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Green open spaces
5 hours ago - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Edgbaston Reservoir in Ladywood over the years

The last time I had a walk round Edgbaston Reservoir (well half of it) was about a month before lockdown. But I have been many times to the reservoir in Ladywood over the years. Sometimes I walk the full lap, sometimes half. It was originally known as the Rotton Park Reservoir. Originally a small pool called the Rock Pool. Enlarged by Thomas Telford for the Birmingham Canal Navigations.

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Edgbaston Reservoir in Ladywood over the years





The last time I had a walk round Edgbaston Reservoir (well half of it) was about a month before lockdown. But I have been many times to the reservoir in Ladywood over the years. Sometimes I walk the full lap, sometimes half. It was originally known as the Rotton Park Reservoir. Originally a small pool called the Rock Pool. Enlarged by Thomas Telford for the Birmingham Canal Navigations.


Some history about the Edgbaston Reservoir from Wikipedia.

Located in Ladywood, Birmingham, the reservoir was originally called the Rotton Park Reservoir and on early maps as the Rock Pool Reservoir. Between 1824-29 Thomas Telford expanded the pool to supply water to the Birmingham Canal Navigations for the Birmingham and Wolverhampton Levels, as he was straightening out James Brindley's old canal. This became the Birmingham Canal Navigations New Mainline. The Icknield Port Loop is close to the dam at the reservoir.

These days the reservoir is used for leisure, there is a path all the way around for walking, cycling and for dog walkers. The reservoir is also used for rowing and sailing. The Midland Sailing Club is also based at Edgbaston Reservoir. From April 2019, the car parks were closed off to vehicles due to anti-social behaviour.

 

2011

My first visit to Edgbaston Reservoir was during May 2011. So the water looked nice and blue at the time. I went in the main entrance from Reservoir Road. And probably headed to the left around the reservoir in a clockwise direction.

The trees were lush and green as some pigeons flew by.

A tree here was just a stump, and it looked like the reservoir was receding at bit, like a beach.

Some nice shadows from the trees.

Hard to believe that this was all man made in the 19th century.

From here you can see the dam and the skyline, from here the BT Tower was visible.

Can just about make out the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower from here.

The main entrance to the resevoir from Reservoir Road, and to the left was The Tower Dancing & Banqueting Suite (now closed down but open at the time).

2014

My second visit was during February 2014. The conditions was windy and blustery with choppy water. Again approaching from the Reservoir Road main entrance. So perfect weather for sailing or canoeing.

Plenty of cars in the car park at the time (it would be open for another 5 years).

This time I could see sailors in yachts in the reservoir. Perfect conditions for sailing.

This one had a sail with the code: GBR 11224.

This sailor has 4186.

This pair had E GBR 22901.

Several yachts seen sailing here.

This one in a canoe with a sail.

This canoeist had 133256. The spire of St Augustine's Church was behind.

Three people in a speedboat marked MSC, Joan.

2018

My third visit was during July 2018 during the summer heatwave. There was a drought at the time and all the grass all over the City had gone yellow. The reservoir around the edges was looking quite dry. This time I got into the reservoir from the Rotton Park Road entrance at the back.

It was a bit like a beach, the grass was dry and the trees were green, but was very hot.

The reservoir had lost a lot of water during this dry spell. There should be water on the parts that look like dry soil beaches.

Birmingham skyline view behind the dam. Including the BT Tower and Three Snowhill was under construction at the time.

Just look at this poor heron near the edge of the reservoir. Was also a fish struggling for water when it should have been below it!

The western edge of the Reservoir with the skyline above the dam. It was looking quite green in the parts not covered with water.

This could be like a beach right here in Birmingham, but the ground was not find sand. And you shouldn't really sit on the edges. Picnics are probably done in the summer of the grassy parts.

I don't think I've seen the reservoir like this before or since. Once it started raining again, it probably filled back up and went back to normal. Another dam / skyline view.

Even this corner near the dam was dry and lacking reservoir water. After this I left the reservoir via the main Reservoir Road entrance and walked towards Broadway Plaza.

