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Rivers, lakes & canals
14 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Engine Pool, Terry's Pool and Windmill Pool at Earlswood Lakes

A visit to Earlswood Lakes near Solihull in June 2020. Built as canal feeder reservoirs for the Stratford-on-Avon Canal, they are within the Stratford-on-Avon District of Warwickshire. Three pools including the Engine Pool, Terry's Pool and Windmill Pool. Built in the 1820s. Also here is the Earlswood Engine House built in 1821 to pump water to the canal. Good for walks.

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The Engine Pool, Terry's Pool and Windmill Pool at Earlswood Lakes





A visit to Earlswood Lakes near Solihull in June 2020. Built as canal feeder reservoirs for the Stratford-on-Avon Canal, they are within the Stratford-on-Avon District of Warwickshire. Three pools including the Engine Pool, Terry's Pool and Windmill Pool. Built in the 1820s. Also here is the Earlswood Engine House built in 1821 to pump water to the canal. Good for walks.


Earlswood Lakes

A visit to Earlswood Lakes for a morning walk on the 8th June 2020. I'd never been here before as The Lakes Station on the Shakespeare Line is a request stop, so hadn't got around to going here (I had previous got a train to Earlswood Station and gone to Earlswood Garden & Landscape Centre but no further). Ended up going in the car. The car park on Wood Lane were open again and is a good starting point for a walk around the lakes.

The Earlswood Lakes are three man made reservoirs built in the 1820s in Earlswood, Warwickshire to supply water to the nearby Stratford-on-Avon Canal. Which goes from Kings Norton Junction (from the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in Kings Norton) to Bancroft Basin in Stratford-upon-Avon. Construction took 5 years and some of the labour force included prisoners of war from the Napoleonic Wars. Being that it was so close to Birmingham, the lakes was popular from visitors from the city from the early 1900s. The Lakes Station nearby would get visitors on the Shakespeare Line from Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon (although today it is a request stop). Is about a 15 minute walk away. The car park at Earlswood Lakes is free.

There is three pools here, the Engine Pool, Terry's Pool and the Windmill Pool. There is also the Grade II listed Engine House next to the Engine Pool. The lakes are good for walking, fishing and sailing. You would find a variety of wildlife here, plus there is also a nearby Craft Centre.

 

The walk we did was started around the Engine Pool. Then went around Terry's Pool. Completed the second part of the Engine Pool. Then passed the Windmill Pool (but didn't go around it). Cycling around Earlswood Lakes is not currently allowed. So cyclists must stick to the main roads only.

 

Earlswood Engine House

The Engine House was built in 1821 and is a Grade II listed building. It is near the car park on Wood Lane and can also be seen from Valley Road and from the Engine Pool. It had a steam engine which pumped water from Earlswood Lakes to the nearby Stratford-on-Avon Canal. This view was over the fence from the car park.

There was also views of the Engine House from the other side of the Engine Pool. Built of red brick, it also has a low pitched Welsh slate roof.

This close up view of the Engine House from the Engine Pool, not far from Valley Road. I think it is no longer in use. But there is also a white plaque to the left hand side of the building.

Engine Pool

First up a walk around the Engine Pool at Earlswood Lakes. We headed to the right, starting from the car park.

There is a metal footbridge with a dam between the Engine Pool and Terry's Pool.

The water in the lake had receeded quite a bit. This was only a week or so after the May heatwave had ended.

Some parts of the Engine Pool had these old wooden decking. Some could do with repairing.

Crossing the metal footbridge between the Engine Pool (left) and Terry's Pool (right).

These wooden steps to the Engine Pool look broken. In need of repair.

With the water so low at the time, people could walk on the banks of the reservoir. After the walk around Terry's Pool, we resumed the walk around the Engine Pool towards Malthouse Lane.

Later on was crossing Malthouse Lane between the Windmill Pool (left) and the Engine Pool (right). At certain points there was bays to avoid the traffic. Also good for views of the lakes.

