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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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Boldmere Gate

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

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

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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.

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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 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.

 

 

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

 

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.

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

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.

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

 

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

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80 passion points
Elliott Brown Art; Culture & creativity
10 May 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

In Memoriam by Luke Jerram at Aston Hall & Park

After a week of rain and hail on and off. Finally some decent sunny weather on Sunday. So I travelled up by bus to Aston to see In Memoriam by Luke Jerram at Aston Hall & Park. It's a free open air tempoary art installation, in memory of those lost during the pandemic and in tribute to the NHS. On for a couple of weeks in May 2021.

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In Memoriam by Luke Jerram at Aston Hall & Park





After a week of rain and hail on and off. Finally some decent sunny weather on Sunday. So I travelled up by bus to Aston to see In Memoriam by Luke Jerram at Aston Hall & Park. It's a free open air tempoary art installation, in memory of those lost during the pandemic and in tribute to the NHS. On for a couple of weeks in May 2021.


In Memoriam is a temporary artwork by artist Luke Jerram at Aston Hall & Park, for a couple of weeks in May 2021. They are made out of bed sheets, white and blue. In memory of those lost during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic, and in tribute to the NHS.

There is an NHS Covid-19 QR code to scan to check in while you are there and hand sanitiser.

Aston Hall opened at 11am, and I popped into the courtyard to have a coffee. After that a look around Lady Holte's Garden again. Nice decent spring like weather. Note that the actual hall itself is not open to the public at this time. A one way system into the courtyard (NHS Covid-19 QR codes to scan as you go in, and in the cafe).

 

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Lady Holte's Garden

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Bus: 65 or 67 to Lichfield Road (catch it from The Priory Queensway). Or 7 to Witton Road (catch it from Livery Street near Birmingham Snow Hill at Colmore Row).

Train to Aston or Witton station's (from Birmingham New Street).

Car parking is also available in Aston Park.

 

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

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70 passion points
Elliott Brown Green open spaces
14 Apr 2021 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

A walk in the Kingfisher Country Park from Hay Mills to Bordesley Green on Easter Sunday 2021

This was an Easter Sunday walk in the Kingfisher Country Park. Starting from the Coventry Road in Hay Mills. And walking as far as Bordesley Green (not far from Stechford). The Cole Valley Route in Hay Barn Recreation Ground, Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground, Sycamores Recreation Ground and Bordesley Green Recreation Ground. Sadly was a lot of litter to see along the River Cole.

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A walk in the Kingfisher Country Park from Hay Mills to Bordesley Green on Easter Sunday 2021





This was an Easter Sunday walk in the Kingfisher Country Park. Starting from the Coventry Road in Hay Mills. And walking as far as Bordesley Green (not far from Stechford). The Cole Valley Route in Hay Barn Recreation Ground, Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground, Sycamores Recreation Ground and Bordesley Green Recreation Ground. Sadly was a lot of litter to see along the River Cole.


The Kingfisher Country Park starts in Birmingham from the Coventry Road in Hay Mills. Not far from Small Heath and Haybarnes Circus. This is part of the Cole Valley Route that walkers and cyclists alike can use. Sadly as soon as we got here on Easter Sunday 2021 (Sunday 4th April 2021) I could see litter, rubbish and fly-tipping all over the place (it was not nice to see how people treat our City and wonderful open spaces).

The walk was through four recreation grounds that follow the River Cole.

Hay Barn Recreation Ground starts at the Coventry Road in Hay Mills and ends at Hob Moor Road.

Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground starts at Hob Moor Road and ends at Yardley Green Road in Bordesley Green.

Sycamores Recreation Ground starts at Yardley Green Road and ends at Bordesley Green East.

Bordesley Green Recreation Ground starts at Bordesley Green East and ends at Eastfield Road (you can see the West Coast Mainline to the far end with Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern Railway trains going by).

 

Hay Barn Recreation Ground

Starting at the Coventry Road in Hay Mills, there is this map of the entire Kingfisher Country Park from Hay Mills towards Chelmsley Wood in Solihull. Sadly other maps like this in the country park had graffiti on them.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hay Barn RG KCP (Apr 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A Project Kingfisher sign showing signs of past vandalism. It mentions that riding off road bikes with City Council parkland is illegal. I later saw an idiot riding a petrol powered dirt bike around Bordesley Green Recreation Ground in circles, all over the grass. Plus last Christmas was idiots riding bikes in the part in Shard End.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hay Barn RG KCP (Apr 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Earlier we first had views of the River Cole from the Berkeley Play Park.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/R Cole BPP KCP (Apr 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

But was no footbridge to cross over the River Cole at this point, but later found a footbridge further up in the Hay Barn Recreation Ground.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/R Cole BPP KCP (Apr 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

From the Haymills Old Bridge dated 1903 on Coventry Road, with the River Cole below. A cyclist from Just Eat in orange stopped on the path on the left.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/R Cole Haymills (Apr 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The correct form of bikes, a couple riding bicycles along the Cole Valley Route. This is how it should be done!

