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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.

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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 Environment & green action
30 Mar 2021 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog, named in honour of the late Joy Fifer MBE

On my one weekend walk during this third lockdown, I walked towards Moseley Bog, via Swanshurst Lane in Moseley. I got into Joy's Wood at the gate on Yardley Wood Road. It is a nature reserve that was formerly a tip. Named after local environmentalist Joy Fifer MBE, who campaigned between 1980 and 2002, to preseve the wood from building development. Sadly she died in 2003 aged 64.

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Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog, named in honour of the late Joy Fifer MBE





On my one weekend walk during this third lockdown, I walked towards Moseley Bog, via Swanshurst Lane in Moseley. I got into Joy's Wood at the gate on Yardley Wood Road. It is a nature reserve that was formerly a tip. Named after local environmentalist Joy Fifer MBE, who campaigned between 1980 and 2002, to preseve the wood from building development. Sadly she died in 2003 aged 64.


Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog

There is a couple of gated entrances for pedestrians from Yardley Wood Road in Moseley. This leads to Joy's Wood, which in turn leads onto Moseley Bog.

 

The Wood named after the late Joy Fifer MBE

The wood is now a nature reserve and was named after the late local environmentalist campaigner Joy Fifer MBE (which she received at the end of the year 2000 in the New Year's Honours List, then aged 61). Until the 1980s the land was a tip (or landfill).

Joy first became involved in Moseley Bog around 1980, when she heard that planning consent had been given for building on the land at the time. She and other volunteers were concerned about the wildlife here that might be affected. With them she co-founded the Moseley Bog Management Trust. Their first goal was to convince the council to buy the land on which the Bog was situated, and making sure that nothing was built on the site. After six years the goal was reached. She first got diagnosed with her illness in 1985. But continued to campaign until 2002.

One project involved preserving a bronze-age site which had been found in the rural woodland. Also the link to J. R. R. Tolkien as a child when he lived nearby on Wake Green Road. In the early 2000s they hoped to set up a Tolkien Centre (I don't think that happened, possibly due to the Tolkien Estate rights holders refusing permission). Sadly Joy died of her illness around 2003 (aged 63 or 64).

You can find an archived interview with Joy Fifer here: Your Honour: It's in her nature to keep campaigning; Joy Fifer MBE talks to Peter Rasmussen

 

As of 2021, there is a small bit of land near Moseley Bog being built on at Wake Green Road. This will be Extra Care flats. From Michael Blanning Housing Trust Association. The site has been behind hoardings for about 10 years (since the previous properties on that site were demolished). It would have been ideal to create a new entrance here to Moseley Bog, and a Visitor Centre, than yet another retirement village. A sign for the Wake Green Centre (from Birmingham City Council) is still visible from the roadside. At least one of the former properties looked like a Victorian townhouse, they were all demolished in 2015 (by the looks of Google Maps Street View).

 

Entering Joy's Wood from Yardley Wood Road

Back to my visit to Moseley Bog on Sunday 28th March 2021. I walked up Swanshurst Lane, with the aim of getting in the main entrance of Moseley Bog on Yardley Wood Road. But then saw this gate and entered Joy's Wood at this point.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Leaves have mostly not yet grown back on the trees, there is a dirt path leading into the wood.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some daffodils line the dirt path alongside the trees.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Paths in two directions, I took the one leading close to the main Yardley Wood Road entrance of Moseley Bog.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

It was a little bit muddy down here, but wasn't slippy. Daffodils on the left.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some of the daffodils seen growing to the left of the path.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

There is a large open field here, following the dirt track towards Moseley Bog.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The path leads to the main entrance of Moseley Bog at Yardley Wood Road.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

There is now a plaque erected in Autumn 2014 about Joy's Wood and the late Joy Fifer MBE. It was funded and erected by the Moseley Society, The Friends of Moseley Bog and Joy's Wood and the Saint Agnes (Moseley) Residents Association.

dndimg alt="Joy's Wood at Moseley Bog" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Joys Wood Moseley Bog (Mar 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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80 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
22 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central

I've only really been past Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central during February 2012, and not been back since (but have walked near Park Central in the years since). So memory will be a bit hazy being that this was from 9 years ago. Sunset Park is between Alfred Knight Way and Mason Way. Moonlit Park is between Bell Barn Road and Mosedale Way. In the Lee Bank area of Birmingham.

