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GreenSpacesAndUs – A FreeTimePays community

Protecting our green open spaces

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

Launch date: June 2019
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Green open spaces
Displaying until 01 Sep 2021 - FreeTimePays
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
Green open spaces
20 Oct 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

12 must visit parks in Birmingham in 2021

There is literally hundreds of parks in Birmingham, but here is a quick look at 12 parks we recommend that you could visit in 2021 at any time of the year for a walk, cycle, or taking your dog for a walk etc. From the obvious parks such as Kings Heath Park and Cannon Hill Park, to the less obvious parks such as Kings Norton Park and Manor Farm Park. Too many to choose from.

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12 must visit parks in Birmingham in 2021





There is literally hundreds of parks in Birmingham, but here is a quick look at 12 parks we recommend that you could visit in 2021 at any time of the year for a walk, cycle, or taking your dog for a walk etc. From the obvious parks such as Kings Heath Park and Cannon Hill Park, to the less obvious parks such as Kings Norton Park and Manor Farm Park. Too many to choose from.


Click the links below to go to the projects and view the posts. All reachable by car or bus. Some by train and tram. Many of these parks used to be country estates before being acquired by the Council from the late 19th or into the 20th Century.

 

Cannon Hill Park

Located between Moseley and Edgbaston on Edgbaston Road and Russell Road. There is also entrances from the Pershore Road. Cannon Hill Park opened to the public back in 1873, on land donated by Louisa Ryland. It is probably the most popular park in Birmingham with lakes, playgrounds and a fun fair. The Midlands Art Centre is also based here. Various memorials are located in this famous park.

Bus routes: 1, 1A, 35, 45 or 47.

 

Kings Heath Park

Probably the second most popular park in Birmingham is Kings Heath Park. Located on Vicarage Road and Avenue Road in Kings Heath. The park was home to the TV Garden, and there is a Tea Room located in a house built in 1832 for an MP, William Congreve Russell. The land and house later ended up in the Cartland family in 1880, and they sold it in 1900s. Eventually the local council took control, before Kings Heath became a part of Birmingham in 1911. Today there is several play areas in the park, plus a couple of ponds.

Bus routes: 11A, 11C, 27 or 76.

 

Highbury Park

Located between Kings Heath and Moseley, with one entrance near the Kings Heath High Street. It was the estate of Joseph Chamberlain who lived at Highbury Hall until his death in 1914. Highbury Park also has entrances on Moor Green Lane, and one near a gatehouse close to Yew Tree Lane. From Dad's Lane and Shutlock Lane, there is a back entrance to the park also leading to a car park. The park opened to the public in 1930. The park has a couple of ponds that you can see.

Bus routes: 27, 35, 50 or 76.

Trains: A new Kings Heath Station could open in the future by 2022 (the original station closed in 1941).

 

Kings Norton Park

This park is located down the Pershore Road South in Kings Norton. It was opened to the public in 1924. There is a car park located on Westhill Road. The River Rea flows through the park, although you can't see it. The park features a play area near the Westhill Road entrance, and a skate park. Not too far from the old Kings Norton Village. Part of the Rea Valley Route, and on the National Cycle Network route no 5.

Bus routes: 18, 19, 45, 47 and 49.

Trains: Kings Norton Station on the Cross City Line up the hill in Cotteridge.

 

Handsworth Park

This park is located between Hamstead Road and Hinstock Road in Handsworth. Also with entrances on Holly Road and Grove Road. Nearby is the Church of St Mary, where James Watt and Matthew Boulton are buried. Handsworth Park has at least two lakes. A railway line crosses half way through the park (it was the site of Handsworth Wood Station until 1942). Originally known as Victoria Park, it opened to the public in the 1880s. A sculpture was installed in the park called SS Journey by Luke Perry.

Bus routes: 16, 61 or 101.

Trams: In walking distance of Soho Benson Road or Winson Green Outer Circle tram stops.

