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Elliott Brown History & heritage
18 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

A visit to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses during September 2020

On the afternoon of the 6th September 2020, we booked to go to the National Trust property and grounds of Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses. Located in Staffordshire near the village of Kinver (and not too far from Stourbridge). The Holy Austin Rock Houses were still lived in until the 1960s. Due to the pandemic, you couldn't go into the houses, just peek into them.

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A visit to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses during September 2020





On the afternoon of the 6th September 2020, we booked to go to the National Trust property and grounds of Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses. Located in Staffordshire near the village of Kinver (and not too far from Stourbridge). The Holy Austin Rock Houses were still lived in until the 1960s. Due to the pandemic, you couldn't go into the houses, just peek into them.


Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses

 

A visit to Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses during September 2020. This was on the afternoon of the 6th September 2020. As before, we booked the tickets via the National Trust website (which goes onto the EventBrite app). Outside of the forest was a car park, and we passed an ice cream van. We booked in for 2:30pm. You head up to the gate, and get your ticket scanned, then proceed to walk up to the Rock Houses.

 

This National Trust site is near the village of Kinver in Staffordshire, and isn't too far from Stourbridge (around 4 miles away). There is caves in the hills, some that had houses built into them. Kinver Edge includes a heath and woodland. The National Trust was first given the estate in 1917 (around 198 acres) by the children of Thomas Grosvenor Lee (who was a Birmingham solicitor born in Kinver). The Trust acquired a further 85 acres between 1964 and 1980. In 2014 Worcestershire County Council approved the transfer of Kingsford Forest Park to the National Trust. By 2018 the parks signs were now reading National Trust Kinver Edge.

Kinver Edge was home to the last troglodyte homes in England. One of the rock houses was called Holy Austin (which you can visit). It was a hermitage until the Reformation. The Holy Austin Rock Houses were lived in until the 1960s. In normal times you can visit them, but during the summer and autumn of 2020, you could only peek into the rock houses.

Further up was a tearoom and caves. You could put your mask on, and order a coffee and cake and sit at the tables outside (this was when restrictions were eased, and before they were strengthened again).

Also located here was Nanny's Rock, which was a large cave, but it was never converted into a house. There was also Vale's Rock, which had also been known as Crow's Rock. It had been converted into houses and was last occupied in the 1960s. But due to it's dangerous condition it is out of bounds to visitors. Although you can see it from the tables and chairs of the Tearoom area.

From 1901 to 1930, it used to be possible for visitors to get the Kinver Light Railway, which connected to Birmingham's original tram network (operated from 1904 to 1953 by Birmingham Corporation Tramways). But it closed due to the popularity of the motorbus and motorcars. These days, only cars and coaches can get to Kinver Edge on Compton Road. Although I only remember parking spaces available for cars.

 

After you explore the rock houses and caves, you can head up into the Woodland and climb up to the Toposcope (if you want to).

 

After showing our tickets in the EventBrite app, we walked around to the Rock Houses. This was the first glimpse of one of them.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

These are the Holy Austin Rock Houses at Kinver Edge.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Teas written on the wall of one of the Rock Houses. Probably Vale's Rock.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There is at least three levels to the Rock Houses here at Kinver Edge, along with some caves.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

It wouldn't be long before I got to see this Rock House up and close, but first had to walk up some steps.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A Keep Out sign near the rocks. Not all areas are safe for the public to go.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I would get a better view of these Rock Houses once we went up the steps.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Close up to the first Rock House at the corner. The Holy Austin Rock Houses on the Lower Level.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

You could peek into the Rock Houses, but a rope prevented you from entering.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A look at the objects on the table in this Rock House.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Pots and pans in this small cave.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some Rock Houses had open windows, and you could peek into them. Looks like a bedroom.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The window of this Rock House was only slightly open.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A path goes around the Rock Houses to view some more of them. These are the Holy Austin Rock Houses. Ghost sign above barely readable.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Doors on the Rock Houses to the left were closed, so you couldn't see inside of these ones.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A look at Nanny's Rock (I think). Caves that were never converted into Rock Houses. For many years it was known as Meg-o-Fox-Hole. Someone may have died here in 1617 known as Margaret of the fox earth. Visible from the Middle Level, near tables and chairs from the Tearoom (over a fence).

