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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 Green open spaces
19 Jul 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Chamberlain Gardens in Ladywood

In 2020-21 Chamberlain Gardens had new gates and railings installed. Located in Ladywood at Monument Road and Ladywood Road. Towards Beaufort Road. The parkland also has a playground, outdoor gym area, tennis and basketball courts. A short walk to Perrott's Folly and Edgbaston Reservoir. Ladywood Middleway and Broadway Plaza are also nearby. 

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Chamberlain Gardens in Ladywood





In 2020-21 Chamberlain Gardens had new gates and railings installed. Located in Ladywood at Monument Road and Ladywood Road. Towards Beaufort Road. The parkland also has a playground, outdoor gym area, tennis and basketball courts. A short walk to Perrott's Folly and Edgbaston Reservoir. Ladywood Middleway and Broadway Plaza are also nearby. 


Chamberlain Gardens, Ladywood

During 2020 and 2021, Birmingham City Council has installed new railings and gates at Chamberlain Gardens in Ladywood. The parkland is at the heart of a Council housing estate, many of the tower blocks here have been reclad in recent years.

I found at least four new gates, from Beaufort Road, at the Calthorpe Entrance, at Cawdor Crescent, is the Winfield Entrance. Further up Cawdor Crescent to Monument Road is Perrotts Entrance, and at the Monument Road corner with Ladywood Road is the Osler Entrance.

Chamberlain Gardens was first developed in the 1960s, and was named after the former Mayor of Birmingham, Joseph Chamberlain (1836 - 1914), he served three terms from 1873 to 1876, before he resigned the office when he got elected to Parliament.

 

2014

I first briefly went into Chamberlain Gardens back in October 2014. I was close to the corner of Monument Road and Ladywood Road at the time. This sign for Chamberlain Gardens, A Barclays Space for Sports.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns (Oct 2014) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

It was very autumnal at the time, when I spotted this hut in the middle near the trees.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns (Oct 2014) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

The roof was missing some tiles at the time. What was it used for in the past, a ticket kiosk, or somewhere to buy ice cream? Anyone know?

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns (Oct 2014) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

2021

Fast forward to July 2021, and it was time to check out Chamberlain Gardens. Last year I went to see Perrotts Folly and the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower again, but at the time decided to not pop into the park. There is now new gates that have been installed since I was last in the area.

Welcome to Chamberlain Gardens. This is the Calthorpe Entrance at Beaufort Road in Ladywood. It is near Kenrick House.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Passing Kenrick House from the Beaufort Road entrance into the park.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Council has recently cut the grass here.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A look to the Chamberlain Gardens Playground.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Next to that was the Chamberlain Gardens Outdoor Gym Area.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading to Cawdor Crescent, to check out the next gate.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This is the Winfield Entrance at Cawdor Crescent.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading along Cawdor Crescent, double yellow lines, so no cars parked here.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View of the tennis and basketball courts from Cawdor Crescent.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Between Cawdor Crescent and Monument Road is the next gate, this is Perrotts Entrance. It is close to Perrotts Folly (which is on Reservoir Road). Although Noel Road is closer at this point.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading back into the park, there is a view here towards The Mercian.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another look at the hut I saw all those years ago. The roof is now repaired by the looks of it, but it is still unused.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One of the paths seems to have been resurfaced here, maybe it is suitable for cyclists.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now heading along the path near Monument Road towards Ladywood Road.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Nice reflection on the newly laid path of a tree.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path curves around past the trees near Ladywood Road.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Out of the park one last time. This is the Osler Entrance at the corner of Ladywood Road and Monument Road.

dndimg alt="Chamberlain Gardens" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Chamberlain Gdns Lwd (Jul 2021) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

From here, it was a short walk to Ladywood Middleway along Monument Road. It was very hot and sunny.

 

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

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

Walsall Arboretum - a historic Victorian public park!

A short walk away from Walsall Town Centre is Walsall Arboretum, which is Walsall's public park. First opened in 1874, originally as a paid for attraction, the local council bought it and reopened it as a free to enter public park in 1884. From 2010 to 2015 there was a refurbishment programme here, including opening a Visitor Centre. Hatherton Lake has a boat house and bandstand.

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Walsall Arboretum - a historic Victorian public park!





A short walk away from Walsall Town Centre is Walsall Arboretum, which is Walsall's public park. First opened in 1874, originally as a paid for attraction, the local council bought it and reopened it as a free to enter public park in 1884. From 2010 to 2015 there was a refurbishment programme here, including opening a Visitor Centre. Hatherton Lake has a boat house and bandstand.


