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03 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Herons, Egrets and Cormorants around Birmingham and the West Midlands

Various unique bird species to be found in Birmingham's many parks and lakes. Canals and rivers. From herons, to egrets to cormorants. Not just the usual ducks, geese, swans and gulls that I'm always seeing around. There is also coot and moorhens too. But will leave those to another post.

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Herons, Egrets and Cormorants around Birmingham and the West Midlands





Various unique bird species to be found in Birmingham's many parks and lakes. Canals and rivers. From herons, to egrets to cormorants. Not just the usual ducks, geese, swans and gulls that I'm always seeing around. There is also coot and moorhens too. But will leave those to another post.


Little Egret

Little Egret seen at the Trittiford Mill Pool, Shire Country Park, Yardley Wood. Taken during December 2016.

A Snowy Egret seen on the Plants Brook near Pype Hayes Park. Taken during December 2018.

This Little Egret was seen at the Trittiford Mill Pool as well but during March 2020.

A Little Egret in the pool at Langley Hall Park near Kineton Green and Olton in Solihull. March 2020.

This Little Egret hiding in the trees at Billesley Common, Shire Country Park, Billesley. Taken during July 2020.

Great Cormorant

A Great Cormorant perched on a tree branch at the Trittiford Mill Pool, Shire Country Park, Yardley Wood. Taken during May 2016.

This Great Cormorant perched on the metal bar with the gulls at Cannon Hill Park between Moseley and Edgbaston. Taken during February 2020.

Another Great Cormorant was on this branch at the Edgbaston Reservoir near Ladywood. Taken during February 2020.

And this Great Cormorant was on this branch at the Trittiford Mill Pool, Shire Country Park, Yardley Wood. Taken during May 2020.

Heron

This Heron was spotted on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Stirchley on the Rea Valley Route. Taken during April 2016.

A blurry image of Heron seen on the River Cole at the Scribers Lane SINC, Shire Country Park, Yardley Wood. Taken during May 2016.

This Heron during the summer heatwave was at Edgbaston Reservoir near Ladywood. Taken during July 2018.

Heron perched on a branch in the pond at Highbury Park near Kings Heath and Moseley. Taken during August 2018.

Grey Heron at Witton Lakes Park, Witton. Taken during December 2019.

This Heron was on the towpath of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near a railway bridge on the Cross City Line in Selly Oak. Taken during October 2020.

 

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

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60 passion points
Green travel
20 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Pop up cycle lanes in the Jewellery Quarter

A couple of pop up cycle lanes have been installed in the Jewellery Quarter. One on Newhall Hill, from Sandpits to Frederick Street (no bollards). The other on Legge Lane and Graham Street towards Newhall Street. Whether cyclists will use them, I don't know. Was at least one van parked in the lane on Newhall Hill. And one cyclist on Graham Street didn't even use it.

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Pop up cycle lanes in the Jewellery Quarter





A couple of pop up cycle lanes have been installed in the Jewellery Quarter. One on Newhall Hill, from Sandpits to Frederick Street (no bollards). The other on Legge Lane and Graham Street towards Newhall Street. Whether cyclists will use them, I don't know. Was at least one van parked in the lane on Newhall Hill. And one cyclist on Graham Street didn't even use it.


Newhall Hill

From the bottom of Newhall Hill towards Sandpits. The Council has placed red and white barriers, closing it off to motorists. So only cyclists and pedestrians can pass through.

Just before here, saw a white van parked on the cycle lane, but the Council hasn't installed bollards up here (yet).

The Newhall Hill junction with Legge Lane and Graham Street. Near The Argent Centre (under scaffolding), and the Victoria Works of Joseph Gillott. Pens were historically made around here (or pen nibs).

Legge Lane / Graham Street

Onto Graham Street, opposite the Victoria Works, I spotted these red and white bollards. Although was originally thinking of walking up Frederick Street towards the site of the clock. Instead I headed down Graham Street towards Newhall Street.

Looking back towards Legge Lane from Graham Street. The temporary sign says that there is no access to Sandpits except for cycles. But there is still some cars around here.

A bit further down Graham Street, and there was a raised platform for the bus stop about halfway down the road.

Graham Street curves into Newhall Street where the pop up cycle lane ends just past the red post box.

See also the pop up cycle lane on Bradford Street and Old Camp Hill in Digbeth / Bordesley.

 

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

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
22 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

An Indian Summer in Kings Heath Park during September 2020

A Sunday afternoon visit to Kings Heath Park during September 2020, on award winning person with passion Elliott's 38th birthday. It was sunny afternoon, plenty of people about. Cartlands Tea Room was open again where you could buy ice cream. Hopefully people were sticking to the "Rule of Six". Households can't mix at home so instead they have public parks.

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An Indian Summer in Kings Heath Park during September 2020





A Sunday afternoon visit to Kings Heath Park during September 2020, on award winning person with passion Elliott's 38th birthday. It was sunny afternoon, plenty of people about. Cartlands Tea Room was open again where you could buy ice cream. Hopefully people were sticking to the "Rule of Six". Households can't mix at home so instead they have public parks.