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

When you get to the Upper Level, there is a cave you can enter. The ground is covered in sand, plus I think graffiti had been scratched into the rocks over the years. This is near the Tearoom. These are the Martindale Caves and have a 1930s appearance.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Tearoom is on the Upper Level, to the left of the caves. Tables and chairs were outside to the right (in front of the caves). But if occupied, you had to stand up having your coffee or tea. Toilets were around to the left. This house has been restored to a Victorian appearance.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After going through the gate, exiting the Rock Houses, saw a view of the Victorian style Tearoom house. Toilets on the left. From here you can follow the paths and steps up the hill to the summit of Kinver Edge.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Toposcope at the top of the hill on Kinver Edge. It has a map of the Midlands, which was restored by the Rotary Club of Kinver in 2014 (it was originally presented by them in 1990). Showing all the counties of the West Midlands region. Plus the major towns and cities (including Birmingham). Plus major hills such as the Lickey Hills and Clent Hills.

dndimg alt="Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Kinver Edge Rock Houses (Sept 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Return to Packwood House during July 2020

The second National Trust we booked to go back to was Packwood House. This was near the end of July 2020. This time though, we were able to go inside of the house. But the entrance was moved to the back. And only a limited number of people inside at one time. Some parts of the garden wasn't open. But you could go all the way around the lake, and have a picnic on the lawn.

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Return to Packwood House during July 2020





The second National Trust we booked to go back to was Packwood House. This was near the end of July 2020. This time though, we were able to go inside of the house. But the entrance was moved to the back. And only a limited number of people inside at one time. Some parts of the garden wasn't open. But you could go all the way around the lake, and have a picnic on the lawn.


This visit to Packwood House was booked for the 20th July 2020 for around 12pm. As before you go to the National Trust website, and book the tickets in the EventBrite app. The way into the grounds from the car park had changed. You still go through the Barnyard, but a different gate was opened near the house.

You could get in the queue to go into the house, which had only just reopened (many other National Trust properties around the country, the inside of properties were not open). Use the hand sanitiser and put your face mask on. Only the ground floor was open this time. The door at the back was the way in. And you exit via the Great Hall.

One reason to go back was to go all the way around the lake. As back in 2018 they were restoring a path. This time though the path was open, and you could go through gates to the field at the back.

 

Heading from the car park to the Barnyard, saw these social distancing signs. Please keep 2 metres apart.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

In the Barnyard saw Fergie the tractor. It is over 70 years old.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Yew Garden was closed. Saw this view from the back of the house.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Queuing to go into Packwood House. There was hand sanitiser and buckets to bin your paper towels.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Bit weird having the rooms to just your household bubble. This was the Drawing Room.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

In the Long Gallery. Was the odd National Trust volunteer around.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Now in the Great Hall. The long table and chairs had been moved. The door to the far right was the way back outside.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Checking out the lake, was gulls taking off and landing all the time.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View of the back of the house. This was The West Front, and last summer it was the way to queue to go into the house. First up it was time to have a sandwich on the lawn to the right.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After having a sandwich, we continued the walk. Now heading around the lake.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Quite a lot of Canada geese and ducks around as you would expect with a lake like this.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The gate from the Packwood Causeway leads into the Pool Tail Copse.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A woodland to walk through. Tall trees, lush and green in the height of summer.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

There was an Orchard on the way back towards the gardens with a view of the lake.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Glimpses of the Carolean Garden. Most of the garden was roped off, and you couldn't go any further. This was one of the brick Gazebos.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another one of the Gazebos near the South Front of the house.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A wheelbarrow and rope. You couldn't go any further in the Carolean Garden.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The East Front of Packwood House used to be the main entrance to go into the house. But not during the pandemic. This door was closed. And now this garden was the way out. The Sundial Gift Shop in the outbuildings to the right was also closed.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Some of the flowers and plants in the garden near The East Front of Packwood House.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

On the way out, saw that The Barnyard Cafe was closed. But instead, you could get a coffee in the Barnyard from a trailer. The Kitchen Garden was also closed (I think, might have missed the entrance to it this time). The extensive grounds were open for people to walk around if they wanted to.

dndimg alt="Packwood House" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Packwood House (Jul 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

See also my post on the return to Baddesley Clinton in July 2020.

 

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

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Elliott Brown History & heritage
11 Jan 2021 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

Return to Baddesley Clinton during July 2020

It might seem like a while ago now, but way back in the summer of 2020, when lockdown restrictions were being eased. You could book to visit National Trust properties again. The first one we booked for was Baddesley Clinton in early July 2020. You choose a date and time in advance and a number of tickets. And you could go around the site in about 90 minutes. The house wasn't open.

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Return to Baddesley Clinton during July 2020





It might seem like a while ago now, but way back in the summer of 2020, when lockdown restrictions were being eased. You could book to visit National Trust properties again. The first one we booked for was Baddesley Clinton in early July 2020. You choose a date and time in advance and a number of tickets. And you could go around the site in about 90 minutes. The house wasn't open.


From March to June 2020, most National Trust properties were completely closed during the first lockdown. Then in the summer, as restrictions were being eased, they were able to reopen certain properties, but just the gardens and estate, but not the interior of the houses. The first one we booked to return to was Baddesley Clinton.

Tickets were usually released on the Friday, and were available to the Sunday, and they were going fast. We booked to go on the 6th July 2020, at around 11:30am in the morning.