2020

This was during February 2020, a walk that started in Harborne. Got onto the Edgbaston Reservoir again at Rotton Park Road. Since my last visit they had laid new tarmac paths and the water level had gone back to normal.

View towards the Midland Sailing Club.

The nice new tarmaced path, this was during the period after the storms, so the path was a bit wet. Ahead was a person running.

Several cyclists doing laps around the reservoir. This was before social distancing measures.

Over the dam could just see some residential tower blocks.

I only walked halfway around the reservoir this time.

It was looking full of water and in better condition than the drought of 2 years before.

Saw this Great cormorant sitting on a branch of a tree that was in the water.

Gulls flying about over the reservoir like they do.

At the Midland Sailing Club was yacht 3530 and the speedboat MSC, with the name Joan.

One last look at the reservoir. At the time I didn't know why the car park was empty, then saw that the barrier at the Reservoir Road entrance was closed.

After this I continued my walk via the new Ladywood Leisure Centre into the City Centre (don't think I want to do a Harborne via Edgbaston Reservoir to City Centre walk again was too long). Might be a while before I can come back here, so enjoy my photos from my four visits over 2011, 2014, 2018 and 2020.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

 

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Art, culture & creativity
03 Apr 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A virtual tour of Cadbury World from my visit from November 2015

Would you like to see what it is like inside of Cadbury World, and can't go now due to lockdown? Then have a look at my post with photos taken during a visit in early November 2015. It's like a Cadbury chocolate theme park right in the heart of Bournville. You have to get your tickets pre-booked online before you go. There is many different zones, and a few rides to go on as well.

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A virtual tour of Cadbury World from my visit from November 2015





Would you like to see what it is like inside of Cadbury World, and can't go now due to lockdown? Then have a look at my post with photos taken during a visit in early November 2015. It's like a Cadbury chocolate theme park right in the heart of Bournville. You have to get your tickets pre-booked online before you go. There is many different zones, and a few rides to go on as well.


Welcome to Cadbury World. It first opened in 1990. Cadbury World is located in Bournville, Birmingham within the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. There is 14 zones that tells the story of chocolate and the Cadbury business through  various static sets, animatronics, video presentations, multi-sensory cinema, interactive displays and activities, and staff demonstrations.

One of my earliest visits was probably in the early 1990s, but came back in November 2015 when some relatives from overseas wanted to go there.

When you first go in you see this Cadbury World sign.

Aztec Jungle

Take a trip back in time to Mexico where you walk through a tropical rainforest of the Mayan Indians. Discover the origins of the cocoa bean.

Bull Street

What the shops on Bull Street used to be like that Richard and George Cadbury ran. Also shows St James' London.

Manufacturing

Discover how popular Cadbury brands are made, including Creme Egg, Buttons and Roses with interactive video stations.

Cadabra

Ride around in a Beanmobile on a magical journey full of surprises. Head past Beanville, full of those little Chuckle Beans!

Advertising Avenue

Take a trip down memory lane. How many Cadbury adverts do you remember?

4D Chocolate Adventure

We had to wear 3D glasses, and the seats we sat on moved (was a bit like a rollercoaster at one point). The following photos were taken after the 4D film.

Portraits of the characters seen in the 4D "film".

The Worlds Biggest Cadbury Shop

In this shop you can buy all the usual Cadbury chocolate including Curly Wurly's, Caramel etc. Also Bassett's Liquorice allsorts. They also had the usual fridge magnets, key rings and tea towels.

The Bournville Experience

An exhibit about the Cadbury Brothers, George and Richard. About the factory in Bournville and the village. Also the shop they had established and some old Cadbury packaging and adverts.

For more of my Cadbury posts please check out the following links:

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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Green open spaces
02 Apr 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Perry Park home of the Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr

Perry Park is located in Perry Barr. It is the home of the Alexander Stadium where over the years the British Grand Prix has been held each summer a long with the Diamond League meet. The Tame Valley Canal runs past to the northern edge of the park. Perry Reservoir is also in the park. The M6 motorway is to the east. Between Walsall Road and Aldridge Road.

