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YourPlaceYourSpace Green open spaces
Displaying until 01 Sep 2021 - YourPlaceYourSpace
Featuring

Love our parks - get involved!

As Lockdown rules start to enable more people to enjoy their parks and green spaces, we all want to ensure that these wonderful places of natural beauty are protected for all to enjoy.  This community collective will share some of the brilliant initiatives running across the UK and show just how, together, we can make a difference for the benefit of all.  Connect with us.

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Love our parks - get involved!





As Lockdown rules start to enable more people to enjoy their parks and green spaces, we all want to ensure that these wonderful places of natural beauty are protected for all to enjoy.  This community collective will share some of the brilliant initiatives running across the UK and show just how, together, we can make a difference for the benefit of all.  Connect with us.


Over the next month and for the remainder of 2020, we will be growing our reach and pull together information and details on all the great work being carried out across communities as they collectively protect their parks.  

This will grow into a massive 'community-led' resource for people with a shared interest and passion for their local parks and green spaces.  

Here's just a few of the ideas and initiatives we will be telling you more about so we can share and get more people actively involved.

Litter picking groups - they do a fantastic job.  We'll connect you with your local group.

Art & Culture Trail.  We'll help you set up your trail and showcase your parks.

Walking clubs. We'll connect you and bring in more friends.

Park angels.  Volunteering with a difference.  We'll tell you more.

Creativity and green spaces collide.  Let's look at how art, music, photography and creativity in all its forms can help promote and protect our parks. 

Parks and mental health.  A walk, ride or jog in the park can do so much for your mental health.

There's something for everyone.

Connect with us and help us protect our parks. 

 

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60 passion points
Elliott Brown Rivers, lakes & canals
14 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Boating Lake at Cannon Hill Park: before and after de-silting the lake

In 2021, the Boating Lake and Breeding Pool was completely emptied of water around January 2021. By February 2021, you could see the surface of the lake, and all the debris on the surface. In the months that followed, workmen would have removed what was down there and de-silted it. By June 2021, the water is back in, and the swan boats can be used again. Lets hope it stays clean.

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The Boating Lake at Cannon Hill Park: before and after de-silting the lake





In 2021, the Boating Lake and Breeding Pool was completely emptied of water around January 2021. By February 2021, you could see the surface of the lake, and all the debris on the surface. In the months that followed, workmen would have removed what was down there and de-silted it. By June 2021, the water is back in, and the swan boats can be used again. Lets hope it stays clean.


For the first time in 35 years, the Breeding Pool and the Boating Lake were drained of water, to de-silt them. Over the decades, people have thrown things into the lakes that have never been taken out.  This was work that was much needed to be done. Before the lakes were drained, the fish were safely removed, and care for the waterfowl that use the lakes.

The work was funded by the Council's Parks Pools Safety Programme. Work started around the weir area in January 2021, to repair the gate, and get it working, so that the pools could be emptied of water. Repairing the weir will ensure that water levels are controlled in future, if there was a risk of flooding.

The plan was to empty the pool before the waterfowl started breeding and nesting. When the silt was dry enough, it was to be dug out and spread on the existing grass areas above ground, above the pool and re-seeded.

 

The Boating Lake, February 2021

This was the views of the Breeding Pool and Boating Lake at Cannon Hill Park on the 19th February 2021.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It was so weird at the time to see it without water.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

First evidence of the debris in the lake that needed to be removed. Metal objects and bricks.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This view towards the MAC (far left).

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was still gulls on their landing railing in the middle of the lake.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It looks like scaffolding in the water where the gulls were perched on.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some geese and pigeons were still around, where there was water, the waterfowl were in the lake. But a lot of debris revealed to the side of the lake.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Hopefully all of this mess was removed in the winter or early spring.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Fences stopping people getting too close to the lake, plus the pumping machine on the left which was used to pump out the water.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Canada geese around all the rubbish, rain water in the lake, or water that hadn't been removed.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

During this time it was the early weeks of the third lockdown, and the swan boats were stored away.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lk Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Boating Lake, June 2021

Almost four months later and back at Cannon Hill Park, and I was suprised to see water back in the Boating Lake. Even the Breeding Pool had water again, and the Canada Geese had had their gosling. This visit was on the 6th June 2021, which was bit of a wet morning.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating lk CHP (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The view towards the MAC. Bins overflowing with rubbish. The day before would have been nice and sunny, and people left litter all over the field.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating lk CHP (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