The only place cyclists are allowed to ride on was on the main roads. Currently cyclists can not ride their bikes around the paths around the lakes. But on Malthouse Lane it is fine as that is a road. Also has a pair of double yellow lines. On the right was a viewing area of the Engine Pool with a bench.

From the section along Valley Road, looking back at the side of the Engine Pool alongside Malthouse Lane.

It was all so peaceful going around the lakes. Other than the traffic on the roads.

Near the end of the Engine Pool walk and back to the car park.

Terry's Pool

The walk around Terry's Pool was more covered by trees, so harder to see the lake. Also the path would be rougher than around the Engine Pool. Here was the view just before the metal bridge that splits the Engine Pool from Terry's Pool.

With trees covering most of the Terry's Pool walk it was hard to see the pool, but there was some spots. And you could see some of the birds flying around here.

We went around Terry's Pool in a clockwise direction.

More of the same with the trees making reflections in the pool.

When going around you hardly realise that you have gone around it.

Some trees like this one was growing out of the pool!

Another tree covered view.

Here a tree branch slightly blocks the view of the pool here.

That could be the same tree in the pool, but seen from the other side.

Near the end of the Terry's Pool walk.

And with the metal bridge in view it would soon be time to cross it again to walk around the second half of the Engine Pool.

It was even possible to see Malthouse Lane in the distance beyond the metal bridge.

Windmill Pool

No walk around the Windmill Pool, just saw it from the road and bays on Malthouse Lane (opposite the Engine Pool).

Saw this red / white buoy / ball in the Windmill Pool. Made a nice reflection in the water.

This lake stretches quite far. Wasn't sure about walking around this one, as saw a sign on the gate from when the lockdown restrictions were tougher.

I would assume that the paths goes all the way around it. There are trees around at least three sides of this pool.

From Malthouse Lane could see that there was another bay for observing the pool on Valley Road.

This side of Malthouse Lane also had a big bay for watching the pool with benches as well. After this back around the last leg of the Engine Pool and back to the car park.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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70 passion points
Green open spaces
13 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Mill Lodge Park not far from Shirley Station

There is a small park not too far from Shirley Station. Called either Mill Lodge Park (according to Google Maps) or the Colebrook Recreation Ground. Located on Green Lane and Aqueduct Road in Solihull. The River Cole flows through the park. To the north is the Aqueduct Road Meadow Local Wildlife Site. Beyond that you can walk into the Shire Country Park on the Birmingham Solihull border.

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Mill Lodge Park not far from Shirley Station





There is a small park not too far from Shirley Station. Called either Mill Lodge Park (according to Google Maps) or the Colebrook Recreation Ground. Located on Green Lane and Aqueduct Road in Solihull. The River Cole flows through the park. To the north is the Aqueduct Road Meadow Local Wildlife Site. Beyond that you can walk into the Shire Country Park on the Birmingham Solihull border.


Mill Lodge Park

Mill Lodge Park is quite close to Mill Lodge Primary School and the Coronation Youth and Community Centre. It is on Green Lane and Aqueduct Road in Shirley, Solihull. It is also known as the Colebrook Recreation Ground. The River Cole flows through the park, and it is a short walk away from Shirley Station, which is on Haslucks Green Road. The Aqueduct Road Meadow Local Wildlife Site is to the north and runs towards Colebrook Road.

Beyond the park you can walk up Nethercote Gardens. If you cross over some stepping stones on a stream, you leave Solihull and enter Birmingham, and will then be in the Scribers Lane SINC of the Shire Country Park. This follows the route of the River Cole as well.

2017

A look at Mill Lodge Park during April 2017 from the Green Lane entrance. Also the entrance to the car park from the right.

A look at the River Cole from the bridge on Green Lane.

The grass was mown short and was wooden bollards near here. I entered the park at the time from the Aqueduct Road entrance.

The path heading towards the Aqueduct Road Meadow.

