre. After a coffee stop, I started my walk to the park. These fingerposts were on the South Parade near Lower Queen Street.

Some more signs on the National Cycle Network route 534. Seen on Ebrook Road. I was only about a quarter of a mile away from the Newhall Valley Country Park (seems to be two spellings). Sutton Coldfield Town Centre was three quarters of a mile in the other direction.

I got into the park at Ebrook Road from this path near the Plants Brook.

Below the bridge on Ebrook Road was what looked like a small waterfall.

The path towards the Sutton Park Line Tunnel. The former railway line crosses over the Plants Brook at this point.

From the other side of the Sutton Park Line Tunnel. Graffiti on this side.

A look back down the path along the Plants Brook towards the tunnel.

Heading forward saw this footbridge cross the Plants Brook.

Saw an electricity pylon to the left of the path.

Checking out this wooden decking. Looked quite icy on the grass and on the decking so wasn't on here for long.

A no cycling sign. The path to the right is a bit too muddy, so cyclists should stick to the main path. But it's suitable for walking (if you want to get mud on your shoes etc).

Another footbridge over the Plants Brook.

The Plants Brook was looking quite calm from this side of the footbridge.

Back to the main path, as I followed the Plants Brook in the direction of the mill.

First glimpse of the New Hall Water Mill. Trees in the way.

Another view of the mill. Would try and get better views when I shortly after this walked up a path towards it.

The path and the Plants Brook close to Wylde Green Road.

Saw this stone house near Wylde Green Road. It is time to get a proper look at the nearby mill.

Close to the end of the path as the Wylde Green Road Bridge was straight ahead over the Plants Brook.

Bollards for New Hall Valley at Wylde Green Road. Before I continued, I turned left to check out the mill.

On the way to the road to the mill, I went past this gate for Wincelle House.

Wincelle House is a Grade II Listed Building dating from the early 15th century. It is a timber framed building, which was removed from Wishaw in 1910.

Continuing on, saw this sign for New Hall Hotel & Spa. B76 1PH. The sign was for the Emergency Access to New Hall Health Club & Spa.

Side view of Wincelle House from a nearby field as I headed to see New Hall Mill.

First proper look at New Hall Mill, without too many trees in the way.

New Hall Water Mill is a Grade II* Listed Building. It dates to the 18th century.

As it was during winter though, the mill was not open. I think it is open on open days, but it is quite a distance to travel back  there to properly explore this mill.

Fingerpost for visitors to use. You can go on the Tree Trail, go to the Cart Shed and more.

One more view of the mill. A bit hard to see behind the trees. But now it was time to resume the walk towards Pype Hayes Park.

Back to Wylde Green Road for the last leg of the walk in the New Hall Valley Country Park. Another pair of bollards.

Fingerpost near the Wylde Green Road entrance. Sutton Park and Coleshill Road to the left. Walmley to the right.

Saw this Birmingham City Council map of New Hall Valley Country Park. Was looking a bit dirty.

Another bridge crossing the Plants Brook, this one with yellow railings.

A look down the Plants Brook. Appeared to be a bricked channel of water on the left near the path.

Better view of the Plants Brook not obscured by the trees.

At the end of the New Hall Valley Country Park near near the Plants Brook walk. Another part of the old Sutton Park railway line passes by near here.

Fingerpost near the Plants Brook walk just outside of the Country Park. Sutton Coldfield was not a mile and a half away on foot and on a bike.

Passing through these gates as I exited the New Hall Valley Country Park and followed the Plants Brook back to Pype Hayes Park. On a path I had walked on the month before.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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70 passion points
Rivers, lakes & canals
12 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The River Cole at the Scribers Lane ford

There is a few fords that pass through the River Cole. Scribers Lane in Hall Green near Yardley Wood is one of them. Located in the Shire Country Park between the Trittiford Mill Pool and the Scribers Lane SINC. This road is no longer in use, as there is bollards at both ends. There is a footbridge for pedestrians, cyclists and dog walkers. The river level changes here during the year.