First view of the swan boats in a while, nice to see them back.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating lk CHP (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

While rainy weather is not the best kind of weather to go on in the swan boats, there has been more sunny blue sky days so far in June, than the non-stop rain in May 2021.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating lk CHP (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

On the walk back towards the Rea Valley Route, a look at the MAC and swan boats to the far right.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating lk CHP (Jun 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

But the light rain was getting heavier. Canada geese on the left. Some parts of the grass was patchy, probably after having the silt on it during the winter months.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating lk CHP (Jun 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

More patches of grass, but nice to see the lake full of water again.

dndimg alt="Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating lk CHP (Jun 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Please can people on dry sunny days, take your litter home, don't overfill the bins, and don't leave your rubbish around the outside of the bins. As the litter pickers from the park have a lot of rubbish to pick up after you, on rainy days like this. Maybe the Council could provide much bigger bins, and empty them more frequently, to keep the premier park of the City nice and clean every day?

 

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

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70 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
07 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Sutton Park Town Gate to Boldmere Gate

I got the train to Sutton Coldfield on the 5th June 2021, on a nice and warm sunny morning in The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield. I headed for the Town Gate for a bit of a walk in Sutton Park. Followed Google Maps to Keepers Pool and Keepers Well. Before changing direction for Powell's Pool and the Boldmere Gate. Much more to explore on a future visit, can't do it all in one go.

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Sutton Park Town Gate to Boldmere Gate





I got the train to Sutton Coldfield on the 5th June 2021, on a nice and warm sunny morning in The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield. I headed for the Town Gate for a bit of a walk in Sutton Park. Followed Google Maps to Keepers Pool and Keepers Well. Before changing direction for Powell's Pool and the Boldmere Gate. Much more to explore on a future visit, can't do it all in one go.


This was more of a proper walk into Sutton Park. As back in August 2017 I only popped into the Boldmere Gate to find the Big Sleuth bear nearby. See this post here: The outer fringes of Sutton Park.

Got the train to Sutton Coldfield Station on the morning of Saturday 5th June 2021 (Cross City Line, now operated by West Midlands Railway). I walked around Railway Road, Tudor Road and Upper Clifton Road, before I got to a roundabout at Park Road. This leads to the Town Gate.

 

Town Gate

On the island was a thatched sculpture of what I think is a Cello.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/TG island Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading up Park Road to the Sutton Park Town Gate. Either side is a pair of gatehouses (looked boarded up). There is a Toby Carvery this way. Tudor Hill to the right had a pair of old gateposts.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Town Gate Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The main road in from the Town Gate. Was a play area on the left, the car park up ahead.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Town Gate Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading around the back of the play area, over a footbridge that crosses over the Plants Brook.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I could see the Visitor Centre to the far left of my then position in the park.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Crossing over the lawn back onto the main path. I wanted to find the Keepers Pool, so checked Google Maps, and left this road for the route to where I wanted to go.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Crossing over to the path I needed, saw this tree stump and cut tree log on the ground.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Keepers Pool and Keepers Well

The Keepers Pool looked nice and peaceful in the early summer sunshine. It dates to the 15th Century. In 1887, a lido was built here, an open-air swimming pool. It survived until 2003 when it was burnt by arsonists, another fire in 2004 meant it was lost for good. But the area has returned to woodland and wetland.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Keepers Pool Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Further up was the Keepers Well. Despite the grass being dry saw a bit of mud, so didn't want to get too close. Would assume it also dates back to the same period as Keepers Pool.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Keepers Well Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Deer Park Subdivision

Not far from Keepers Pool and Well was this marker for Deer Park Subdivision. The land had been a Norman deer park from the early 12th century. There used to be banks and ditches. But over time they subsided and were filled in, so is nothing much to see now. Although I did cross over some raised bits of earth near the paths and roads.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This is the path close to the Deer Park Subdivision marker.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The road continues on towards Streetly. But it was near here that I left the path to make my way towards the Boldmere Gate and Sutton Coldfield Town Centre. Didn't want to go too far in the park.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Going off the path over the field, so many people walking or cycling over the land had left a trail towards the next path.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now back onto a path / road that leads back to the Boldmere Gate.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

