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Green open spaces
09 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
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The Discovery Terrace and the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham during September 2013

The Library of Birmingham opened to the public back in early September 2013. Elliott had his fist visit on the 21st September 2013 in the late afternoon, with just about time to visit the Discovery Terrace. With closing at 5pm, he returned a week later on the 28th September 2013 to head up to the Secret Garden for the first time. Since then he has been loads of times over the years.

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The Discovery Terrace and the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham during September 2013





The Library of Birmingham opened to the public back in early September 2013. Elliott had his fist visit on the 21st September 2013 in the late afternoon, with just about time to visit the Discovery Terrace. With closing at 5pm, he returned a week later on the 28th September 2013 to head up to the Secret Garden for the first time. Since then he has been loads of times over the years.


A digital tour of the Discovery Terrace and the Secret Garden at the Library of Birmingham. As they were during September 2013, within a few weeks of the Library opening to the public.

 

To see Elliott's previous Library of Birmingham posts from the September 2013 visits click the links below:

Discovery Terrace

Located on Level 3, the Discovery Terrace is accessed through the Revolving doors from the Discovery Floor (this was later replaced with automatic doors years later). Facing Centenary Square and the Arena Central site. Part of it goes around the side of the Library with a view of City Centre Gardens below.

On the 21st September 2013 you could see the old John Madin designed Birmingham Central Library and NatWest Tower (103 Colmore Row).

Was a bit of an animal art trail on the Discovery Terrace at the time.

Area at the back was not accessible at the time with all these barriers with something that was being finished off.

Looks like the only way to this section that day was via the side door from the library.

Some kind of bird house.

 

Secret Garden

Located on Level 7, you can get the travelator up from Level 3 to 4, then the lift or stairs up to Level 7. The Glass Lift initially worked in it's first year, but has not worked for many years or even been fixed. Press the disabled door button to open the door to the Secret Garden. It has views to the back of the Library, plus you can go around to the front for views of the City Centre.

On the 28th September 2013, there was a lot of people up on the Secret Garden. Views from up here are spectacular and change all the time. Although sometimes gets a bit boring on repeated visits over the years.

Some more colourful art installations for people to look out for at the time.

Wooden benches to sit down on and rest.

The view at the front over Centenary Square was quite busy that day.

Lots of colourful flowers up here. They regularly change them all the time.

Another bird house up here as well.

 

Over they years since, it does get a bit frustrating when the only thing to see is all of those construction sites, and I don't always want to take photos of them. Would be nice to somehow get access to the top of other tall buildings for photo views. Ran out of things to take up here. It's only those events that used to happen in Centenary Square down below that made a change from the usual views.

The Library has been closed since the first lockdown. Apart from people going for books, the terraces have yet to be reopened to the public, so I have no idea when I'll be going back up there. It wont be any time soon, that's for sure.

With a Second Lockdown (for at least a month), it means that there has been no access up to the terraces for 8 or 9 months and counting. The library had only reopened for people taking out or returning books only.

 

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

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80 passion points
Green open spaces
04 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Acocks Green Recreation Ground in the Fox Hollies area

Not far from Acocks Green Bus Garage is the Acocks Green Recreation Ground. Located on Westley Road, Fox Hollies Road and Broad Road. Sometimes used for fun fairs. In the last year or so, new railings have been installed. There is a playground close to Westley Road. Other than that there is a large open field and some paths. Nothing much else.

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Acocks Green Recreation Ground in the Fox Hollies area





Not far from Acocks Green Bus Garage is the Acocks Green Recreation Ground. Located on Westley Road, Fox Hollies Road and Broad Road. Sometimes used for fun fairs. In the last year or so, new railings have been installed. There is a playground close to Westley Road. Other than that there is a large open field and some paths. Nothing much else.


Acocks Green Recreation Ground

For some history of the Acocks Green Recreation Ground, there is some information over at the AGHS website.

The land was donated to the Yardley Rural District Council by the Yardley Charity Estates in 1898. The grounds opened in 1902 on the Coronation of King Edward VII. Birmingham took over Yardley in 1911. The grounds has since been used by travelling carnivals and fun fairs. The Recreation Ground used to have a Sons of Rest pavilion (but this has long since disappeared).

The ground to the back was a football and cricket ground. And there used to be tennis courts alongside Broad Road (these no longer exist).

All that remains today is a children's playground near the Westley Road entrance.

In 2019 new railings and an entrance gate was installed on Westley Road. There is even a Friends of Acocks Green Recreation Ground.

2014

Robert Wilkinson's Fun Fair was held at the Acocks Green Recreation Ground seen during May 2014. It took place from Thursday 15th May until Sunday 18th May 2014.

American Circus

Uncle Sam regularly popped over from the USA for American Circuses!

The Big Top

Large Prizes

Flying Chairs Carousel

Rock City

< < < Slide

Robert Wilkinson's Fun Fair was back in October 2014. These were taken from the no 11C bus stop on Fox Hollies Road after dark.

Taken at the time on my then Sony smartphone, so the zoom in wasn't too great with the bright lights.