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Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central





I've only really been past Sunset & Moonlit Parks at Park Central during February 2012, and not been back since (but have walked near Park Central in the years since). So memory will be a bit hazy being that this was from 9 years ago. Sunset Park is between Alfred Knight Way and Mason Way. Moonlit Park is between Bell Barn Road and Mosedale Way. In the Lee Bank area of Birmingham.


Both Sunset Park and Moonlit Park can be found between Lee Bank Middleway and Bath Row at the Park Central development in the Lee Bank area of Central Birmingham. They stretch as far as Bristol Street.

This explore of the buildings around Park Central was during February 2012, but I didn't actually go into the parks at the time, and have not been back since. But in the years since, have done walks down Lee Bank Middleway, Bristol Street and Bath Row. Plus got photos of the new corner development (Roosevelt Luxury Apartments) near the Belgrave Interchange (including the new cycle paths).

 

Sunset Park

These views of Sunset Park taken on a walk down Alfred Knight Way. Probably got here via Wheeleys Lane and Longleat Avenue.

dndimg alt="Sunset Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sunset Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

There is this metal ramp structure with metal steps in the park.

dndimg alt="Sunset Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sunset Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Passing the railings on Alfred Knight Way, probably looking at the apartment buildings opposite.

dndimg alt="Sunset Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sunset Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (3).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

These apartments are certainly an improvement to what used to be here before.

dndimg alt="Sunset Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sunset Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (4).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Again looking more at the apartments and less at the park. Next heading onto Bell Barn Road.

dndimg alt="Sunset Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sunset Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (5).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Moonlit Park

Next up passing Moonlit Park on Bell Barn Road.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (1).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Looks like a metal sculpture on concrete pillars.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (2).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Moonlit Park seen over on Bell Barn Road to the far right.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (6).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Basketball Court near Bell Barn Road.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (7).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Children's Play Area seen from Bell Barn Road, with what looks like a climbing frame for kids.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (8).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

Corner of the park near Mosedale Way.

dndimg alt="Moonlit Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Moonlit Park Park Central (Feb 2012) (9).JPG" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Maybe once the 3rd lockdown ends, and I can go on the bus again, I might make an effort to travel to these parks and walk through them, never really thought about them in the past.

 

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
22 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

A visit to Dudmaston Estate during October 2020

The last National Trust property visit of 2020 was to Dudmaston Estate in October 2020. It's in Shropshire. A 17th Century country house (not open apart from a gallery inside). Near the village of Quatt. As before booked the tickets online for a slot. The grounds you could walk about and explore. Tea Room was open, but you had to have your tea or coffee at picnic tables outside.

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A visit to Dudmaston Estate during October 2020





The last National Trust property visit of 2020 was to Dudmaston Estate in October 2020. It's in Shropshire. A 17th Century country house (not open apart from a gallery inside). Near the village of Quatt. As before booked the tickets online for a slot. The grounds you could walk about and explore. Tea Room was open, but you had to have your tea or coffee at picnic tables outside.


Dudmaston

The National Trust property of Dudmaston is located near the village of Quatt in Shropshire. The country house dates to the 17th century. There is former farm buildings, some of which have been converted into a tea room and second hand book shop. There was a gallery you could visit (sanitise your hands before going in), but no photography allowed inside for copyright reasons (I think the family still live in the house). Tickets and time slot as before booked via the National Trust website (with tickets on EventBrite). If there was a gift shop, I think it was closed.

This visit was on the 18th October 2020 (so was about half a month before the second lockdown began).

 

Outbuildings at Dudmaston

The Outbuildings from the lawn. Near here was picnic tables. A queue for the toilets, sanitise your hands, wer your mask if you go in.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

A courtyard near the Outbuildings. All the rooms here were closed. There was a one way system in place, so if you wanted, you could enter the gardens from this gate on the right.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Outbuildings from the garden. Due to the one way system in place, if you went out of the garden, then back in, you had to head this way to get out.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

This gate to the courtyard looked nice, but it was no entry this way (you could only walk through them from the other direction).

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Private garden seen over the fence from the Kitchen Garden. Far end of the Outbuildings.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />
 

Dudmaston Hall

Round the back of Dudmaston Hall. A tent with National Trust volunteer, to register you before going into the exhibition / gallery. Sanitise your hands again, mask on. No photos allowed inside (tempting as it was).