But first a diversion into an open field I found. Was wooden markers with yellow warning signs. Apparently this is where people fly their model aeroplanes, but not on the day of my visit to the park.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Into the heathland, and another path well troden by many other people over the years.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Saw this weird looking tree, leaning to the left. I was getting close to Powell's Pool and the Boldmere Gate.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Powell's Pool

Back to the path leading to the Boldmere Gate, then one last detour to see Powell's Pool again. Saw this boat with gulls perched on it.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Powells Pool Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A perfect morning with a blue sky and little clouds above the pool.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Powells Pool Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Taking the gate exit near Miller & Carter. Saw this view of the pool from the car park area on the left.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Powells Pool Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Couldn't resist getting a couple more shots from Stonehouse Road of the pool. Yachts as usual to the far left.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Powells Pool Sutton Park (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Boldmere Gate

Leaving at the park at the Boldmere Gate, via Stonehouse Road, saw another thatched sculpture on an island resembling a harp.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/BG island Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Not far from the Boldmere Gate on Monmouth Drive was a new West Midlands Cycle Hire point with bikes.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WM Cycle Hire Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Down on Monmouth Drive was a football field, was kids taking part in an activity here, was a van near the road, but I didn't get a shot of it, so didn't remember the name of it.

dndimg alt="Sutton Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/KFB Sutton Park (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Leaving via Monmouth Drive, Digby Road, Driffold, Bishops Road and Birmingham Road. Walking back into Sutton Coldfield Town Centre. With a stop for a coffee and a toastie at Caffe Nero at the Gracechurch Shopping Centre.

By the time I walked back to Sutton Coldfield Station, I'd managed 10,000 steps.

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

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80 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
07 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Cannon Hill Park - a green space trail

This trail takes you through this wonderful park to some great landmarks and includes the option (which we most certainly recommend) of a visit to the Nature Centre and the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park. 

Explore a few places on the trail over an hour or two or spend a full day at Cannon Hill Park.  

Enjoy!   

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Cannon Hill Park - a green space trail





This trail takes you through this wonderful park to some great landmarks and includes the option (which we most certainly recommend) of a visit to the Nature Centre and the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park. 

Explore a few places on the trail over an hour or two or spend a full day at Cannon Hill Park.  

Enjoy!   


Can we recommend you start the trail at The Midlands Art Centre (The MAC).

 

The Midlands Art Centre (The MAC).

Grab a coffee and a bite to eat at the cafe.  Explore this wonderful arts complex which hosts a mix of theatre, dance, and music, complete with its own cinema and workshops. 

dndimg alt="The MAC Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/MAC Bham Cannon Hill (Feb 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Explore more about the MAC HERE

From the Mac you pass the Outdoor Arena and The Children's Adventure Playground.

The Outdoor Arena and The Adventure Playground.

450-seater open-air performance space with an exciting series of outdoor events planned. Next to this, there's a great open space for the youngsters to enjoy at the park's Adventure Playground. 

dndimg alt="" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_4550b_ARCV.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now walk on past the Fishing Lake on your left.

Fishing Lake.

Go and enjoy a range of recreational activities on the lake including boating and fishing,

Maybe the swans have tempted you.

dndimg alt="Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boating Lake Cannon Hill Park (May 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

From here you could take a small detour out of the park to enjoy an hour or two at Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park.

Boy Scouts War Memorial.

On your way to what was formerly called the Nature Centre is the Boy Scouts War Memorial, Grade II listed. Unveiled in July 1924, in the form of an obelisk. In memory of the lives of the Boy Scouts lost during the First World War. Designed by local architect William Hayward.

dndimg alt="Boy Scouts War Memorial" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boy Scouts War Memorial Cannon Hill Park (July 2018).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Continue along the path towards the Pershore Road.

Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park.

The Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park is home to a unique collection of animals including Red Pandas, Lemurs, Reptiles, Wallabies, Meerkats, Otters, Birds and a large collection of Monkeys. Some of the animals at this park are endangered and the park plays an important role in protecting and preserving many species.

dndimg alt="Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park " dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park (Aug 2014).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Explore more about the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park HERE.

Now on to explore the wonderful woodlands at Cannon Hill Park.

Woodlands at Cannon Hill Park.

Cannon Hill Park is made up of 80 acres of formal parkland and 120 acres of conservation area and woodland plantation. Enjoy a wonderful stroll through the woodland! 

dndimg alt="Centenary Woodland Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Woodland CHP (Aug 2019) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

From here on to the Sons of Rest.