2019

In September 2019, I was on the 11C bus on Westley Road when I spotted the new entrance gate and railings, near the play area.

The fun fair was also back again. It was Robert Wilkinson's Fun Fair again.

2020

First of two lockdown walks into the Acocks Green Recreation Ground during May 2020. The new railings and bollards on Fox Hollies Road.

The green open field, no path alongside Fox Hollies Road, unless you walk on the pavement, like I used to do.

The odd piece of litter on the field.

Getting close to the playground near Westley Road.

Looking back at the field. Clear signs of tyre marks of vehicles that have driven onto the recreation ground in the past (such as all those fun fairs).

About to exit the new gate onto Westley Road. Bus stop on the left for the 11A. Acocks Green Village is to the left.

Went through again in June 2020. This time walking back from Tyseley. Got in via the path on Broad Road. The bollards here are much older.

The path follows Broad Road towards Westley Road.

Grass a bit longer, trees full of green leaves in the height of summer.

Shadows from the trees on the field.

Not far until the end of the path.

There was a few more entrances from Broad Road and you could dip in and out.

Now back on Westley Road, the new railings near the play area.

Another look at the new main entrance to the recreation ground. Looks good.

Post and photos by Elliott Brown. On Twitter ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Environment & green action
03 Nov 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Herons, Egrets and Cormorants around Birmingham and the West Midlands

Various unique bird species to be found in Birmingham's many parks and lakes. Canals and rivers. From herons, to egrets to cormorants. Not just the usual ducks, geese, swans and gulls that I'm always seeing around. There is also coot and moorhens too. But will leave those to another post.

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Herons, Egrets and Cormorants around Birmingham and the West Midlands





Various unique bird species to be found in Birmingham's many parks and lakes. Canals and rivers. From herons, to egrets to cormorants. Not just the usual ducks, geese, swans and gulls that I'm always seeing around. There is also coot and moorhens too. But will leave those to another post.


Little Egret

Little Egret seen at the Trittiford Mill Pool, Shire Country Park, Yardley Wood. Taken during December 2016.

A Snowy Egret seen on the Plants Brook near Pype Hayes Park. Taken during December 2018.

This Little Egret was seen at the Trittiford Mill Pool as well but during March 2020.

A Little Egret in the pool at Langley Hall Park near Kineton Green and Olton in Solihull. March 2020.

This Little Egret hiding in the trees at Billesley Common, Shire Country Park, Billesley. Taken during July 2020.

Great Cormorant

A Great Cormorant perched on a tree branch at the Trittiford Mill Pool, Shire Country Park, Yardley Wood. Taken during May 2016.

This Great Cormorant perched on the metal bar with the gulls at Cannon Hill Park between Moseley and Edgbaston. Taken during February 2020.

Another Great Cormorant was on this branch at the Edgbaston Reservoir near Ladywood. Taken during February 2020.

And this Great Cormorant was on this branch at the Trittiford Mill Pool, Shire Country Park, Yardley Wood. Taken during May 2020.

Heron

This Heron was spotted on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near Stirchley on the Rea Valley Route. Taken during April 2016.

A blurry image of Heron seen on the River Cole at the Scribers Lane SINC, Shire Country Park, Yardley Wood. Taken during May 2016.

This Heron during the summer heatwave was at Edgbaston Reservoir near Ladywood. Taken during July 2018.

Heron perched on a branch in the pond at Highbury Park near Kings Heath and Moseley. Taken during August 2018.

Grey Heron at Witton Lakes Park, Witton. Taken during December 2019.

This Heron was on the towpath of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal near a railway bridge on the Cross City Line in Selly Oak. Taken during October 2020.

 

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

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
22 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

An Indian Summer in Kings Heath Park during September 2020

A Sunday afternoon visit to Kings Heath Park during September 2020, on award winning person with passion Elliott's 38th birthday. It was sunny afternoon, plenty of people about. Cartlands Tea Room was open again where you could buy ice cream. Hopefully people were sticking to the "Rule of Six". Households can't mix at home so instead they have public parks.

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An Indian Summer in Kings Heath Park during September 2020





A Sunday afternoon visit to Kings Heath Park during September 2020, on award winning person with passion Elliott's 38th birthday. It was sunny afternoon, plenty of people about. Cartlands Tea Room was open again where you could buy ice cream. Hopefully people were sticking to the "Rule of Six". Households can't mix at home so instead they have public parks.


September 2020, means that during the month, Elliott (that's me) would have another birthday. On the Sunday afternoon, we headed to Kings Heath Park, for a bit of a walk around. The walk was a bit slow at times (I'm usually a fast walker, but wasn't on my own). On a Sunday in September with sunshine and fine weather, was a lot of people out in the park. Both car parks were full (personally I prefer to get the 11C bus there if I was on my own).

Since my last visit, Cartlands Tea Room has reopened. And you can buy a 99 ice cream with a Flake. The garden centre is open again, but only Monday's to Friday's. The TV Garden was still closed to the public. Kids playing on the basketball court, others having a kick about with a football, or at the two play areas. Or having a picnic on the lawn.