Getting close to the footbridge that crosses the River Cole. The Aqueduct Road Meadow is to the left of here.

There is sign all about the Aqeuduct Road Meadow Local Wildlife Site. Love Nature.

About to cross the footbridge over the River Cole.

A look at the River Cole on the side of Mill Lodge Park.

Also the other side of the River Cole on the side of the Aqueduct Road Meadow. Towards Colebrook Road.

First look at the Colebrook Recreation Ground Play Area.

Some kind of tyre swing on a steel bar.

2020

Popped back into Mill Lodge Park back in January 2020, after I went to find the pond at Priory Fields. Entering the park again from Aqueduct Road.

Different conditions to my last visit here when I crossed the footbridge over the River Cole. It was winter, the trees were bare and the grass was different near the river banks.

The path into Mill Lodge Park alongside the River Cole.

A look at the playground again.

Some kind of peddle bike that kids can go round in circle on.

Seesaw, swings and a slide in the play area.

It was a bit wet and soggy at the time. But this was back when it was still OK to use playgrounds.

The bridge on Green Lane over the River Cole looking towards the new housing estate off Aqueduct Road.

Also a look at the car park to Mill Lodge Park from Green Lane.

Went back for a lockdown walk in May 2020. Starting at Mill Lodge Park and following the River Cole towards the Scribers Lane SINC in the Shire Country Park and back. First up a look at the River Cole from the lower path in the park.

There is two paths here. The path on the left that I was on is near the River Cole. The path on the right was close to the playing field. Some people were playing football or sitting on the grass.

Over the great lockdown, there had been a lot of growth in the parkland all over the West Midlands. And at Mill Lodge Park that was no exception. Cow parsley seen growing near the River Cole and the Aqueduct Road Meadow.

The scene had changed a lot in the months since I was last here. This River Cole view of the Aqueduct Road Meadow towards Colebrook Road.

River Cole view with the footbridge towards the football field.

Now on the path toward Colebrook Road in the Aqueduct Road Meadow area.

About halfway to Colebrook Road.

Getting close to Colebrook Road. After this we would cross over the road onto Nethercote Gardens and continue the walk into the Scribers Lane SINC (over some stepping stones). You have to remember that May was hot and sunny all month long, and very dry.

Later back to Colebrook Road and a look at the River Cole with all those trees. Just before going back onto the path alongside the Aqueduct Road Meadow.

Now back on the path in the Aqueduct Road Meadow. Some cow parsley on both sides.

Was still people playing football in the field over there.

Back in the car park before we left Mill Lodge Park. A wonderful blue sky and sunshine. Why didn't May's weather stay into June and July?

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
13 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

From Moseley Bog towards Windermere Park

Back in April 2020, earlier in the lockdown, we had a walk around Moseley Bog. Starting from the Sarehole Mill Car Park via the Recreation Ground and Green Road ford. We entered the bog as usual from Pensby Close (off Wake Green Road). Around the usual decking. Ending up in Windermere Park, before the walk back down Wake Green Road to the starting point.

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From Moseley Bog towards Windermere Park





Back in April 2020, earlier in the lockdown, we had a walk around Moseley Bog. Starting from the Sarehole Mill Car Park via the Recreation Ground and Green Road ford. We entered the bog as usual from Pensby Close (off Wake Green Road). Around the usual decking. Ending up in Windermere Park, before the walk back down Wake Green Road to the starting point.


Moseley Bog

Welcome to my second post on Moseley Bog. Almost forgot about this one. Then saw a piece on BBC Midlands Today on the 8th July 2020, reminding me of the last walk around the Bog back in early April 2020. During the first few weeks of the lockdown.

You can find my original post on Moseley Bog here: Moseley Bog from my 2012 and 2016 visits.

I previously posted some of my April 2020 photos in this post here: J. R. R. Tolkien in Sarehole from 1896 - 1900.