Sons of Rest.  

Sons of Rest was a movement established by a group of retired working men in 1927. They met to play cards, dominoes and enjoy each others company. The Cannon Hill Sons of Rest was built in 1937.

dndimg alt="Sons of Rest Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sons of Rest CHP (Nov 2009) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

From here on to The Golden Lion.

The Golden Lion.

The Golden Lion was originally built in 1520 in Deritend.  The original site is believed to have been a clergy house and a school before becoming an Inn.  It was moved to Cannon Hill Park in 1911.  Sadly over the last couple of decades, the pub has been behind scaffolding, and is in a poor statue of disrepair. Campaigners are hoping to get it restored, or moved back to Digbeth?

dndimg alt="The Golden Lion Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Golden Lion CHP (Nov 2009) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The Friends of the Golden Lion have a Facebook page HERE.

From here on to The Bandstand.

The Bandstand.

This is a Grade II listed Victorian bandstand built in the 19th century with a blue-brick and stone base, cast iron columns and a curved pavilion roof.  It dates to circa 1880 to 1890.

dndimg alt="Bandstand Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bandstand CHP (May 2020).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now go and see a fascinating sculpture and Sousse memorial.

"Infinite Wave".

Prince Harry unveiled this memorial dedicated to those killed and affected by the two terrorist attacks in Tunisia in 2015.  Infinite Wave was designed by George King Architects.

dndimg alt="" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_6464b_Brum.jpg" />

How about a bit of fun at the Park's International Mini-Golf course.

Mini Golf at Cannon Hill Park.

36 holes of fantastic mini golf fun complete with water hazards.  An 18 hole mini golf course previously opened in 2012. It is now Golden Putter Mini Golf.

dndimg alt="Golden Putter Mini Golf Cannon Hill Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Mini Golf CHP (Apr 2017) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

More information on Golden Putter Mini Golf HERE.

Now for something a little different.

Train Station.

Fancy a ride on the park's train. You can pick it up at the park's train station. 

dndimg alt="Cannon Hill Park Station" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Cannon Hill Park Station (Nov 2009) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Now for a detour to the Boer War Memorial.

Boer War Memorial.

This statue is in memory of the British lives lost during the Second Boer War (1899 - 1902) in South Africa. When Joseph Chamberlain was the British Colonial Secretary. The bronze memorial was sculpted by Albert Toft and unveiled in Cannon Hill Park in 1906. It was cleaned and restored in 2012, now Grade II* listed. Surrounded with benches where you can sit down and relax.

dndimg alt="Boer War Memorial" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boer War Memorial Cannon Hill Park (Nov 2009) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Time for a cup of tea or a sandwich?

The Garden Tea Room.

After exploring so much of what's available at this wonderful park, take a break at the tea rooms.

dndimg alt="The Garden Tea Room" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/The Garden TR CHP (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now onto remembering a lady who was instrumental to the park's existence as a fantastic open space for us all to enjoy.

Louisa Ryland Monument.

Louisa Ann Ryland (1814 - 1889) gifted the park to the city in 1873.  The blue plaque from the Birmingham Civic Society unveiled at the gatehouse / lodge at 143 Edgbaston Road in 1990. The Rea Valley Cycle Route was officially opened here in 1991.

dndimg alt="Louisa Ryland blue plaque" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Gatehouse CHP (Nov 2009) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

On now to a model of the Elan Valley Project in Wales.

Elan Valley Project Model.

Explore the city's connection with Elan Valley in Wales which supplied much of the city's water for more than 100 years.

dndimg alt="" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_4768b_ARCV.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now onto the Canoe Pool.

The Canoe Pool.

More great wildlife to enjoy as we near the end of the trail around the park.

dndimg alt="" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/IMG_4694b_ARCV.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A short walk back to the Mac.

We hope you have enjoyed our trail. 

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40 passion points
Elliott Brown History & heritage
04 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

A visit to Winterbourne House and Garden during May 2021

It's been a long time coming, but we went to Winterbourne House and Garden on Wednesday 26th May 2021. You enter via the house. Tickets can be bought inside the house, £7.20 for adults or £6.20 for seniors. You can also choose to have time to go around the house. We went in the house at 3pm. The Tearoom is also open, but you can have your tea and coffee on the terrace.