September 2020, means that during the month, Elliott (that's me) would have another birthday. On the Sunday afternoon, we headed to Kings Heath Park, for a bit of a walk around. The walk was a bit slow at times (I'm usually a fast walker, but wasn't on my own). On a Sunday in September with sunshine and fine weather, was a lot of people out in the park. Both car parks were full (personally I prefer to get the 11C bus there if I was on my own).

Since my last visit, Cartlands Tea Room has reopened. And you can buy a 99 ice cream with a Flake. The garden centre is open again, but only Monday's to Friday's. The TV Garden was still closed to the public. Kids playing on the basketball court, others having a kick about with a football, or at the two play areas. Or having a picnic on the lawn.

 

Sign / banner seen on Vicarage Road in Kings Heath, Saying that Cartlands Tea Room is now reopened.

The large open field from the path near the drive. The odd couple sitting on the grass.

A stunning blue sky and more people sitting on the grass.

Floral display near the School of Horticultural Training. How home to the Cartlands Tea Room.

Some people took their own foldable chairs to sit amongst the floral displays for a chat.

Kings Heath Garden Centre. Not open at weekends. But if you go Monday to Friday, wear your mask, and stay 2m apart.

Another field near the bottom of the park. At least one person sitting on the lawn. Perfect blue sky.

Steps into the field to the bottom of the park.

Tall thin trees near the bottom end of the park.

More people sitting on the lawn near or having a kick about.

View towards the play area near Avenue Road.

Back near the School of Horticultural Training, home of Cartlands Tea Room (now reopened).

One of the signs on the noticedboard of interest: Don't litter, if the bins are full please take it home!

Entrance to Cartlands Tea Room. Was later a socially distanced queue of people queuing for ice cream or coffee or tea.

They also had these sky blue chairs outside.

Moorhen in the pond.

Robin on the bench around a tree.

Also spotted a squirrel climbing up a tree.

A few more bits and pieces before leaving. One of the short woodland paths off the main path to the bottom of the park.

Another peek at the TV Garden through the locked gate. I've not been able to go into here in over 6 years now.

Never Give Up. Yarn bombing. This was on the fence even during the earlier part of the last lockdown.

The pond, none of the fountain water jets were on. Hose pipe exposed above the water.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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70 passion points
Environment & green action
21 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Hollybank Spinney on The Haunch Brook Pathways

Beyond Billesley Common, on Hollybank Road is the Hollybank Spinney. Also called the Hollie Lucas Memorial. The piece of land was named after Hollybank Farm. Named in memory of Christopher Hollins Lucas, who was killed during the Great War in 1918. Was a grandson of Joseph Lucas. Just a path and trees along the Haunch Brook. Just a small pocket of the Shire Country Park.

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Hollybank Spinney on The Haunch Brook Pathways





Beyond Billesley Common, on Hollybank Road is the Hollybank Spinney. Also called the Hollie Lucas Memorial. The piece of land was named after Hollybank Farm. Named in memory of Christopher Hollins Lucas, who was killed during the Great War in 1918. Was a grandson of Joseph Lucas. Just a path and trees along the Haunch Brook. Just a small pocket of the Shire Country Park.


Hollybank Spinney

Part of the Haunch Brook Pathways, which goes through Billesley Common, if you leave the Common at Hollybank Road in Kings Heath, and cross over the road, is a small section called the Hollybank Spinney. This is also called the Hollie Lucas Memorial. The path amongst the trees goes from Hollybank Road towards Ardencote Road, so it's not very long. There is another short path from Hollybank Road that leads to Chamberlain Road.

The land was named after the Hollybank Farm which used to be on the site. It was given to the City of Birmingham by the Lucas family, known for Lucas Industries, in memory of the late Hollie Lucas, a grandson of the late Joseph Lucas (1834 - 1902).

Christopher Hollins Lucas fought during the First World War (1914-18), which at the time was called The Great War. He was also called Hollies Lucas. He was a second lieutenant in the 8th battalion of the Prince of Wales North Staffordshire Regiment. He was killed in action at the age of 21 on the 10th April 1918 in Belgium.

His medals were sent to his parents, who at the time lived on Cambridge Road in Kings Heath. A road off Wheelers Lane was named Hollie Lucas Road in his memory.

 

My visit to the Hollybank Spinney on a walk from the Kings Heath High Street towards the bus stop on Haunch Lane near Billesley Common, during July 2020.

Approaching the Hollybank Spinney from Hollybank Road in Kings Heath.

Lots of trees and long grass.

Onto the path towards Ardencote Road.

Here's the sign about Joseph Lucas, and his grandson that this area is named after.

The path curves around the trees.

Near the end of the path, it's not very long.

Man walking his dog near the end of the path as it goes onto Ardencote Road.

Bit hard to see the Haunch Brook from here.