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Perry Park home of the Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr





Perry Park is located in Perry Barr. It is the home of the Alexander Stadium where over the years the British Grand Prix has been held each summer a long with the Diamond League meet. The Tame Valley Canal runs past to the northern edge of the park. Perry Reservoir is also in the park. The M6 motorway is to the east. Between Walsall Road and Aldridge Road.


Perry Park

The park has a 2 kilometre walking route. In 2012 a BMX track was built for the BMX World Championships. It is the home of the Birmingham BMX Club. They were established in 2009. The park is best known for the Alexander Stadium. It is used for International Athletics and it is home of the world-famous Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club. The stadium will be converted for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Increasing the capacity from 17,000 (as it is now) to 20,000.

The park is located between the Walsall Road and Aldridge Road in Perry Barr. The M6 motorway is to the eastern side of the park.

 

2012

When I went to Perry Park back in August 2012, it was mainly to see the Birmingham Alexander Stadium from the outside. I got the train up to Perry Barr at the time and walked up the Walsall Road. It was a few days before the Aviva Grand Prix. This sign for the Alexander Stadium was on the corner of the Walsall Road with Church Road in Perry Barr.

Some kind of weather or wind reader (I think). Close to the Walsall Road. I think I must have continued up the road looking at things to do with the (then) upcoming Aviva Grand Prix, then entered the park at Perry Park Crescent.

This sign for the Birmingham Alexander Stadium was off the Walsall Road. The entrance to the stadium is this way.

The view of the park from behind the stadium. The lawn up to the trees that line the Tame Valley Canal. Not far from the Perry Park Crescent entrance.

The back of the Alexander Stadium as it was in 2012. I must have entered the park at Perry Park Crescent.

Continuing past the Alexander Stadium, hard to see much of the stadium from up here.

The grass had probably just been cut at the time. This was close to the northern edge of the park near the Tame Valley Canal.

The car park near the Alexander Stadium. These buildings are the GMAC (Gymnastics and Martial Arts Centre).

Trees near the southern edge of the Alexander Stadium.

Saw this Birmingham Alexander Stadium sign. For Car Park's B and C. Not far from Church Road.

The playground in the park near Church Road.

Trees in Perry Park from Church Road.

More trees in Perry Park from Church Road as I headed to the Aldridge Road (to find the old bridge and check out the Perry Barr BCU campus when it was still there at the time).

This road from Church Road had a gated barrier in the way. You can see the Alexander Stadium in the distance from here. Was also banners there for the Aviva Grand Prix.

A zoom in to the most modern stand at the Alexander Stadium (as it was in 2012). Hopefully the stadium will be rebuilt for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (hope the lockdown doesn't delay things too much in 2020).

Saw this rusted Birmingham City Council sign from Church Road. The playing of golf is not permitted on this site.

I did not get any more photos of the park in 2012 as I then went down the Aldridge Road to first see the old bridge over the River Tame. So I missed the skatepark and the BMX track. In 2014 I went to the Boar's Head, but it was quite dark when I left, but got a bus back to the City Centre near there (just beyond the M6 overpass).

2018

In April 2018, I was back in Perry Barr for a walk along the Tame Valley Canal. And saw these views of Perry Park (I did not go in). The Birmingham Skyline was visible behind these buildings. Probably the back of the GMAC (Gymnastics and Martial Arts Centre).

This was only view from the Tame Valley Canal of Perry Park that wasn't hidden by the trees. It's close to a path into the park.

Trees obsuring the view of the Alexander Stadium from the Tame Valley Canal, but a better view of the stadium than I had 6 years earlier.

As you can see with the trees from the canal, it was a bit hard to see the Alexander Stadium. But if they rebuild the stadium for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, there wont be much to see from the canalside.

A view from the Tame Valley Canal of the Perry Reservoir. I need to one day come back and walk around that (after the lockdown ends, will be a long while off before I'm able to go back).

Another view of the modern stand at the Alexander Stadium, this time seen from the Tame Valley Canal.

There was these steps down from the Tame Valley Canal into Perry Park which would lead to the Perry Reservoir. But as I was on a canal walk, I didn't get off the canal until I got to College Road.