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A visit to Winterbourne House and Garden during May 2021





It's been a long time coming, but we went to Winterbourne House and Garden on Wednesday 26th May 2021. You enter via the house. Tickets can be bought inside the house, £7.20 for adults or £6.20 for seniors. You can also choose to have time to go around the house. We went in the house at 3pm. The Tearoom is also open, but you can have your tea and coffee on the terrace.


Winterbourne House and Garden

It's been a long time coming. But after almost 13 years, we went back to Winterbourne House and Garden. In 2008 only the garden was open to visitors. Since then, the Arts and Crafts style house was fully restored and given full museum status by 2017. Some things had changed with the garden as well. Plus this time I remembered to go down to the Edgbaston Pool. The ground floor and first floor of the house are open to visitors, but only a limited number of people at each time, on timed slots. The Tearoom was open as well. Only one household bubble can go up to the counter to order their drinks, card or app payment only. Have your drinks and cakes out on the terrace outside (tables and chairs). I think the indoor tearoom was open, but wasn't sure as everyone went to have their drinks outside.

 

Recap of the History of Winterbourne

The house was built in 1904 for John and Margaret Nettlefold. They were a wealthy Edwardian couple, who lived and raised their children here. Built in the Arts and Crafts style, John Nettlefold commissioned the architect Joseph Lancaster Ball to design the house. An unusual feature of Winterbourne is the wavy roof line, making the house look older than it actually is. The Nettlefold's were insistent that all the main rooms faced south, including the nursery, to get the maximum amount of sunlight and the best views. The house was built by Isaac Langley of Tyburn, Birmingham. The plaster work was undertaken by local craftsperson G P Bankart. It had all the mod cons of the time including electric lighting and gas fires in several rooms. Many people were moving to Edgbaston in the early 1900s, so it was the perfect place to built their family home. Winterbourne was also close to the new University of Birmingham which was founded by Margaret's uncle Joseph Chamberlain in 1900.

The Nettlefold's lived here from 1904 until 1919 (when John got ill). They were followed by the Wheelock family who lived here from 1919 until 1925. A gardener called John Nicholson bought the house in 1925. When he passed away in 1944, he bequeathed the house to the University of Birmingham.  The house at 58 Edgbaston Park Road has been a Grade II listed building since 1982. The house was fully restored in 2010. It gained full museum status in 2017, with the ground and first floor open to visitors to have a look around at.

 

 

This visit of May 2021, was by chance a couple of days after the 121st anniversary of the founding of the University of Birmingham by a Royal Charter.

 

View of Winterbourne House from the terrace. To the left is the entrance to the house, and also the area for having your teas and coffees outside.

 

 

dndimg alt="Winterbourne" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne HG ext (May 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The house seen from the Lower Lawn, in the middle is the Pergola.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne HG ext (May 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The house seen from the Top Lawn. The terrace in front, parasols mostly closed as it was a dry day.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne HG ext (May 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The house seen from near the exit. The former garden entrance on the left. You now enter the house via  the door to the far right.

dndimg alt="Winterbourne" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Winterbourne HG ext (May 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A tour of the house inside

Starting your tour (without a guide) at The Drawing Room. It was a place for the family to relax and for entertaining guests. The plasterwork on the walls and ceilings are typical of Arts and Crafts design.

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We next to into The Hallway. It was inspired by 17th century long galleries.

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On the left is a portrait of John Nettlefold (1866 - 1930). The family lived in the house until 1919, when John got ill. It is a photograph of a portrait of John Nettlefold by John Byam Liston Shaw in 1904.

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At the far end of the Hallway is a portrait of Margaret Nettlefold (nee Chamberlain) (1871 - 1949). Born into the Chamberlain family, she was the niece of Joseph Chamberlain (1836 - 1914) and first cousin of Neville Chamberlain (1869 - 1940). The painting was also by John Byam Liston Shaw and done in 1904 (this is a photograph reproduction of the original).

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The next room on the ground floor was The Study. This room is dedicated to John Nettlefold and his work. On his desk lies the plans for the Moorpool estate. The wallpaper is 'Brier Rabbit' by William Morris.

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Up to the first foor and we are now in the Nurses' Room. It is the room on the left of the top of the stairs. It's the kind of room where the servants would have lived in the house.

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That is followed by The Nursery. It was a large and airy room for the children and faced the garden. The children would have played and slept in the room, and even had their lessons here from the Nurse before they were old enough to attend local schools.