 

Sign / banner seen on Vicarage Road in Kings Heath, Saying that Cartlands Tea Room is now reopened.

The large open field from the path near the drive. The odd couple sitting on the grass.

A stunning blue sky and more people sitting on the grass.

Floral display near the School of Horticultural Training. How home to the Cartlands Tea Room.

Some people took their own foldable chairs to sit amongst the floral displays for a chat.

Kings Heath Garden Centre. Not open at weekends. But if you go Monday to Friday, wear your mask, and stay 2m apart.

Another field near the bottom of the park. At least one person sitting on the lawn. Perfect blue sky.

Steps into the field to the bottom of the park.

Tall thin trees near the bottom end of the park.

More people sitting on the lawn near or having a kick about.

View towards the play area near Avenue Road.

Back near the School of Horticultural Training, home of Cartlands Tea Room (now reopened).

One of the signs on the noticedboard of interest: Don't litter, if the bins are full please take it home!

Entrance to Cartlands Tea Room. Was later a socially distanced queue of people queuing for ice cream or coffee or tea.

They also had these sky blue chairs outside.

Moorhen in the pond.

Robin on the bench around a tree.

Also spotted a squirrel climbing up a tree.

A few more bits and pieces before leaving. One of the short woodland paths off the main path to the bottom of the park.

Another peek at the TV Garden through the locked gate. I've not been able to go into here in over 6 years now.

Never Give Up. Yarn bombing. This was on the fence even during the earlier part of the last lockdown.

The pond, none of the fountain water jets were on. Hose pipe exposed above the water.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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70 passion points
Environment & green action
21 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Hollybank Spinney on The Haunch Brook Pathways

Beyond Billesley Common, on Hollybank Road is the Hollybank Spinney. Also called the Hollie Lucas Memorial. The piece of land was named after Hollybank Farm. Named in memory of Christopher Hollins Lucas, who was killed during the Great War in 1918. Was a grandson of Joseph Lucas. Just a path and trees along the Haunch Brook. Just a small pocket of the Shire Country Park.

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Hollybank Spinney on The Haunch Brook Pathways





Beyond Billesley Common, on Hollybank Road is the Hollybank Spinney. Also called the Hollie Lucas Memorial. The piece of land was named after Hollybank Farm. Named in memory of Christopher Hollins Lucas, who was killed during the Great War in 1918. Was a grandson of Joseph Lucas. Just a path and trees along the Haunch Brook. Just a small pocket of the Shire Country Park.


Hollybank Spinney

Part of the Haunch Brook Pathways, which goes through Billesley Common, if you leave the Common at Hollybank Road in Kings Heath, and cross over the road, is a small section called the Hollybank Spinney. This is also called the Hollie Lucas Memorial. The path amongst the trees goes from Hollybank Road towards Ardencote Road, so it's not very long. There is another short path from Hollybank Road that leads to Chamberlain Road.

The land was named after the Hollybank Farm which used to be on the site. It was given to the City of Birmingham by the Lucas family, known for Lucas Industries, in memory of the late Hollie Lucas, a grandson of the late Joseph Lucas (1834 - 1902).

Christopher Hollins Lucas fought during the First World War (1914-18), which at the time was called The Great War. He was also called Hollies Lucas. He was a second lieutenant in the 8th battalion of the Prince of Wales North Staffordshire Regiment. He was killed in action at the age of 21 on the 10th April 1918 in Belgium.

His medals were sent to his parents, who at the time lived on Cambridge Road in Kings Heath. A road off Wheelers Lane was named Hollie Lucas Road in his memory.

 

My visit to the Hollybank Spinney on a walk from the Kings Heath High Street towards the bus stop on Haunch Lane near Billesley Common, during July 2020.

Approaching the Hollybank Spinney from Hollybank Road in Kings Heath.

Lots of trees and long grass.

Onto the path towards Ardencote Road.

Here's the sign about Joseph Lucas, and his grandson that this area is named after.

The path curves around the trees.

Near the end of the path, it's not very long.

Man walking his dog near the end of the path as it goes onto Ardencote Road.

Bit hard to see the Haunch Brook from here.

The Haunch Brook is down there. Goes under this tunnel towards Kings Heath, not sure were it emerges though.

Going back on the path towards Hollybank Road.

Trees and bushes everywhere. A little bit of paradise.

About halfway back to Hollybank Road.

Not too far back to the end of the path.

The Hollie Lucas Memorial on the left (the Joseph Lucas sign I saw earlier).

Near Hollybank Road, noticed workmen who were resurfacing the paths in Billesley Common.

The other end of the Haunch Brook from Hollybank Road.

Almost hard to see here too. Some unwanted rubbish on the banks of the brook.

One more path to take. This leads to Chamberlain Road.

This path was much shorter.

Trees all around the Haunch Brook near Chamberlain Road.

Chamberlain Road is a cul-de-sac with this turn circle at the end. The path into the Hollybank Spinney is straight ahead.

Chamberlain Road leads to Haunch Lane. Then just a walk down the hill to the bus stop outside of Billesley Common (the wait in my mask for the 76).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

 

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