Walsall Arboretum

 

I got the train back to Walsall from Birmingham New Street. Starting from platform 4c, the train went via the Soho Loop Line (meaning it bypasses Perry Barr and Aston, and doesn't stop at Hamstead or Bescot Stadium as it was the train to Rugeley Trent Valley). The only stop before Walsall was Tame Bridge Parkway. From the station, it was around a 15 minute walk, via the High Street and Council House in Walsall. Then you have to cross the traffic lights at the busy junction of Broadway North with Littleton Street East. Which was also near Queen Mary's High School. Your first sight of the arboretum is the Arboretum Lodge.

 

History of Walsall Arboretum

The Arboretum was built on the site of Reynolds Hall, which was the home of the Persehouse family from the 16th century. By the 18th century the estate had been inherited by the Littleton family, who developed lime quarries in Walsall. By the 1840s, one of the quarries had been flooded, and was used by local people for bathing and skiing. The then Mayor of Walsall during 1844 drowned in the lake, by then known as Hatherton Lake. By the 1850s, the quarries was being surrounded by villas and Queen Mary's Grammar School.

The Walsall Arboretum and Lake Company was formed in 1870, and plans started to turn the estate into a park. Plans included the building of two lodges, a boat house and bandstand by the county surveyor Robert Griffiths. The Arboretum was laid out from 1872 and opened to paying customers by 1874. In the following decade the Arboretum Company ran into financial difficulties, and it was sold to the Town Council, who opened it up as a free public park in 1884.

There was a major refurbishment programme in the park from 2010 until 2015, this included restoring the buildings, the lakes etc, and building a new Visitor Centre. 

A bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome, an author born in Walsall was unveiled in 2016, while a bronze statue of a horse was relocated to the park in 2017.

 

West Midlands Cycle Hire

Before entering the park, I spotted a new West Midlands Cycle Hire docking point on Broadway North, so checked that out first. At least two bikes were not properly in the dock.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMCH Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later after leaving the park, saw a man with a white van, loading some bikes into the van, and making sure the other bikes were properly in the dock. I did not find any other West Midlands Cycle Hire docks in Walsall on this visit.

dndimg alt="West Midlands Cycle Hire" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WMCH Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Arboretum Lodge

This is the main entrance to the park at the corner of Lichfield Street and Broadway North. Built in 1872, it was originally the subscription paid for entrance to the park, but has been free to enter here since the local Council bought the park in 1884. It is now near the busy traffic junction on the Walsall ring road. It has a distinctive clock tower.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lodge Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

As I entered, I saw the bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome and a man riding one of the new West Midlands Cycle Hire bikes out of the park.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lodge Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bronze bust of Jerome K. Jerome

The Walsall born author of Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome (1859 - 1927) was honoured with a bronze bust, close to The Arboretum Lodge. It was sculpted by local artist Phil Kelly, and was unveiled in June 2016. Jerome was a Freeman of the Borough of Walsall, and the Jerome K. Jerome Society lobbied for a sculpture to be made to recognise him, in the town of his birth.

dndimg alt="Jerome K. Jerome" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JKJ Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Jerome K. Jerome was born on the 2nd May 1859 at Belsize House on Bradford Street in Walsall. The Grade II listed house used to be a museum from the 1980s until 2007-08. The Jerome K. Jerome Society is hoping to find a new home for the exhibits that used to be in the museum.

dndimg alt="Jerome K. Jerome" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/JKJ Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Hatherton Lake

Originally a quarry pit, it was later flooded, and by the middle of the 19th century it was a lake used for bathing and skiing. There is a boat house on one side (built 1874) and a Bandstand (built 1924) on the other side.

This view of Hatherton Lake towards the bandstand.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This view of Hatherton Lake towards the boat house.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later found an upper path that led back to the lake, and got this view with a distinctive Victorian style lamppost.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another view towards the boat house on the opposite side of the lake. Hard to believe it used to be a quarry pit until the mid 19th Century.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Walsall Arb (June 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

One more view from the benches viewing area on Broadway North of the lake. Noticed that there is no steps or ramp down to the park from up here, you have to enter via the lodge, or anther gate.

dndimg alt="Hatherton Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hatheron Lk Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Boat House

The Boat House is the only Grade II listed building in the park, dating to 1874. Probably designed by the county surveyor Robert Griffiths. It is a timber-framed building with hipped tiled roofs and a raised lantern. It has cast-iron columns and a concrete base supports above the water level. It is on Hatherton Lake.

First saw the boat house going in a clockwise direction around the lake.

dndimg alt="Boat House Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boat House Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later saw the boat house on the walk back to the lodge,  just after passing the poppy field, and from the opposite side of the lake. Hard to believe it was opened around 1874-75. Especially with all the modern alterations to it.

dndimg alt="Boat House Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Boat House Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bandstand

The present bandstand was erected in 1924, replacing a previous structure on the same site that was built in 1873, which was of the conventional octagonal form. It is near Hatherton Lake.

