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.

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Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020