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The next room is Nina's Room. It has been styled for a 16 year old girl from the period. The outfit near the window is an example of Edwardian summer dress worn by young girls of Nina's social standing.

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The final bedroom you can view is Ken's Room. Named after John Kenrick Nettlefold, he was the Nettlefold's only surviving son. It represents what the room could have looked like before he left the family home.

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In The Exhibition Room near the door was this sculpture. Standing Lovers, 1974. Made of Terracotta by John Tonks (1927-2012). It was originally exhibited at Winterbourne House in 1974, as part of a restrospective of John Tonks' work.

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The Winterbourne Press

This building was originally the garage, to house the Nettlefold's first motor car which they bought in 1906. Today the building houses the Winterbourne Press, which shows the early printing techniques of those used in Arts and Crafts design, with a collection of working 19th and early 20th century printing presses.

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When you go in, only one person is allowed at one time. Beyond this gate is staff only. There was several old printing presses inside, plus examples of prints that they had produced.

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Former farm buildings at Winterbourne

There is several former farm buildings and stables at Winterbourne. From the Walled Garden you can see The Old Hayloft houses, which is now the Winterbourne Shop. It is also now the exit from the garden. Various items can be bought here, such as the Guide Book for £5 (card or app payment only at present).

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Exiting the shop, you see the Coach House Gallery, which is now home to the Second-hand Bookshop.

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Garden tour at Winterbourne

First up is The Walled Garden. Through here is the shop, second-hand bookshop, the toilets, Winterbourne Press, and  Edwardian Kitchen. In the centre is the Dipping Pool. It was restored after a leak in 2008. To the far end is the Lean-to Glasshouse which was restored in 2005.

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The next area is the Glasshouse and Alpine Garden. Here you can visit The Gilbert Orchid House (pictured below). Also the Arid House and Alpine House. The Glasshouses were first included in this area as early as the 1930s. The Gilbert Orchid House was built in the 1960s.

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The Nut Walk is near the Geographic collections. It is an original feature of the garden, and provides a focal point for this area. It is in a tunnel shape. The hazelnut trees growing here are the same ones planted by Margaret Nettlefold over 100 years ago. By the 1980s the original structure had decayed, and was replaced with a new, longer lasting iron frame, domed in shape.

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The Rhododendron Walk runs straight towards the stream. There is also a gate on one side that leads to the Edgbaston Pool. It is the first part of the garden to burst into colour in the spring. There is the remains of an Oak Tree here, that has been left as a memorial to it.

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Taking a detour of the garden, down a path (from the unlocked gate) to the Edgbaston Pool. It belongs to Edgbaston Golf Club. Visitors to Winterbourne can walk along the path, and sit at the benches. The gate beyond is private property of the golf club. Visitors must leave the pool by 4:45pm, when the gate at Winterbourne is padlocked for the evening. The pool was part of the Edgbaston Estate of the Gough family, later members of the Calthorpe's, whose Calthorpe Estates owns much of the land in Edgbaston.

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Back in Winterbourne Garden, and now walking past the stream. This is the Japanese Bridge and Sandstone Rock Garden. On the day of our visit, the bridge was closed for maintenance, so couldn't do the Woodland Walk.

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The furthest part of the garden you can go to. The Stream Lawn, Streamside Borders and Magnolia Border. It's hard to believe that you are two miles away from the city centre. It was originally used in 1904 to grow vegetables. Later in the 1970s it was home to a small nursery, before it was removed to make way for the present day lawn and flowering shrub borders.

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Next up is the Lower Lawn. In this view you can see the Pergola (view towards the house). The Herb Circle is to the right. The Pergola is a true Arts and Crafts feature, added by John Nicolson. It was restored in 2005. Currently there is no access to it, while you are walking around the lawn.

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The Old Meadow is a part of the Winter Garden. It is alongside Winterbourne's western boundary. Originally pastureland during the Edwardian period, it was tamed by gardening staff in 1969, when it was used to house a series of plant family beds. Later it became a commemorative garden to celebrate the centenary of the City of Birmingham in 1989. The Old Meadow contains The White Border, The Mediterranean Bed and the Winter Border.

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The Top Lawn can be seen from the terrace in front of the house. The Lime Walk is to the right of here. This is the lawn where the Nettlefold's would have played boules and croquet. The Wheelocks, who followed them, used it for family games and tennis.

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

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