There was a one way system in place. They scanned the QR code on the EventBrite app outside. The shop was reopened, but you had to wear your face mask inside. The cafe was only open to buy your coffee and anything else for takeaway, so you had to sit outside to have your drink.

 

Arriving in the car park, on the walk to the entrance. Saw these two signs. One about how to stay safe and enjoy your visit. The other about keeping 2 metres apart.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Welcome to Baddesley Clinton sign. With (then) updated signs. Including one about the one way system.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

After the tickets in the EventBrite app were scanned, could already see that part of the Courtyard was roped off.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

To the back of the house in the garden, they had five pots blocking off access to that path.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

This was the way to go in the garden. The box hedges were interesting to look at.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

They only had maybe one or two gardeners during the first lockdown, but the plants looked impressive. This was the borders and the Glasshouse. To the left you pass through the Vegetable Garden.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

View of the hall over the Wildflower Meadow. Some paths were closed to the public.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Going around The Great Pool with the usual water lilies. View to the familiar footbridge opposite.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Went around the long path. Benches were turned around. You could only turn left from here.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The bridge over the moat. The hall was closed to the public.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Nice to see Baddesley Clinton hall again. Had been inside there only once, back in June 2018.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Back through the courtyard. Another area roped off. Taped on the ground showing you which way to go.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another lap around the grounds. Another look at the Walled Garden. Sundial in the middle.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

No Entry Follow one-way system. Had to go around the lake twice.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Locked gate to the Wildflower Meadow.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A grass path roped off, no entry.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Another view of the Wildflower Meadow.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The Barn Restaurant was open for takeaway only. Payments by card or app only. All tables and chairs out of use. Socially distant queue. Had our drinks outside in the Courtyard.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (18).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The shop was open from 10am to 4:30pm. I think at this point it had only just reopened. During this time, the path to the gardens, coffee shop and toilets was the temporary way in.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (19).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A pair of hares. This used to be the Visitor Centre where you used to buy your tickets. Seen on the way out of the shop.

dndimg alt="Baddesley Clinton" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Baddesley Clinton (Jul 2020) (20).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

The next post will be on the Return to Packwood House. Near the end of July 2020.

 

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

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Elliott Brown Rivers, lakes & canals
30 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
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Babbs Mill Lake in the Kingfisher Country Park

A Christmas Day morning walk on Friday 25th December 2020 around Babbs Mill Lake. Located in Kingshurst, Solihull within Babbs Mill Jubilee Park. Which is now a satellite park of the Kingfisher Country Park, which stretches from East Birmingham into North Solihull. The lake and park was named after the nearby Babbs Mill, which dates to the 18th Century.

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Babbs Mill Lake in the Kingfisher Country Park





A Christmas Day morning walk on Friday 25th December 2020 around Babbs Mill Lake. Located in Kingshurst, Solihull within Babbs Mill Jubilee Park. Which is now a satellite park of the Kingfisher Country Park, which stretches from East Birmingham into North Solihull. The lake and park was named after the nearby Babbs Mill, which dates to the 18th Century.


Babbs Mill Lake

Heading towards Kingshurst in Solihull on Christmas Day, 25th December 2020, for a walk past Babbs Mill Lake. The lake is man-made and is near the River Cole. It is located within the Kingfisher Country Park. But the local park it is within is now called the Babbs Mill Jubilee Park, which was formed in 1977 during the Queen's Silver Jubilee year. It was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2002. The Kingfisher Country Park was declared in 2004, and was a joint venture between Birmingham and Solihull.

 

Babbs Mill Lake is named after Babbs Mill, which still survives to this day. It is a Grade II listed building dating to the 18th Century. It was named after the miller, John Babb, who died in 1651.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill KCP 25122020.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

First views of Babbs Mill Lake. We started the walk from the car park near Fordbridge Road.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Island in the middle of the lake, seems like a lot of birds goes there.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

First view of the morning winter sun. This was not a sunrise or sunset, but the sun was pretty low in the sky.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (3).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A ramp going off into the lake towards the geese and swans.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (4).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

At the end of the ramp was quite a lot of Canada geese. With the bright morning sunshine making it a bit dark here.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake geese" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 Canada geese.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Too the right was a lot of gulls on the railing. This was close to some picnic benches, where I saw pigeons on them as well.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake gulls" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 gulls.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

More of the morning sunburst off centre to the right.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (5).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Then off centre to the left.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (6).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A line of four trees making nice shadows with the sun behind to the left.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (7).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

A newly laid footpath curves around the lake to the right.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (8).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The path doesn't seem quite finished. Plus was another section with unfinished tarmac. But saw the odd graffiti tag that will need removing by the local Council.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (9).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Can't get enough of that sunburst! Wow!