 

Making our way to the Pensby Close entrance of Moseley Bog, the walk took us up the wooden decking amongst the woods of trees. Before ending up walking through the Windermere Park or Windermere Playing Field. Exiting at Windermere Road. Before walking back down Wake Green Road past Moseley School. The walk had started from the Sarehole Mill Car Park, then via the Sarehole Mill Recreation Ground. Crossing over the Green Road ford, then heading up Green Road to Wake Green Road. Was hoping to find a route to the Yardley Wood Road entrance / exit, but ended up finding the Windermere Park / Playing Field instead.

 

Entering Moseley Bog from Pensby Close, saw this stream. Possibly the Coldbath Brook that goes from Moseley Golf Club to Sarehole Mill.

Heading onto the decking for a safe walk around the Bog without getting your shoes muddy (hopefully).

Another view of the stream (Coldbath Brook). Why would someone litter a can in it. It's not a bin! Dispose of your waste correctly, or take it home and bin it.

Another view of the Coldbath Brook.

The decking here is just three planks of wood bolted together on the ground.

Blue building behind the trees. It's Saint Bernard's Catholic Primary School on Wake Green Road.

No decking here. Just a dirt path with exposed tree roots. And the odd stone brick above the ground.

Back to cross over the decking. Wouldn't want to go into the bog there!

There is what looks like exposed staples as you go around the decking. Hopefully to enable people walking over it to keep a grip and not fall into the bog!

Another section of the wooden decking, with exposed stables on the surface.

Fallen trees around the bog and a body of water.

Onto another section of decking here.

This decking turns left at a right angle. Had some nice shadows in the sunshine.

Near the end of this decking.

A nice looking tree in the wood. The ground was all soil here. This leads up the hill to the Windermere Park.

One last look at the wood near the Windermere Park / Playing Field.

First look at the Windermere Park or Playing Field. Saw that goalpost.

And finally the walk through the Windermere Park (or Playing Field). Exiting onto Windermere Road. Would go past the Pickwick Cricket Club before going back onto the Wake Green Road.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
10 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Newey Goodman Park off the Stratford Road in Hall Green

Previously this was just a recreation ground off the Stratford Road in Hall Green. But Birmingham City Council developed it into Newey Goodman Park by about 2012 after a new housing development was built around Newey Road and Goodman Close. Named after Newey Goodman Ltd which used to be on Robin Hood Lane. They made hairgrips and pins. The site was sold for housing in the 1980s.

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Newey Goodman Park off the Stratford Road in Hall Green





Previously this was just a recreation ground off the Stratford Road in Hall Green. But Birmingham City Council developed it into Newey Goodman Park by about 2012 after a new housing development was built around Newey Road and Goodman Close. Named after Newey Goodman Ltd which used to be on Robin Hood Lane. They made hairgrips and pins. The site was sold for housing in the 1980s.


Newey Goodman Park

A relatively new park in Birmingham, Newey Goodman Park only opened sometime after 2012 on what before was just the Newey Goodman Open Space. Located near the Stratford Road in Hall Green, the park has a play area and a basketball court. The park is quite small. Nearby is the housing estate around the following roads: Newey Road (which leads to the Robin Hood Lane), Goodman Close, Longfield Close, Oldhouse Farm Close, Bissell Close and Glover Close.

The park and the nearby roads were named after Newey Goodman Ltd which used to be on the site of the park and where the houses are now on Robin Hood Lane. The company was sold in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After that the site was sold for housing to be built.

 

2010

On a walk around Hall Green in the snow during December 2010 (on Christmas Day - a rare White Christmas), I saw this recreation ground or open space from the Stratford Road. I did not go in, nor did I know that it was named after Newey Goodman Ltd.

There was nothing there at the time, so the snow just covered the entire field.

So much fluffy white snow on the Newey Goodman Open Space. Not that I knew what it was called at the time.

Some trees close to the Stratford Road. Even then you could see the houses around Newey Road and the cul-de-sac's around it.

I would have continued on from here down Robin Hood Lane and up Highfield Road. Didn't think about this space again for years, although did used to pass it on the bus.