I finished my Tame Valley Canal Walk at College Road and walked down to the bus stop not far from the Boar's Head. And didn't think about popping into the park or getting photos of the BMX track or skatepark (at the time). Will need to go back to Perry Park in the future (during lockdown this is not possible). Would be nice to walk around Perry Reservoir sometime in the future, when it is safe again to travel up there.

Bus routes nearby include the 33, 51 and 52.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
31 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Kings Norton Park down the Pershore Road South

While I've been to Kings Norton many times over the years, I've only had one proper walk into Kings Norton Park way back in 2011. Back in 2009 I passed it on the way down the Pershore Road South to Kings Norton Village. And only skimmed it from Westhill Road in 2016. The park is down the hill from Kings Norton Station and Cotteridge. There is a Recreation Ground opposite.

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Kings Norton Park down the Pershore Road South





While I've been to Kings Norton many times over the years, I've only had one proper walk into Kings Norton Park way back in 2011. Back in 2009 I passed it on the way down the Pershore Road South to Kings Norton Village. And only skimmed it from Westhill Road in 2016. The park is down the hill from Kings Norton Station and Cotteridge. There is a Recreation Ground opposite.


Kings Norton Park

This park is located down on the Pershore Road South in Kings Norton, between Kings Norton Station and Cotteridge to the north and the old Kings Norton village to the south. Westhill Road is to the west while Camp Lane is to the north. You can also approach the park from Wychall Lane, and is on the no 45 and 47 bus routes.

There is a group called the Friends of Kings Norton Park. A group of local volunteers who come together to improve and protect the park and neighbour playing fields. (There blog has not been updated since 2014).

There is a 2 kilometre walking route in the park, as well as a skatepark and a playground. The River Rea flows to the northern edge of the park. National Cycle Network route number 5 passes through the park, and it is also part of the Rea Valley Route.

 

2009

My first indirect photos of Kings Norton Park were taken on a walk down the Pershore Road South. Starting in Bournville, then passing Cotteridge and going down to the old Kings Norton village. This was when I started taking photos around Birmingham during April 2009.

Some views of the River Rea. There is at least two bridges on the Pershore Road South, so the first bigger one is definitely the River Rea. The other smaller bridge crosses an unnamed stream.

Another view of the River Rea or an unnamed stream. This was 11 years ago, so I can't remember which bridge I took them from.

The main path into Kings Norton Park with a pair of long paths, with flower beds on the grass in the middle.

2011

My walk near the end of June 2011 through Kings Norton Park was my first proper walk around the park. Starting on Westhill Road. This is probably the River Rea (I used to think it was an unnamed stream).

The main entrance on Westhill Road is similar to that on the Pershore Road South, they look identical. A pair of paths with flower beds in the middle of the lawn.

The playground near the Westhill Road entrance to the park is also near a car park. (obviously during our current situation the playground is now closed). This was some kind of curved climbing frame for kids.

Still in the playground, not sure what this is, with a pair of steps. Can't see if it has a slide. The view was towards the spire of St Nicholas's Church.

Two pairs of swings in the playground.

This was the slide in the playground here.

Now over the the skatepark area of Kings Norton Park.

The skatepark had many ramps for skateboarders and BMX bike riders to do crazy tricks on.

It had graffiti all over it.

Was loads of different sections of the skatepark with barriers at the higher levels.

This was the lower section of the skatepark.

Now onto a path with the trees mostly to the left.

More trees as I got closer to the Pershore Road South.

An old stone bench, which was off one of the paths from the main Pershore Road South entrance.

Saw this wooden post. Sponsored by Birmingham City Council. Would assume it was installed by the Friends of Kings Norton Park. Possibly from some kind of floral trail?

There was this dirt path through a pair of brick and stone gate posts, not far from the Pershore Road South entrance. I have never walked up here (I don't think).

No path behind these brick and stone gateposts, just overgrown bushes (at the time).