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (10).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Sunburst to the left of the lake.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (11).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Sunburst to the right.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (12).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

We only went around two sides of the lake. Was a muddy path after this.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (13).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The lake from the muddy path.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (14).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

We turned back, and instead headed up the path towards Shard End (leading to Packington Avenue). The Birmingham / Solihull border is somewhere to the left of here.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (15).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Later walking back to the car park, got a few more shots, including the sunburst again.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (16).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

The sun was now directly behind that line of trees, making incredible shadows!

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 (17).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

Coming back saw a couple of Domestic geese near the lake, got this shot of one on the grass.

dndimg alt="Babbs Mill Lake Domestic goose" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Babbs Mill Lake KCP 25122020 Domestic goose.jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

 

I didn't see any herons around Babbs Mill Lake, but later saw one coming into land near the Cole Valley Route in the Kingfisher Country Park. Not far from Packington Avenue in Shard End. This area is probably part of the Norman Chamberlain Local Nature Reserve.

dndimg alt="Heron Kingfisher Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Heron Cole Valley Route KCP 25122020 (1).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

I only managed to get two photos of it, this second zoom in came out a bit better. But would have been nice to see it near the lake.

dndimg alt="Heron Kingfisher Country Park" dndsrc="../uploadedfiles/Heron Cole Valley Route KCP 25122020 (2).jpg" style="width: 100%;" />

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

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Elliott Brown Green open spaces
10 Dec 2020 - Elliott Brown
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Selly Oak Park: the gem of a park off the Selly Oak Bypass

Selly Oak Park is located on Harborne Lane in Selly Oak. Sections of the Lapal Canal goes through the north east corner of the park (still to be fully restored). The Selly Oak Bypass (Aston Webb Boulevard) opened in 2011 and the Selly Oak Shopping Park in 2018. They are now building a new section of the bypass near the former Sainsbury's site at Selly Oak Triangle. Also on Gibbins Rd.

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Selly Oak Park: the gem of a park off the Selly Oak Bypass





Selly Oak Park is located on Harborne Lane in Selly Oak. Sections of the Lapal Canal goes through the north east corner of the park (still to be fully restored). The Selly Oak Bypass (Aston Webb Boulevard) opened in 2011 and the Selly Oak Shopping Park in 2018. They are now building a new section of the bypass near the former Sainsbury's site at Selly Oak Triangle. Also on Gibbins Rd.


Selly Oak Park

This park is located on Harborne Lane and Gibbins Road in Selly Oak. It was developed under the Kings Norton and Northfield Urban District Council. Land was donated in February 1899 by members of the Gibbins family. The park was opened in April 1899 on Easter Monday. In 1911 the park was taken over by Birmingham City Council when Selly Oak became part of the city. More land was donated over the years. In 1913 and 1919 by the owners of the Birmingham Battery and Metal Company (also Gibbins family members), in 1935 to give access to the Weoley Park Farm Estate. More land in 1950 by the Birmingham Battery & Metal Company (again). In 1958 some land was transferred to the City’s Public Works Committee. More recent land donations in 1980 and 1982.

The shelter built in 1899, the bandstand built in 1908 and the Daughters of Rest Pavilion built in 1953 have all since been demolished.

The park is now maintained by The Friends of Selly Oak Park. That includes all the wooden sculptures found around the park.

2012

My first walk around Selly Oak Park was during June 2012, testing out my then new camera (which I had until about December 2015). I probably entered from Harborne Lane and headed up the main path.

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One of the main squirrels in the park, with a nut.

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Saw this red wind funnel thing. There is similar funnels in other nearby parks.

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A council lawnmower going around the park cutting the grass.

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The trees were so lush and green in the summer, the path curving round to the right.

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Another squirrel behind a tree.

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Two paths amongst the trees.

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Distant view of the red funnel.

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2017

The next visit to Selly Oak Park was during January 2017. The Friends of Selly Oak Park had commissioned all of these new wooden sculptures which were worth checking out. On this side it says Lapal.

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To the side Welcome. So probably "Welcome to Selly Oak Park". This is near Gibbins Road.

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A carved wooden bench. In memory of Geoff Bartlett, Founder of Friends of Selly Oak Park.

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Part of the playground. A climbing frame, and a ride along a rope with a tyre (I think).

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Another wooden sculpture. Of deer or a kangeroo (probably a deer and it's cub).

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A new Welcome to Selly Oak Park sign. It's near the car park off Harborne Lane and close to the corner with Gibbins Road.

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2018

This visit during March 2018. View of the new outdoor gym.

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Daffodils alongside a path.

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Selly Oak Park Play Area. One of the many Birmingham City Council elephant signs that you would find in this and other City parks. Behind was a slide.

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Daffodils around a tree.

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Daffodils and crocuses. From here I headed up Gibbins Road towards Lodge Hill Cemetery. Weoley Castle is also nearby.

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Happy New Year 2020. More park posts to come during 2020.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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