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The River Cole at the Scribers Lane ford





There is a few fords that pass through the River Cole. Scribers Lane in Hall Green near Yardley Wood is one of them. Located in the Shire Country Park between the Trittiford Mill Pool and the Scribers Lane SINC. This road is no longer in use, as there is bollards at both ends. There is a footbridge for pedestrians, cyclists and dog walkers. The river level changes here during the year.


River Cole at the Scribers Lane ford

This ford is located on Scribers Lane between Yardley Wood and Hall Green in Birmingham. The River Cole flows through the road on the Cole Valley. Nearby is the Trittiford Mill Pool and the Scribers Lane SINC. Visitors on walks can use a footbridge to cross the river on Scribers Lane. There is bollards at both ends of the river, as it is no longer suitable for cars or other motor vehicles to cross over. One set of bollards on Scribers Lane is near Riverside Crescent. Pedestrians can walk through the middle in the gap.

For my Shire Country Park posts relevant to this area:

2014-16

After a walk down to The Baldwin during February 2014, I walked down Baldwins Lane and then onto Scribers Lane. I got to this Ford sign just before the railway bridge on the Shakespeare Line.

The road is liable to flooding. Only cycles can go past here. At the time I thought that you couldn't walk up the road, so I turned back. Beyond here is the Scribers Lane Allotments.

The May Day Bank Holiday during May 2016. After leaving the Trittiford Mill Pool, saw the River Cole on the Scribers Lane ford for the first time.

The back of the tree near the River Cole. From a footbridge at the far end of the Trittiford Mill Pool. Can just about see the road surface to the right.

There's the bridge that pedestrians and cyclists can use to cross the river.

At this point in the Spring, the river level was quite low.

Scribers Lane sign near the bridge.

Discarded barrier in the River Cole near the Scribers Lane ford.

The other side of the River Cole into the Scribers Lane SINC.

These views of the River Cole at the Scribers Lane ford taken during December 2016. The river level is always higher in late autumn and early winter. This was after a period of heavy rain.

You can see why this road is closed off to cars or other motor vehicles, it is just too unsafe for them to pass without them getting stuck.

2020

The first National Lockdown at the end of March 2020, and a walk down Scribers Lane to get onto the Trittiford Mill Pool. First up the railway bridge on the Shakespeare Line between Yardley Wood and Shirley.

It seems that you can walk down Scribers Lane. Trees yet to get their leaves grown back.

Bollards just before the footbridge. The River Cole is to the right on Scribers Lane.

Crossing the footbridge over the River Cole.

The view of the River Cole from the footbridge on Scribers Lane.

The River Cole from the other side. Within months all of the natural growth would grow back during the first lockdown.

The River Cole looked shallow enough to go into from Scribers Lane.

The main tree near the River Cole on Scribers Lane. Water surrounds it when the river level is higher.

Still in lockdown during May 2020. The trees are now lush and green. A month long drought, and the River Cole was quite shallow.

Even the main tree was looking dry as the leaves were green, and the river was low.

It was so nice and warm in May, and the Shire Country Park was looking green near the River Cole on Scribers Lane.

The 2nd lockdown began on the 5th November 2020. After a walk down to Yardley Wood and into the Trittiford Mill Pool. Got some Autumnal views of the River Cole on Scribers Lane. The river level now looks higher.

There's that tree again, the River Cole going behind it, but the land around it was not flooded at this point.

Heading to the footbridge over the River Cole. The closest cars can get now is behind the bollards and close to the Allotments.

I think the river level is too high for cyclists to ride through. Then again, I expect that they use the bridge as it's safer to cross.

The walk up Scribers Lane towards the railway bridge. Vehicles that do drive down here must be under 12'6".

There is also the ford on Slade Lane. I think I'll do a separate post on that ford at a later date.

The other ford in the Shire Country Park, but one that cars can drive through is on Green Road near the Greet Mill Meadow and Sarehole Mill Recreation Ground.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
History & heritage
10 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Lickey Monument

If you are walking to or from Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park on Monument Lane, you might spot an obelisk in a field. This is The Monument. Erected in memory of Other Archer Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth by the Worcestershire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry in 1834. He was their Colonel Commandant. From a distance the monument is visible from far and wide.