2020

The rest of the photos were taken on lockdown walks. I first went in at the end of March 2020. I did consider going in before lockdown, but too many people going in there. This time though was hardly anyone in there.

Welcome to Newey Goodman Park the sign seen from the Stratford Road.

Bright sunshine and clouds over the play area.

Due to the pandemic / lockdown, at the time the playground / play area was closed from the public.

This play area had a green tree sign, instead of those elephant signs I've found in other Birmingham parks.

Some of the play equipment out of use, seen over the fence. A seesaw, and some kind of tyre swing.

It was all quite modern with the children's play equipment that they have here. Looking towards the Stratford Road.

There was also a basketball court, but it didn't look sealed off. In April 2020, I later saw people in there exercising or something.

Still daffodils to see at the end of March. The view towards the houses around Newey Goodman Park.

The furthest path goes towards Goodman Close.

Looking back into this small park.

Trees at the far end of the park.

I just walked down Newey Road and re-entered the park at Longfield Close. Daffodils near the closed play area.

Bollards at the end of Newey Road. It looks like the road used to continue onto the Stratford Road, so that means cars can't go into the park from here.

Popped in again in June 2020 to see what had changed. Dark clouds over the park, and the grass looked cut from the Stratford Road entrance.

Was some long grass behind the cut grass, for social distancing.

Walking up the grass cut in the park, while you can see the long grass to the left.

There was daisies growing in the long grass.

Close up look at the daisies.

Continuing up the cut grass path.

Another look at the basketball court. Seems like the grass had been cut for routes towards it.

Getting near the top end of the park again.

Longer grass in the middle with all the cut grass either side of it.

One last look at the park before I left via Goodman Close and Newey Road. This time I exited onto Robin Hood Lane.

A few more photos from early July 2020 taken from a walk up the Stratford Road. Saturday evening was the last time that I saw the National Express West Midlands Platinum bus on the 6 before they were replaced on that route the following day by brand new National Express West Midlands Electric buses. It was passing Newey Goodman Park.

I also noticed that the play area is now open again. Mothers with their kids on the swings, having fun. Playgrounds and play areas have been allowed to reopen again.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
10 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Dingles in the Shire Country Park

Another section of the Shire Country Park on the Millstream Way is The Dingles in Yardley Wood. Entrances near Robin Hood Lane (from Coleside Avenue) or Trittiford Road or Highfield Road. The River Cole runs through and the Chinn Brook joins it. Suitable for walks, walking your dog, running and cycling. Runs alongside Cole Valley Road.

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The Dingles in the Shire Country Park





Another section of the Shire Country Park on the Millstream Way is The Dingles in Yardley Wood. Entrances near Robin Hood Lane (from Coleside Avenue) or Trittiford Road or Highfield Road. The River Cole runs through and the Chinn Brook joins it. Suitable for walks, walking your dog, running and cycling. Runs alongside Cole Valley Road.


The Dingles in the Shire Country Park

The Dingles is part of the Shire Country Park runs alongside the River Cole from Robin Hood Lane (not far from Brook Lane) towards Trittiford Road and Highfield Road in Yardley Wood. There is at least three main ways to walk through it. The main path is now like a raised cycle path. There was also a rough path in the middle between the River Cole and the Chinn Brook. The final route was just an open field of grass that you can walk on. The parkland runs alongside Cole Valley Road. If entering from Robin Hood Lane, you have to walk down Coleside Avenue to enter. There is also a couple of bridges that cross over the River Cole or the Chinn Brook.

The Dingles is the halfway point between the John Morris Jones Walkway and the Trittiford Mill Pool.

 

Over on Bill Dargue's History of Birmingham place names from A to Z on Yardley Wood he has a lot of useful information about The Dingles which I will summarise here.