The Haunch Brook is down there. Goes under this tunnel towards Kings Heath, not sure were it emerges though.

Going back on the path towards Hollybank Road.

Trees and bushes everywhere. A little bit of paradise.

About halfway back to Hollybank Road.

Not too far back to the end of the path.

The Hollie Lucas Memorial on the left (the Joseph Lucas sign I saw earlier).

Near Hollybank Road, noticed workmen who were resurfacing the paths in Billesley Common.

The other end of the Haunch Brook from Hollybank Road.

Almost hard to see here too. Some unwanted rubbish on the banks of the brook.

One more path to take. This leads to Chamberlain Road.

This path was much shorter.

Trees all around the Haunch Brook near Chamberlain Road.

Chamberlain Road is a cul-de-sac with this turn circle at the end. The path into the Hollybank Spinney is straight ahead.

Chamberlain Road leads to Haunch Lane. Then just a walk down the hill to the bus stop outside of Billesley Common (the wait in my mask for the 76).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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70 passion points
Environment & green action
10 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Scribers Lane Site of Importance to Nature Conservation in the Shire Country Park

Beyond the Trittiford Mill Pool in the Shire Country Park is an area called Scribers Lane. It is designated as a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (or SINC for short). It runs alongside the River Cole from Scribers Lane near Yardley Wood and Hall Green, and passes through Slade Lane. It ends on the Birmingham / Solihull border at some stepping stones. Two fords also pass through.

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Scribers Lane Site of Importance to Nature Conservation in the Shire Country Park





Beyond the Trittiford Mill Pool in the Shire Country Park is an area called Scribers Lane. It is designated as a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (or SINC for short). It runs alongside the River Cole from Scribers Lane near Yardley Wood and Hall Green, and passes through Slade Lane. It ends on the Birmingham / Solihull border at some stepping stones. Two fords also pass through.


Scribers Lane in the Shire Country Park

Located near Hall Green and Yardley Wood is the Scribers Lane Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (also called SINC). The site runs alongside the River Cole from Scribers Lane (after the southern end of the Trittiford Mill Pool) then heads south towards Slade Lane. The site continues beyond that towards some stepping stones on a stream. If you cross over them you leave Birmingham for Solihull at Nethercote Gardens (and you can continue your walk towards Mill Lodge Park).

You can get onto Scribers Lane from Baldwins Lane in Hall Green. One end of Baldwins Lane leads to Slade Lane. The Shakespeare Line runs along the eastern side of the site, with two railway bridges that you can walk under. There are fords on Scribers Lane and Slade Lane.

2016

First walk through of Scribers Lane was during May 2016. During the May Day Bank Holiday (a walk that started from the Sarehole Mill Car Park).

Wetland near the footbridge close to Scribers Lane (what the area was named after).

A look at the wetland from the footbridge.

There was what looked like a guillotine lock on the River Cole.

Saw this heron, but the photo was not to clear as my camera focused instead on the branches.

Gates to the woodland walk.

View of the River Cole.

Cut branches to the side of the footpath.

Some planks of wood on a muddy part of the path.

Another view of the River Cole.

Got as far as Slade Lane. The fingerpost was missing the direction signs from here.

2020

A lockdown walk through Scribers Lane during May 2020. This time went further than last time (as far as the stepping stones).

A look at the River Cole from Scribers Lane.

The footbridge again this time everything around was overgrown, apart from the grass that was cut.

Lilies in the River Cole.

The trees on the other side of the river.

Hard to believe that this is in south Birmingham (but it is).

On this tree is a rope that kids can swing over.

Getting to the bridge on Slade Lane. Gate to exit to the left.

This time continued further than last time. The path was dry. May had a heatwave.

Cow parsley growing on both sides of the grass path.

Another view of the River Cole.

Was some nice natural reflections in the River Cole.

Out onto the path to the end of the nature reserve.

The stepping stones. I did stand on them, but didn't cross over the end of May 2020 (from the Nethercote Gardens side).

Close up look at the stepping stones.

That time we turned back towards the Trittiford Mill Pool.

Then back onto the normal path between Slade Lane and Scribers Lane. River Cole on the left.

Saw a red ball in the River Cole with a nice reflection.

Pair of sluice gates on the River Cole.

And the other sluice gate.

Later that month we were back in the Scribers Lane SINC having crossed over the stepping stones (on the walk from Mill Lodge Park).

The heatwave would last until the end of the month.

Blue sky and a lot of long grass.

Was a lot of long grass next to the main path from Slade Lane to Scribers Lane.

Near the end of Scribers Lane.

The guillotine lock again. After this we headed back into Scribers Lane to walk back to Mill Lodge Park.

More views of the River Cole which was quite shallow at the time.

Still cow parsley to see near the River Cole at the time.

One last look at the Scribers Lane area before crossing back over into Solihull. The suburban area near Shirley and Solihull Lodge.

Next post will be the fords on Scribers Lane and Slade Lane.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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