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BirminghamWeAre

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BirminghamWeAre is a community devoted to social value, providing a shared space for people who make a difference and together have a positive social impact across the City.

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Green open spaces
Displaying until 01 Sep 2021 - FreeTimePays
Featuring

Love our parks - get involved!

As Lockdown rules start to enable more people to enjoy their parks and green spaces, we all want to ensure that these wonderful places of natural beauty are protected for all to enjoy.  This community collective will share some of the brilliant initiatives running across the UK and show just how, together, we can make a difference for the benefit of all.  Connect with us.

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Love our parks - get involved!





As Lockdown rules start to enable more people to enjoy their parks and green spaces, we all want to ensure that these wonderful places of natural beauty are protected for all to enjoy.  This community collective will share some of the brilliant initiatives running across the UK and show just how, together, we can make a difference for the benefit of all.  Connect with us.


Over the next month and for the remainder of 2020, we will be growing our reach and pull together information and details on all the great work being carried out across communities as they collectively protect their parks.  

This will grow into a massive 'community-led' resource for people with a shared interest and passion for their local parks and green spaces.  

Here's just a few of the ideas and initiatives we will be telling you more about so we can share and get more people actively involved.

Litter picking groups - they do a fantastic job.  We'll connect you with your local group.

Art & Culture Trail.  We'll help you set up your trail and showcase your parks.

Walking clubs. We'll connect you and bring in more friends.

Park angels.  Volunteering with a difference.  We'll tell you more.

Creativity and green spaces collide.  Let's look at how art, music, photography and creativity in all its forms can help promote and protect our parks. 

Parks and mental health.  A walk, ride or jog in the park can do so much for your mental health.

There's something for everyone.

Connect with us and help us protect our parks. 

 

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
20 hours ago - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

A sunny day in May at Highbury Park and Highbury Hall

The first time back to Highbury Park since lockdown started (and this part of Moseley & Kings Heath). Starting from the Gatehouse near Moor Green Lane, the walk around the back during May 2020, via the gardens of Highbury Hall, before heading to the Dads Lane exit (to walk up to Kings Heath Park and back). Then taking the grass path back to the starting point.

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A sunny day in May at Highbury Park and Highbury Hall





The first time back to Highbury Park since lockdown started (and this part of Moseley & Kings Heath). Starting from the Gatehouse near Moor Green Lane, the walk around the back during May 2020, via the gardens of Highbury Hall, before heading to the Dads Lane exit (to walk up to Kings Heath Park and back). Then taking the grass path back to the starting point.


For my last Highbury Park post go to this link here: Highbury Park through the seasons and the years between Kings Heath and Moseley

Thank you Joseph Chamberlain for leaving your estate as open parkland after your death in 1914 for members of the public to enjoy. Also thanks to the Chamberlain Highbury Trust for maintaining Highbury Hall and the park, and hope they can continue to do so.

 

This visit was on Thursday 21st May 2020, in the afternoon.

Highbury Park

Starting at the Gatehouse near Moor Green Lane and Yew Tree Lane we followed the path amongst the trees into the park.

I found an old bricked pathway surrounded by trees, so took this route. Don't recall going down here before.

You can imagine this once being part of Joseph Chamberlain's gardens with colourful flowers, but it now just has green trees, shrubs and bushes.

Back onto the main path heading past the Long Pond.

Took a side path round the back of the Long Pond. Was some baby ducklings in there! How cute.

There was a lot of long grass, especially where cow parsley was growing, but most of the lawns were cut short.

Now on the path towards Dads Lane. But there was a lot of litter on the ground near the bin. Can people either take their litter home, or properly bin their waste? I also noticed that the car park near the Dads Lane entrance was in use.

At the Dads Lane exit / entrance near Shutlock Lane before the walk towards Kings Heath Park. The gate was open here as the car park was open.

After returning from Kings Heath Park, wanted to take the fastest route back to the starting point, and noticed this grass path cut amongst the long grass so took it.

Continuing along the grass path back towards the Gatehouse. The park looks lovely this time of year.

Highbury Hall

During the lockdown / pandemic, Highbury Hall has been closed. But Chamberlain's Gardens from Highbury Park was open, so we had a walk round to the back of the house. Saw some people sunbathing on the lawn!

The hall looks to be in good condition here, although the hall is being restored inside at the time. The hall was built in 1878-79 for Joseph Chamberlain.

Heading round to the left side of Highbury Hall. Got a nice shadow on this side.

The main entrance of Highbury Hall. The car park was empty and the gate locked.

Zoomed up to this stone with the 1879 date from when it was first built.