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The Lickey Monument





If you are walking to or from Beacon Hill at the Lickey Hills Country Park on Monument Lane, you might spot an obelisk in a field. This is The Monument. Erected in memory of Other Archer Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth by the Worcestershire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry in 1834. He was their Colonel Commandant. From a distance the monument is visible from far and wide.


The Lickey Monument

I first saw the obelisk behind some gates off Monument Lane in Lickey back in May 2013. I took some zoom ins over the fence at the bottom, but didn't enter the field at the time. I've seen it again close up at least one more time since, but didn't take more close up photos.

 

Some history.

The monument was erected by the Worcestershire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry in memory of their late Colonel Commandant, Other Archer Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth (1789-1833). He lived in a house in nearby Barnt Green for some time.

 

It is Grade II listed. It dates to about 1834. It was made of Anglesey marble.

Located in a field off Monument Lane, it is also close to Old Birmingham Road. Beacon Hill is to the north west, while Bilberry Hill is to the east.

 

In October 2020, I was walking down the Bristol Road South in Northfield, when I zoomed into this view of the Lickey Hills. The Monument was clearly visible from here. At the bottom of the picture is Longbridge.

I unexpectedly went down to Longbridge again at the end of October 2020, after getting a bus down Bristol Road South from Selly Oak Triangle. Got off the bus and got this view. The Lickey Hills seen in the distance, but not zoomed in far enough to see The Monument. Bournville College on the corner of Longbridge Lane and Bristol Road South is now part of South & City College Birmingham (either the Bournville or Longbridge Campus).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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80 passion points
Green open spaces
09 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Discovery Terrace and the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham during September 2013

The Library of Birmingham opened to the public back in early September 2013. Elliott had his fist visit on the 21st September 2013 in the late afternoon, with just about time to visit the Discovery Terrace. With closing at 5pm, he returned a week later on the 28th September 2013 to head up to the Secret Garden for the first time. Since then he has been loads of times over the years.

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The Discovery Terrace and the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham during September 2013





The Library of Birmingham opened to the public back in early September 2013. Elliott had his fist visit on the 21st September 2013 in the late afternoon, with just about time to visit the Discovery Terrace. With closing at 5pm, he returned a week later on the 28th September 2013 to head up to the Secret Garden for the first time. Since then he has been loads of times over the years.


A digital tour of the Discovery Terrace and the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham. As they were during September 2013, within a few weeks of the Library opening to the public.

 

To see Elliott's previous Library of Birmingham posts from the September 2013 visits click the links below:

Discovery Terrace

Located on Level 3, the Discovery Terrace is accessed through the Revolving doors from the Discovery Floor (this was later replaced with automatic doors years later). Facing Centenary Square and the Arena Central site. Part of it goes around the side of the Library with a view of City Centre Gardens below.

On the 21st September 2013 you could see the old John Madin designed Birmingham Central Library and NatWest Tower (103 Colmore Row).

Was a bit of an animal art trail on the Discovery Terrace at the time.

Area at the back was not accessible at the time with all these barriers with something that was being finished off.

Looks like the only way to this section that day was via the side door from the library.

Some kind of bird house.

 

Secret Garden

Located on Level 7, you can get the travelator up from Level 3 to 4, then the lift or stairs up to Level 7. The Glass Lift initially worked in it's first year, but has not worked for many years or even been fixed. Press the disabled door button to open the door to the Secret Garden. It has views to the back of the Library, plus you can go around to the front for views of the City Centre.

On the 28th September 2013, there was a lot of people up on the Secret Garden. Views from up here are spectacular and change all the time. Although sometimes gets a bit boring on repeated visits over the years.

Some more colourful art installations for people to look out for at the time.

Wooden benches to sit down on and rest.

The view at the front over Centenary Square was quite busy that day.

Lots of colourful flowers up here. They regularly change them all the time.

Another bird house up here as well.