The first view of the bandstand from the opposite side of the lake, shortly after I first arrived in the park.

dndimg alt="Bandstand Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bandstand Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The second view going off the upper path, was an area where you could look down at the bandstand and the lake below.

dndimg alt="Bandstand Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bandstand Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre was opened in November 2015. The opening of the visitor centre was the culmination of the arboretum restoration programme, delivered 2010 - 2015. Within the new building is retained a former agricultural building that pre dates the park. The new centre was wrapped around this key historic feature.

On the left is the Industrial Garden featuring Fluffy the Oss.

dndimg alt="Visitor Centre Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/VC Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bronze horse statue of Fluffy the Oss

This statue of a bronze horse was originally commissioned by Walsall Council in the 1990s, and used to be outside of the Civic Centre. But due to vandalism, it was removed to storage. Years later it was restored to the condition it is in now, and installed in the Industrial Garden near the Visitor Centre at the Arboretum in 2017. It was originally sculpted by Marjan Wouda. The garden celebrates Walsall's industrial heritage and is situated by the site of the old limestone workings.

Fluffy the Oss is a feature of the Industrial Garden at Walsall Arboretum.

dndimg alt="Fluffy the Oss" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Fluffy Oss Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Leckie Building

This building was built from 1902, and opened in 1904 as the Pavillion Refreshment Room. It was designed by H. E. Lavender, and was the focal point of the park. It closed down in 1931, but reopened in 1936 as the  Joseph Leckie Sons of Rest Social Club for older adults which it remains to this day.

First view from the path to the centre of the park, but was a pair of trees in the way of the view.

dndimg alt="The Leckie Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Leckie Bldg Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later walking back to the lake and lodge, got a pair of rear views.

dndimg alt="The Leckie Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Leckie Bldg Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was a stone dated 1902 at the back of The Leckie Building.

dndimg alt="The Leckie Building" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Leckie Bldg Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Ladies Bowl Pavillion

This was originally a refreshment pavillion built in 1934. It was called the Richard B Sutton shelter. It was built of Cotswold Stone under a tiled hipped roof, with a locally supported by circular section rustic stone columns. In 2003 it became the club house for the Ladies Bowls Club.

This was near the halfway point of the park, saw a Welcome to Walsall Arboretum sign / map, and then followed another path back towards the lodge and lake.

dndimg alt="Ladies Bowl Pavillion" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Ladies Bowl Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden was quite close to The Leckie Building. This was an upper path view of it.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rose Gdn Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was these steps with railings down the middle and a semi circlular arch above.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Rose Gdn Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Summer Poppy Field

The poppy field is quite a sight to see at Walsall Arboretum each summer. It is close to Broadway North and Arboretum Road, and not far from the bandstand.

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I wasn't the only one to stop and take photos of this poppy field, even dog walkers stopped to take a look!

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A macro zoom in to one of the poppies.

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After I left the park, a look at the poppy field over the wall from Broadway North.

dndimg alt="Poppy field" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Poppies Walsall Arb (Jun 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The best of the rest of the park

Having just passed the Arboretum Lodge, and bust of Jerome K. Jerome, I saw these flower beds to the right of the path.

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

The paths around the Arboretum. This one (below) was between Hatherton Lake (right) and the Deep Pond (left).

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

While I was checking out the Hatherton Lake, I also saw the small pool to the left of the path. This is also called the Deep Pond. Behind is the villas on Victoria Terrace, which indirectly led to the quarry here closing, and the land being landscaped as a arboretum / park.

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

After the Visitor Centre, the long path that runs past The Leckie Building. A lot of tree coverage here.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Path Leckie Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A view of the Hoar Brook that flows through the Arboretum. Didn't see much of it, other than this view.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hoar Brook Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Near an area called The Lion's Den. Briefly went off the main path to the left. Then back over the area with picnic benches near the Ladies Bowls Pavillion (on the right).

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Lions Den Walsall Arb (Jun 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This path was after the halfway point of the park, and the start of the walk back to the lake and lodge. Lots of trees, after all this is an arboretum!

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some hills as the path goes around a curve, and more trees. Perhaps this landscape was carved out as the quarry, then later grassed over from the 1870s.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now on the path that follows the wall (on the left) near Arboretum Road. Down below (to the right) is Hatherton Lake and the Hoar Brook.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Eventually the path goes back down towards the lake, as you can see here.

dndimg alt="Walsall Arboretum" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Paths Walsall Arb (June 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

After I left the park I saw WM bus 6600. It was on the National Express West Midlands, Black Country Bus Rally from Walsall to Wolverhampton. This was the only bus I saw. It was on Broadway North crossing the lights onto Littleton Street East (the Walsall ring road). Click the link above for the photos.

 

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

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80 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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Elliott Brown Green open spaces
07 Jun 2021 - Elliott Brown
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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.

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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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