The Dingles is also called The Dingles Recreation Ground. There was formerly fords at both ends of the river here, but they were replaced with road bridges. The original bridge at Highfield Road was called the Titterford Bridge. The Four Arches Bridge in The Dingles is close to Coleside Avenue. It dates to at least 1822. The bridge was maintained by the Yardley Great Trust. The bridge was almost in ruins in 1956, but was restored in 1980, and is now pedestrianised.

2012

First visit was during March 2012. Starting at Robin Hood Lane in Yardley Wood. A look at the River Cole.

View of the River Cole from the Four Arches Bridge.

The open field in The Dingles you can walk through. No paths on here though.

One of the bridges you can cross over in The Dingles.

View of the footbridge further back.

Trees bare of leaves near the River Cole.

Another close up view of the River Cole.

Contiuing on the walk up the grassy field.

The gate that exits to Trittiford Road. There is also entrances on Highfield Road.

More views of the River Cole.

And another view of the River Cole. By the looks of it from the rough path between the River Cole and Chinn Brook.

The gate at the exit to Highfield Road in Yardley Wood. The River Cole continues beyond here passing the Trittiford Mill Pool.

2016

Back in The Dingles for another walk during May 2016. It was the May Day Bank Holiday walk that started from the Sarehole Mill car park. First up a look at the bridge on Robin Hood Lane, which replaced the ford that used to be here historically.

Fingerpost in The Dingles pointing the way to the John Morris Jones Walkway (left) and the Trittiford Mill Pool (right). Near the historic Four Arches Bridge.

A look at the Four Arches Bridge that crosses the River Cole in The Dingles.

A tree had been cut down near the River Cole at this point.

Another fingerpost in The Dingles. This one alongside the raised cycle path. The Chinn Brook Recreation Ground to the left (also called Chinn Brook Meadows). Sarehole Mill and Cole Bank Road to the right.

Must have taken the walk between the River Cole and the Chinn Brook at the time.

It looks like a bike crossing into the river at this point.

Sign for the 7 Wonders Walk.

After leaving The Dingles this time, saw a fire engine from Billesley Community Fire Station, before going into the John Morris Jones Walkway again.

2017

Snow from December 2017. I didn't enter The Dingles at that time. Only popped into the Trittiford Mill Pool while it was snowing.

White stuff (snow) everywhere.

Even the River Cole from Highfield Road was surrounded by snow at the time.

Not sure what it would have been like to walk through The Dingles covered in snow. But was best to stick to Highfield Road and walk back up to Hall Green.

2020

The first lockdown walk through The Dingles was in March 2020. I took the grass route from the Highfield Road entrance. The man running ahead of me in the Trittiford Mill Pool ran far ahead of me in The Dingles.

See the running man go way ahead of me, while I caught him with the River Cole.

The grass was bit wet to walk on and would be no paths until I got to the bridge to cross over the River Cole.

Saw a magpie on a branch.

Trees were bare as I saw this River Cole view.

Had a blue sky that day in March.

The River Cole from the footbridge.

Looking back at the footbridge I'd crossed over. Same one I used 8 years earlier.

Now on the path towards Coleside Avenue, running alongside the River Cole.

The exit to Coleside Avenue, which was also near the main path in The Dingles.

In May 2020 had another walk through The Dingles. First up saw some ducks near the River Cole from the bridge on Robin Hood Lane. Had just come from the John Morris Jones Walkway.

Another look at the Four Arches Bridge.

Another view of the River Cole from the Four Arches Bridge.

Grass near the main cycle path has been cut for social distancing walking.

Was a lot of long grass apart from the grass mown for the 2 metre social distancing rule.

Gate to Trittiford Road. Briefly exited here before going into another gate on Highfield Road.

On the rough path between the Chinn Brook and River Cole, I found this stump of a tree with all these plastic toys! Some kind of memorial to a child or something?

View of the toys from the top. I hope it was not classed as littering or flytipping.

Still on the rough path between the Chinn Brook and River Cole, in the middle of The Dingles.

View of the River Cole from an alternative route back towards Coleside Avenue and Robin Hood Lane.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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

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