 

Over they years since, it does get a bit frustrating when the only thing to see is all of those construction sites, and I don't always want to take photos of them. Would be nice to somehow get access to the top of other tall buildings for photo views. Ran out of things to take up here. It's only those events that used to happen in Centenary Square down below that made a change from the usual views.

The Library has been closed since the first lockdown. Apart from people going for books, the terraces have yet to be reopened to the public, so I have no idea when I'll be going back up there. It wont be any time soon, that's for sure.

With a Second Lockdown (for at least a month), it means that there has been no access up to the terraces for 8 or 9 months and counting. The library had only reopened for people taking out or returning books only.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown. Can be found on Twitter: ellrbrown.

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80 passion points
Green open spaces
04 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Acocks Green Recreation Ground in the Fox Hollies area

Not far from Acocks Green Bus Garage is the Acocks Green Recreation Ground. Located on Westley Road, Fox Hollies Road and Broad Road. Sometimes used for fun fairs. In the last year or so, new railings have been installed. There is a playground close to Westley Road. Other than that there is a large open field and some paths. Nothing much else.

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Acocks Green Recreation Ground in the Fox Hollies area





Not far from Acocks Green Bus Garage is the Acocks Green Recreation Ground. Located on Westley Road, Fox Hollies Road and Broad Road. Sometimes used for fun fairs. In the last year or so, new railings have been installed. There is a playground close to Westley Road. Other than that there is a large open field and some paths. Nothing much else.


Acocks Green Recreation Ground

For some history of the Acocks Green Recreation Ground, there is some information over at the AGHS website.

The land was donated to the Yardley Rural District Council by the Yardley Charity Estates in 1898. The grounds opened in 1902 on the Coronation of King Edward VII. Birmingham took over Yardley in 1911. The grounds has since been used by travelling carnivals and fun fairs. The Recreation Ground used to have a Sons of Rest pavilion (but this has long since disappeared).

The ground to the back was a football and cricket ground. And there used to be tennis courts alongside Broad Road (these no longer exist).

All that remains today is a children's playground near the Westley Road entrance.

In 2019 new railings and an entrance gate was installed on Westley Road. There is even a Friends of Acocks Green Recreation Ground.

2014

Robert Wilkinson's Fun Fair was held at the Acocks Green Recreation Ground seen during May 2014. It took place from Thursday 15th May until Sunday 18th May 2014.

American Circus

Uncle Sam regularly popped over from the USA for American Circuses!

The Big Top

Large Prizes

Flying Chairs Carousel

Rock City

< < < Slide

Robert Wilkinson's Fun Fair was back in October 2014. These were taken from the no 11C bus stop on Fox Hollies Road after dark.

Taken at the time on my then Sony smartphone, so the zoom in wasn't too great with the bright lights.

2019

In September 2019, I was on the 11C bus on Westley Road when I spotted the new entrance gate and railings, near the play area.

The fun fair was also back again. It was Robert Wilkinson's Fun Fair again.

2020

First of two lockdown walks into the Acocks Green Recreation Ground during May 2020. The new railings and bollards on Fox Hollies Road.

The green open field, no path alongside Fox Hollies Road, unless you walk on the pavement, like I used to do.

The odd piece of litter on the field.

Getting close to the playground near Westley Road.

Looking back at the field. Clear signs of tyre marks of vehicles that have driven onto the recreation ground in the past (such as all those fun fairs).

About to exit the new gate onto Westley Road. Bus stop on the left for the 11A. Acocks Green Village is to the left.

Went through again in June 2020. This time walking back from Tyseley. Got in via the path on Broad Road. The bollards here are much older.

The path follows Broad Road towards Westley Road.

Grass a bit longer, trees full of green leaves in the height of summer.

Shadows from the trees on the field.

Not far until the end of the path.

There was a few more entrances from Broad Road and you could dip in and out.

Now back on Westley Road, the new railings near the play area.

Another look at the new main entrance to the recreation ground. Looks good.

Post and photos by Elliott Brown. On Twitter ellrbrown.

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