 

Grove Park

This park is located on Harborne Park Road in Harborne. Grove Park has been a public park in Birmingham since 1963. The southern end of the park is on Mill Farm Road towards the Kenrick Centre. Historically the park was the grounds of The Grove, which was an 18th century Georgian house. One of Birmingham's first MP's Thomas Attwood lived at The Grove from 1823 to 1846. The house was later rebuilt for another Birmingham MP, William Kenrick in 1877-78. He died there in 1919. His son Alderman W. Byng Kenrick donated the estate to the City (he died in 1962). The house was demolished by Birmingham City Council in 1963. The park has a play area and a lake.

Bus routes: 10S, 11A, 11C or 76.

 

Bournville Park

This small park located in Bournville is on Linden Road, and is disected by The Bourn. Directly opposite the world famous Cadbury chocolate factory. The parks goes towards Selly Oak Road and Oak Tree Lane. There is a play area close to Linden Road. Close to Bournville Village Primary School. There is also a tennis court and a bowling green.

Bus routes: 11A or 11C, 27 or 48.

Trains: Bournville Station on the Cross City Line.

Rookery Park

Up to Erdington for this park. Rookery Park is located on Wood End Road and Kingsbury Road. The site of Rookery House, which was being restored the last time I saw it. The Grade II listed house was built in the 18th century, and was originally known as Birches Green House. Was the home of Abraham Spooner and his descendants from 1730. Various different owner occupiers during the 19th century. The local council took over the land in the late 19th century, then became part of Birmingham from 1911. There was several derelict toilets in the park in urgent need of restoration. As well as a play area towards the Western Road exit.

Bus routes: 11A or 11C or X14.

Trains: In walking distance of Erdington Station on the Cross City Line.

Selly Oak Park

This park is located in Selly Oak on Gibbins Road and Harborne Lane, close to the Selly Oak Bypass and the site of the Lapal Canal. The park has a play area and plenty of paths for walking. One route along the site of the lost canal goes towards Weoley Castle. Selly Oak Park opened in 1899 on land donated by the Gibbins family. More land was added to the park during the 20th century. The park is maintained by The Friends of Selly Oak Park. You can find carved wooden sculptures around the park, by Graham Jones.

Bus routes: 10S, 11A, 11C or 48.

Trains: In walking distance of Selly Oak Station on the Cross City Line.

Cotteridge Park

This park can be accessed from the Persore Road via a bridge (over the Cross City Line) from Breedon Road. The park also runs up Franklin Road towards Bournville. The park has a play area and tennis courts. Plus a skate park and basketball court. Cotteridge Park had a Sons of Rest building, but it was demolished in the 1990s. The Friends of Cotteridge Park was started up in 1997. A small community building was built between 2019 and 2020.

Bus routes: Not far from the 11A, 11C, 45, 47 or 48.

Trains: Bournville or Kings Norton Station on the Cross City Line.

Manor Farm Park

Over to Northfield for this park, located on the Bristol Road South. Although it is known as White Hill in the area close to Bournville. The park was the site of the Northfield Manor House, which was damaged by fire in 2014 (never seen it myself). It was the home of George and Elizabeth Cadbury, from 1890, until his death in 1922 and her death in 1953. The park was opened to the public in 1951. Also home to a small lake. A wooden picnic barn built in 1894, was sadly destroyed by arsonists in 2017 and has been demolished. The Friends of Manor Farm Park hope to restore the outbuildings in the park.

Bus routes: 44, 48, 61, 63, 76 or 144.

Sheldon Country Park

This large Country Park is located between the Coventry Road in Sheldon towards Marston Green and Birmingham Airport. The Westley Brook flows through the park. There is an Airport viewing area that is good for plane spotting, as well as The Old Rectory Farm. Sheldon Country Park is split into sections, from Coventry Road to Church Road. Then from Church Road towards the Airport Viewing Area. The Hatchford Brook also flows into the park joining the Westley Brook not far from the runway of the airport.

Bus routes: 60, X1, X2, 72 or 73.

Trains: Marston Green Station on the West Coast Mainline (Birmingham New Street to Coventry line).

Similar post here on the 11 bus Outer Circle.

 

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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