2016

Passed nearby again briefly back in February 2016. Again from Westhill Road, but this time I found some steps near the south west corner of the park. You can see the playground in the distance to the left. I started a walk from Kings Norton village from The Green and ended up going up Westhill Road.

A look at the steps from Westhill Road. I did not go up these steps, or go into the park this time around.

A cycling sign seen from Westhill Road outside of the park. The pavement is only on the left, not pavement on the right (if you are heading up to Camp Lane).

Yellow and purple crocuses seen on the grass just outside of Kings Norton Park.

The crocuses were on the roadside of the lawn, separated by the park barrier.

Another look at the River Rea from Westhill Road, before I walked up Camp Lane to the Pershore Road South.

I keep thinking I already had the photos in past years, so find it hard to find something new to take in Kings Norton. I wont be able to return again until the lockdown ends. It's been well over a year since I last got several buses to Kings Norton. Including when I last walked up the Stratford-on-Avon Canal to Kings Norton Junction. And even on those visits, never thought about going into Kings Norton Park again (the canal walk ended at the Kings Norton Recreation Ground and it was raining at the time).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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Green open spaces
30 Mar 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Oaklands Recreation Ground in South Yardley over the years

The Oaklands Recreation Ground is a large park between South Yardley and Hay Mills. And is close to the Swan Island, Coventry Road and Church Road. Also opposite the Swan Centre (with the big Tesco Extra). I've walked around here several times over the years. Even when covered in snow and it was freezing cold! In recent years the parkland has been done up. Also nice skyline views.

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Oaklands Recreation Ground in South Yardley over the years





The Oaklands Recreation Ground is a large park between South Yardley and Hay Mills. And is close to the Swan Island, Coventry Road and Church Road. Also opposite the Swan Centre (with the big Tesco Extra). I've walked around here several times over the years. Even when covered in snow and it was freezing cold! In recent years the parkland has been done up. Also nice skyline views.


The Oaklands Recreation Ground is a large parkland located in South Yardley and near Hay Mills in Birmingham. Not far from the Swan Island and the Coventry Road, A45. The semi circle road altered for the rebuilding of the Swan Centre, Church Road passes the park to the east. While Hob Moor Road is to the north and Holder Road to the west.

Nearby bus routes include the 11A, 11C, 60, X1 and X2 from National Express West Midlands.

Improvement works took place here until 2017 (which included Phase 4 that year). There is paths for walking or running, a new outdoor gym, playgrounds and a skatepark.

For skyline lovers, on a clear day you can see the Birmingham Skyline from here.

 

Over the years, I have popped into this park or recreation ground several times. One year there was snow there and it was very cold, so wasn't there long (and headed to the Costa in the Swan Centre to warm up).

 

2013

I usually get in from the Church Road semi circle road in South Yardley. My first visit was during December 2013. There is a pathed entrance near here. Not far from the 11A bus stop and Tesco petrol station.

This view towards a pair of Gas Holders. Probably the Nechells Gas Holders (or Saltley).

One of my early Birmingham skyline photos from the Oaklands Recreation Ground. Here you can see The Cube, The Sentinels and the Beetham Tower.

Football goalposts. Would assume that the park was in it's early phases of improvements at this point in time.

The path at the other Church Road exit. If you enter or exit here, you are opposite Yardley Primary School.

In this view, I got the skyline of Birmingham with the lawn and paths in the Recreation Ground. From the Beetham Tower to the Rotunda. The Hyatt Hotel and Alpha Tower are in the middle of this view.

 

2017

My second visit to the Oaklands Recreation Ground with my camera was during October 2017. By then the improvement works were well under way and were due to be finished by December 2017. As before entered the path from Church Road opposite the Swan Centre. Path to the right, but I headed to the left.

The path to the left that I followed down the hill. You can see that they weren't quite finished with the improvement works here at the time.

A set of swings.

This view towards Bakeman House and Equipoint. A residential block of flats above the Swan Centre near Tesco Extra that was refurbished when the Swan Centre was rebuilt. Equipoint was offices, but for years they struggled to let them, so now they are being converted into flats or apartments (or they were before the lockdown came into force).

View towards The Vibe. A youth centre on Holders Road.