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The back of Dudmaston Hall. It is a Grade II* listed building. A Queen Anne mansion. Built of red brick with stone dressings. Was also a 19th Century office and stable wing built in the Elizabethan style. Couldn't cross the rope on the left.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Heading down the hill, a look at Dudmaston Hall, an impresive looking house.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

There was this Red Ivy going down the house. A bit like those poppy art installations around Remembrance time. Some old steps with urns.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Another view of the house with the Red Ivy in the middle.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Red Ivy looked wonderful from any angle in the parkland.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

You could have a walk around the Dingle Walk. Eventually you would end up at the back of the Big Pool, with this wonderful picturesque view of Dudmaston Hall.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Parkland and gardens

A look down to the Big Pool at Dudmaston Estate.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Sculpture in the garden, part of a trail. Spaceframe sculpted by Anthony Twentyman during 1985.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Seated bench area for relaxing and looking at the views of the picturesque parkland.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Greylag geese flying and landing in the Big Pool.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The Kitchen Garden. Pumpkins in the greenhouse before Halloween.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Fingerpost on the Dingle Walk. Head right to the Garden, or left to the Dingle Walk.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Kept spotting this brick boathouse near the Big Pool, although didn't see any boats in the lake.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The South Lodge seen from the car as we left Dudmaston Estate. Now a private house. A Grade II listed building dating to the early 19th Century. Made of coursed sandstone rubble, with a tiled roof. The gate on exiting the estate was an automatic electric gate.

dndimg alt="Dudmaston" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Dudmaston Estate (Oct 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Hope to visit more National Trust properties in 2021, after the 3rd lockdown ends, if we are allowed to travel far again. Especially in the Spring or Summer months.

 

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

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Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
22 Feb 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Yellow O's at the Oaklands Recreation Ground

A lockdown walk to the Oaklands Recreation Ground in South Yardley on the 17th February 2021 (a distance I'd usually get the bus to in normal times). Saw all these yellow O sculptures plus purple I's. I would guess they were installed by the Yardley Arts Forum sometime during 2020. Nice to see. The walk was too long, next time I'm getting a bus there (after lockdown ends).

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Yellow O's at the Oaklands Recreation Ground





A lockdown walk to the Oaklands Recreation Ground in South Yardley on the 17th February 2021 (a distance I'd usually get the bus to in normal times). Saw all these yellow O sculptures plus purple I's. I would guess they were installed by the Yardley Arts Forum sometime during 2020. Nice to see. The walk was too long, next time I'm getting a bus there (after lockdown ends).


A walk of over 12,000 steps and almost 6 miles (via Acocks Green). I walked on Wednesday 17th February 2021 to South Yardley. Not renewed my pass since before we entered this third lockdown (and not been on a bus in a month and half now). Mainly to see the skyline again from the Oaklands Recreation Ground.

While there found all these new yellow O sculptures and purple I sculptures. Plus they are starting to built wildlife friendly planting areas. So development of this park continues into 2021.

 

The first yellow O I saw on entering the Oaklands Recreation Ground was from the entrance on Church Road. Says I love Oaklands on all of them.

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yellow O Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The yellow O's were scattered all over the park.

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yellow O Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some placed at different angles near the paths.

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yellow O Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

This yellow O with a view to the Swan Shopping Centre (with Tesco Extra), Bakeman House and Equipoint.

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yellow O Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Towards Church Road with this yellow O. Some people have already tagged them sadly.

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yellow O Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Back on the semi circle Church Road and got this view of 103 Colmore Row and the BT Tower with a yellow O. Wondered if I could have lined it up with 103 Colmore Row inside of the O?

dndimg alt="Yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/103 CR Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Also when first entering from Church Road, saw these purple I's slanted in the soil.

dndimg alt="Purple I's Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WFA Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

They are creating wildlife friendly planting areas here. Seen close to Equipoint and the Tesco Extra petrol station.

dndimg alt="Purple I's Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WFA Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Some more purple I's on the path to the other end of Church Road.

dndimg alt="Purple I's Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/WFA Oaklands RG (Feb 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was about 7 purple I's here around the path, and one yellow O. View to the Birmingham skyline. The Mercian was visible to the right of it, about 6 miles distance away.

dndimg alt="Purple I's and an yellow O Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Skyline Oaklands (Feb 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

One of the yellow O sculptures was also visible with the Birmingham skyline from the Oaklands Recreation Ground.

dndimg alt="Yellow O skyline Oaklands" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bham Skyline Oaklands (Feb 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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