But I remembered that Highbury Hall had scaffolding and didn't see any until I zoomed towards the right side of the hall.

Some of my photos from the September 2018 Open Day are in this post: Inspirational day at Highbury Hall - well done Trustees and Volunteers of Chamberlain Highbury Trust!

Chamberlain's Gardens

Now for a look around Chamberlain's Gardens at Highbury Park & Hall. I was last around here during the September 2018 Open Day (see the Highbury Park gallery for those photos).

Head through these triangular sticks towards Highbury Hall.

Found a bog with algae on it, and a robin (before it flew away!).

The footbridge towards Highbury Hall.

After a look again at the back of Highbury Hall, taking a path back into the park. This tree had fallen over. Also got to be careful with the roots of trees sticking out of some paths.

The trees continue as there was a fence around the site of Chamberlain House.

Children were playing with their parents in these woods near Highbury Hall.

Trees lining the fence near Chamberlain House.

Got to this area with yarn bombing around trees and multicoloured bunting.

Some of these yarn bombing looked like spider webs or dartboards!

Heading back through the Vegetable Garden then back into Highbury Park.

If we can't get to stately homes in the Shire counties and their wonderful parks and gardens, then we can still get to the local parks that were formerly estates with a house (without going into the house of course).

 

More Birmingham park posts coming soon, so watch this space!

Expect posts from:

  • Old Yardley Park
  • The Vale Village
  • Summerfield Park
  • Daisy Farm Park
  • Cofton Park

 

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks to all my followers.

 

 

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80 passion points
Squares and public spaces
20 hours ago - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The British Armed Forces over the years in Victoria Square

Over the years, I have seen the British Armed Forces (RAF, Royal Navy or British Army) in Victoria Square for a variety of reasons. For recruitment, for Armed Forces Day, or even for the 100th Anniversary of the forming of the RAF. Click the post below for a gallery of photos. Including various military vehicles that were in the square at the time.

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The British Armed Forces over the years in Victoria Square





Over the years, I have seen the British Armed Forces (RAF, Royal Navy or British Army) in Victoria Square for a variety of reasons. For recruitment, for Armed Forces Day, or even for the 100th Anniversary of the forming of the RAF. Click the post below for a gallery of photos. Including various military vehicles that were in the square at the time.


2011

ABF The Soldiers Charity

This was on the 9th April 2011. The Lord Mayor's Big Curry was also held in Victoria Square this day.

Army Band.

JCB

Rapier - a surface-to-air-missle for the British Army and Royal Air Force.

The Lord Mayor's Big Curry.

Armed Forces Day

This was held on the 25th June 2011 in Victoria Square.

Army ambulance.

BBC WM.

Royal Air Force simulator ride.

Iron:Man observes the RAF Reserves.

The Royal Navy.

2014

Join the Army

Army recruitment drive on the 18th January 2014 in Victoria Square.

Army excavator.

The Royal Monmouthshre Royal Engineers (Militia).

Land Rover Defender for the Army. Mobile base of operations.

Toyota Hilux with the army recruitment.

2018

RAF 100

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force in 1918 over the August Bank Holiday weekend from the 25th to the 27th August 2018. Although you could see the planes here before it opened on the 24th August 2018.

Typhoon Full Scale Replica.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk1A.

RAF Charity and the Red Arrows (sadly the weather was not good enough that weekend for a Red Arrows flypast).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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40 passion points
Green open spaces
01 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The historic 18th Century Leasowes Park in Halesowen

There is a large park near Halesowen called Leasowes Park, close to Lapal in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley. The Dudley No 2 Canal passes through the park. Although sections needs restoring. Designed by the poet William Shenstone between 1743 and 1763. The landscape ranks in importance along with Blenheim and Stowe. Halesowen Golf Club is based in this wonderful park.

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The historic 18th Century Leasowes Park in Halesowen





There is a large park near Halesowen called Leasowes Park, close to Lapal in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley. The Dudley No 2 Canal passes through the park. Although sections needs restoring. Designed by the poet William Shenstone between 1743 and 1763. The landscape ranks in importance along with Blenheim and Stowe. Halesowen Golf Club is based in this wonderful park.


Leasowes Park

My visit to Leasowes Park in Halesowen was during February 2018. Depending on which bus I got via Quinton in Birmingham, I would have got off near the eastern end of the park, but later got another bus back from the western end. I would have got the 11C to Bearwood, and waited for a 9 or X10 on Hagley Road West (opposite Lightwoods Park) towards Halesowen. I think I ended up getting a 9 to Leasowes Park, and later an X10 back into Birmingham.