New sculpted gates at the exit to Holders Road. The design of animals on flowers by the looks of it.

The path to the left leads to the Coventry Road, while the path to the right leads to Holders Road. I headed to the Coventry Road this time around.

Getting close to the Coventry Road entrance / exit. The brick walls and gates had yet to be built at this point.

 

2018

Would you believe it that during March 2018, there was snow and ice in the Oaklands Recreation Ground. This was during the weather event known as The Beast from the East 2. It felt like -15°C but was probably more like -3°C. This was the height restriction barrier in the car park near Boughton Road.

It was as cold as it looks! Snow and ice everywhere. Bollards and the new railings were ahead of me.

Another look at one of the new gates. Nice sculpted design on this one.

The grass poking just above the snow, but still looks like it could be in Antarctica or something. So so cold. My hands and feet were freezing. Had to keep putting my gloves back on.

Tried to get as many snow photos as I could before heading to the Swan Centre for a warm coffee in Costa.

Getting close to Tesco Extra and the Swan Centre. Saw this climbing frame, probably part of the outdoor gym set. No one would be using it in these conditions.

The middle of March 2018 and the leaves hadn't yet grown back on the trees. View of Equipoint.

Heading out of the Oaklands Recreation Ground onto Church Road. View of the Tesco Extra petrol station and Equipoint.

By April 2018, the snow of the month before was a distant memory. The new brick gate posts on the Coventry Road was complete along with new railings either side of it.

There was also this brick wall around the oak sculpture. Also the daffodils had finished flowering.

I didn't go into the Oaklands Recreation Ground this time, just saw in passing probably heading to the X1, X2 or 60 bus stop on the Coventry Road. The Oaklands sign looks nice don't you think? The gateposts also had a pair of oak sculptures on them. Was done as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Field - Fields in Trust. Diamond Jubilee 2012.

 

2019

The first of my three visits here was during January 2019. A look at one of the new playgrounds.

An outdoor gym seen from the path coming from the Coventry Road, which I assume is now the main entrance to the Recreation Ground.

My second visit in 2019 was during October 2019. View of the Birmingham skyline, while the trees looked autumnal. 103 Colmore Row was rising to the left. With the BT Tower in the middle.

This view towards The Cube and The Sentinels with The Bank Tower 2 seen behind.

From this path you can see the skatepark with the skyline behind.

Saw this stone with the Queen Elizabeth II plaques. I had previously seen it a few years before with no plaques on it. But on this visit I did not get too close to them, so I had to return to see them again a few months later.

Another City Skyline view from the Recreation Ground with the houses near Holders Road below.

Another view of one of the new playgrounds towards Holiday Inn Express. Also known as the Holders Road Play Area as I discovered when I returned on Boxing Day 2019.

Third and final visit in 2019 was on Boxing Day near the end of December 2019. Mainly to get close to that i stone with the Queen Elizabeth II plaques. Saw this yellow swing thing in one of the playgrounds.

The Holders Road Play Area empty on Boxing Day 2019. All playgrounds in the cities parks are now closed during the lockdown while the parks remain open.

Saw this sign close up in the design of an oak leaf. This is where I saw the Holders Road Play Area name.

Going past the skatepark. It was pretty quiet here on Boxing Day.

Another set of swings with a lime green bar at the top. Also saw a magpie.

The outdoor gym equipment on Boxing Day. These will now also be out of use during the lockdown we now find ourselves in.

Finally got up and close to the stone with the plaques. The top one was the Queen Elizabeth II Fields in Trust Diamond Jubilee 2012 plaque. The bottom one was the blue plaque stating that the Oaklands Recreation Ground was awarded Fields in Trust status in 2014 in recognition of the site's importance to the local community, and so it will be protected for generations to come. The boulder represents the strength and durabilty that working in partnership can bring, resulting in a better and sustainable future for all.

Back to the path leading to the gates at Coventry Road and heading to the 11C bus stop near Yardley Primary School. Buses are now reduced during the lockdown, and can't use them again until the lockdown is over.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Now at 1,100 followers. Thank you.

Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020

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