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hay Barn RG KCP (Apr 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Daffodils to the left of the main path.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hay Barn RG KCP (Apr 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

When we first got to the Kingfisher Country Park, we were near the Berkeley Play Park, and walked down to the Coventry Road. While on the Cole Valley Route in the Hay Barn Recreation Ground, spotted this footbridge over the River Cole which we later used as an exit from the park on the walk back to the car.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Fbridge HBRG KCP (Apr 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View of the footbridge over the River Cole. Which we crossed at the end of the walk heading back to the starting point on Berkeley Road.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Fbridge HBRG KCP (Apr 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Further on in the Hay Barn Recreation Ground is this open field, running towards Hob Moor Road.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Hay Barn RG KCP (Apr 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path continues alongside the River Cole towards Hob Moor Road.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/R Cole Hob Moor HBRG KCP (Apr 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Getting close to Hob Moor Road, the bridge is almost in view.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/R Cole Hob Moor HBRG KCP (Apr 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Hob Moor Road Bridge over the River Cole.

dndimg alt="Hay Barn Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/R Cole Hob Moor HBRG KCP (Apr 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground

Now at Hob Moor Road, and into the Newbridge Recreation Ground. Several wooden bollards here. Plus a fingerpost / direction sign on the Cole Valley Cycle Route along the River Cole. The name of the area comes from Newbridge Farm, which used to be located at this site near the river.

dndimg alt="Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Newbridge Farm RG KCP (Apr 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

From here, you can cycle left to the City Centre and Small Heath, or right towards Stechford. (Note the sign has an extra "t" which is incorrect).

dndimg alt="Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Newbridge Farm RG KCP (Apr 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path in Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground curves to the right, already signs of litter on both sides of the path!

dndimg alt="Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Newbridge Farm RG KCP (Apr 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path heads straight towards Yardley Green Road.

dndimg alt="Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Newbridge Farm RG KCP (Apr 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some green areas, so you have plenty of space for the 2 metre social distancing rule, while on your walk (to overtake some slow people).

dndimg alt="Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Newbridge Farm RG KCP (Apr 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Getting close to Yardley Green Road, the path curves to the left.

dndimg alt="Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Newbridge Farm RG KCP (Apr 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Bollards and another fingerpost at Yardley Green Road. Also a gate on the right where the lawn is.

dndimg alt="Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Newbridge Farm RG KCP (Apr 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Interesting bridge on Yardley Green Road to the right of here. With a separate pedestrian footbridge. Was quiet on the Easter Sunday, but I gather in normal times there could be a lot of cars driving down here.

dndimg alt="Newbridge Farm Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Yardley Green Rd Bridge (Apr 2021).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Sycamores Recreation Ground

From Yardley Green Road in Bordesley Green, we next enter the Sycamores Recreation Ground. More bollards here. Sometimes the Kingfisher Country Park is also called Project Kingfisher.

dndimg alt="Sycamores Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sycamores RG KCP (Apr 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Beyond the Project Kingfisher sign (missing fingerposts?) the path curves to the right, then beyond to the left.

dndimg alt="Sycamores Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sycamores RG KCP (Apr 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Heading on the path in the Sycamores Recreation Ground, it now turns to the left before turning to the right.

dndimg alt="Sycamores Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sycamores RG KCP (Apr 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A distant cyclist up ahead, the odd piece of litter on the lawn on both sides of the path.

dndimg alt="Sycamores Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sycamores RG KCP (Apr 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Bordesley Green East is now in view, as the path curves to the left.

dndimg alt="Sycamores Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sycamores RG KCP (Apr 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The River Cole is visible again on the right, as is the Bordesley Green East Bridge.

dndimg alt="Sycamores Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sycamores RG KCP (Apr 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

At Bordesley Green East, more bollards. This is a busy dual carriageway road. Turned right and headed to the pelican crossing traffic lights.

dndimg alt="Sycamores Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Sycamores RG KCP (Apr 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

Bordesley Green Recreation Ground

Starting at Bordesley Green East, we enter the Bordesley Green Recreation Ground after crossing over at the lights. This area was the former site of Batchelors Farm.

dndimg alt="Bordesley Green Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bordesley Green RG KCP (Apr 2021) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Many families enjoying the sunshine and sitting on the lawn. Sadly the litter problem here was quite bad to see.

dndimg alt="Bordesley Green Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bordesley Green RG KCP (Apr 2021) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path curves around the Recreation Ground. While here, kept seeing an idiot riding a dirt bike around the ground in circles. Tyre tracks were visible in the grass. Other signs of burnt out former off road bikes were along the path.

dndimg alt="Bordesley Green Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bordesley Green RG KCP (Apr 2021) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path curves in an S shape as we passed these bushes to the right.

dndimg alt="Bordesley Green Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bordesley Green RG KCP (Apr 2021) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Not too visible here, but in the distance is the West Coast Mainline. Stechford Station is to the far right of here.

dndimg alt="Bordesley Green Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bordesley Green RG KCP (Apr 2021) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Bits of rubbish on both sides of the path, and sometimes on the path.

dndimg alt="Bordesley Green Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bordesley Green RG KCP (Apr 2021) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path is good to walk on though, was even the odd dog walker and cyclist here.

dndimg alt="Bordesley Green Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bordesley Green RG KCP (Apr 2021) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Getting close to the end of the path, a man riding a bike in orange.

dndimg alt="Bordesley Green Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bordesley Green RG KCP (Apr 2021) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

End of the path at Eastfield Road. Litter was really bad around here, plus graffiti on the wall on the right. Turned back from here towards Hay Mills.

dndimg alt="Bordesley Green Recreation Ground" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Bordesley Green RG KCP (Apr 2021) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

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

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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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