 

Now for some history (taken from Wikipedia). The park, also known as The Leasowes, was and estate in Halesowen, now in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, but historically in the county of Shropshire. It contained a house and gardens. It is the home of Halesowen Golf Club and is a Grade I listed park on English Heritage's Register of Parks and Gardens.

The parkland was designed by the 18th century poet William Shenstone between 1743 and 1763. After Shenstone's death in 1763, the house and gardens were taken over by Edward Horne, who demolished Shenstone's house and built a new one on the same site in 1776. There was also a walled garden. Future US Presidents Adams and Jefferson visited The Leasowes in 1786.

The property was sold in 1789 to Major Francis Halliday who made major changes to the house and parkland. He died in 1794 and Edward Butler Hartopp became the owner of the estate in 1795. Until it transferred to Charles Hamilton in 1800. Then in 1807 it passed into the hands of Matthias Attwood. But by the 1820s the park was in a state of ruin and desolation.

The Anstey College of Physical Education was housed here between 1897 and 1907. Halesowen Golf Club bought part of the site in 1906. Halesowen Council bought The Leasowes in 1934 (since taken over by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council). Since then the estate has been managed as a public park, with part of the site leased to the golf club.

 

OK, now it's time to go back to my February 2018 visit to Leasowes Park. I would have probably got off the no 9 bus on Manor Lane, then walked up Kent Road, until I entered the park at this gate.

A Leasowes Park noticeboard. Not too readable with this glass on top of it, or it might have been the light from the sunshine.

Heading along a muddy path past the trees and the fences.

From the path at the top, there was some good views towards Halesowen Town Centre.

And beyond Halesowen Town Centre was the Hagley Obelisk to the far right (on the top of the distant field).

Zoom in to the Hagley Obelisk. Which is Grade II* listed. It is ¾ of a mile from Hagley Hall. Dates to the mid 18th century and made for George, First Lord Lyttleton, of sandstone ashlar.

I got to these steps which would take me down to the next level of the park.

The steps heads sharply down the hill.  There is other paths to get down there if you don't fancy using these steps.

It was a nice sunny day in February, as the path winds around past the trees.

A reminder that a golf club is nearby.

BEWARE DANGER FLYING GOLF BALLS

At Halesowen Golf Club a yellow flag pole in one of the golf holes on the golf course.

The first look at the Beechwater Pool. There is more lakes to see in this landscape.

There was streams leading to Beechwater Pool. As a lady walks her dog on the path to the left.

A stunning view of Beechwater Pool

Now a blue flag pole at Halesowen Golf Club.

One of the entrances to Halesowen Golf Club.

Passing the golf clubhouse known as The Leasowes. Dudley MBC have placed a blue plaque here for William Shenstone. The house is Grade I listed in the Queen Anne style. Built of Stucco with three bays and two storeys. William Shenstone was born here (in 1714) but not necessarily in this house (if this was the rebuilt house of 1776 and the old one knocked down after Shenstone's death by Horne).

Walking past the clubhouse. This way to the Professional's Shop and Locker Rooms.

The walk continues through Halesowen Golf Club.

A sign about the restoration of the Walled Garden in The Leasowes. News from 2015 onwards. A group of volunteers have taken to restore the walled garden after years of neglect and vandalism (since 2014). Hopefully it is fully restored by now, but they welcome donations to help with the restoration. Good luck.

Onto the next lake (or pond). This one isn't named.

Now heading towards the Priory Pool. This is also known as the Breaches Pool.

A pair of swans in the Priory Pool (Breaches Pool).

The Priory Pool (Breaches Pool) looks lovely here.

Saw a domestic duck in the Priory Pool (Breaches Pool).

A climbing frame for children, part of the playground / Play Area. Kids can climb up the roped net and over the wooden logs.

A look at The Leasowe Play Area. Back when it was fine to use playgrounds. One day it will be safe to use them again in the future. It was close to the Leasowes Lane Car Park.

Getting close to the Dudley No 2 Canal, also known as the Lapal Canal. This sign with information about the Lapal Canal Trust. Who are trying to restore the canal from Halesowen to Selly Oak.

Just before I left the park, a quick look at the Dudley No 2 Canal near the car park. Then exiting onto Mucklow Hill. Where I would catch the X10 bus back into Birmingham.

The Lapal Canal near Mucklow Hill. The section at this end needs restoring through a tunnel near an industrial estate. But the canal beyond here is in use though. It's just the section from The Leasowes to Selly Oak that has to be restored, and this will take years to get it reconnected to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

Look out for more park posts coming soon in the not too distant future around the Black Country including:

  • Priory Park, Dudley
  • Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich
  • Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge
  • West Park, Wolverhampton

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
Environment & green action
01 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The ford on Green Road in the Shire Country Park

There is a ford on Green Road in Hall Green where the River Cole crosses it in the Shire Country Park. On foot you would pass it at the shallow ends from the Sarehole Mill Recreation Ground into the Greet Mill Meadow. There is a bridge for pedestrians, dog walkers and cyclists to use. Cars drive through the river. Sometimes gets flooded in heavy rain.

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The ford on Green Road in the Shire Country Park





There is a ford on Green Road in Hall Green where the River Cole crosses it in the Shire Country Park. On foot you would pass it at the shallow ends from the Sarehole Mill Recreation Ground into the Greet Mill Meadow. There is a bridge for pedestrians, dog walkers and cyclists to use. Cars drive through the river. Sometimes gets flooded in heavy rain.


On the Millstream Way in the Shire Country Park is a ford at Green Road in Hall Green, Birmingham. The River Cole flows through the road, and usually cars drive through it when the water levels are low. There is a footbridge for pedestrians to use, also for dog walkers and cyclists. People with wellies walk into the river as there is a path into the Sarehole Mill Recreation Ground. For other people who don't want their clothes and shoes to get wet, there is the dry path. One end of the ford is near the Greet Mill Meadow, a walk which leads to the Stratford Road at the Sparkhill / Springfield border.

2009

The first time I walked into the Shire Country Park was in April 2009, when I started taking photos around Birmingham. I got these photos of the River Cole at the Green Road ford. There is a measuring stick showing how high the water is getting.

The footbridge is on the left on Green Road, close to the Greet Mill Meadow entrance.

The River Cole flows into Green Road from the Greet Mill Meadow and continues onto Sarehole Mill and Cole Bank Road.

2018

The next time I walked to the ford at Green Road was during March 2018. This was after the recent rain or snow, so I expected the river level of the Cole to be higher. After all there is always news about a car getting stuck in the river, or under the bridge! This is on the Sarehole Mill Recreation Ground side.

The stick was showing it was only 1 foot high at this point (the water level of the River Cole).

There was some men standing on the bridge, but other than that the River Cole seemed shallow and passable at the time.

In the middle of Green Road, you can see how shallow the River Cole was, but best to get onto the pavement before a car comes

Personally I would think it would be best to drive on Cole Bank Road or Stratford Road, rather than take your car through the ford, especially if the river level is too high.

The other side of the River Cole in the Greet Mill Meadow, looked quite high on this side, compared to on the road side.

Saw one car going through, but I didn't get it going through the ford. I think I next walked back to Cole Bank Road along Sarehole Road at the time.

2020

In February 2020, after popping down to Sarehole Mill for the Bakehouse open day during Storm Dennis, I walked into the Sarehole Mill Recreation Ground, while it was wet and raining and headed to check out the ford on Green Road.

The ford wasn't as flooded as I expected it to be, but was too unsafe for cars to drive through it that day.

From this side on the footbridge, the water levels were looking a bit high.

The view of the River Cole towards the Sarehole Mill Recreation Ground. Definetely not worth driving your car into this during a storm!

The Ford warning sign said: CAUTION DO NOT CROSS.

A close up of the Ford sign with CAUTION DO NOT CROSS.

I also saw a man walking his dog while he stopped to let his dog have a drink in the Cole. After this, I walked back to Cole Bank Road along Sarehole Road.

Now on lockdown in April 2020. We walked from the Sarehole Mill Car Park, and we found this path between the River Cole and Coldbath Brook. It leads towards the ford on Green Road.

You can see the footbridge on Green Road, but without wellies, and not wanting to get my shoes or jeans wet, turned back and got onto the main path in the Sarehole Mill Recreation Ground Instead (via the Sarehole Mill Car Park).

For the first time, I managed to get a photo of a car driving through the ford on Green Road, giving off a bit of a splash!

Also saw a cyclist on Green Road, and near Sarehole Road. I would assume that he went into the Greet Mill Meadow.

Saw this sign, Try your brakes. We headed up Green Road to Wake Green Road to get into the Moseley Bog for a daily walk on lockdown.

One last look at the ford. It was registering as about half a foot, or less.

One month on as lockdown restrictions have been eased. It's now May 2020. And we had come back from a walk in the Greet Mill Meadow. Caught this car driving through the ford on Green Road, with a spectacular splash through the River Cole! Just had to go back into the Sarehole Mill Recreation Ground and we would be back in Sarehole Mill Car Park.

Over the coming months there will be more posts from around the Shire Country Park, so watch this space. Also check out the gallery for the photos.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

 

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60 passion points

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