Back in July 2017 when I was on the Big Sleuth bear hunt, one of the bears would be in the Warley Woods. So I popped in there after Lightwoods Park to see Bentley the Bearwood Bear, before leaving to catch my next bus to Dudley (and later West Bromwich) for more bears in the Black Country. While there I passed a golf course. Plenty of history going back to the 18th century on this land.

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Into the Warley Woods from a July 2017 visit





Back in July 2017 when I was on the Big Sleuth bear hunt, one of the bears would be in the Warley Woods. So I popped in there after Lightwoods Park to see Bentley the Bearwood Bear, before leaving to catch my next bus to Dudley (and later West Bromwich) for more bears in the Black Country. While there I passed a golf course. Plenty of history going back to the 18th century on this land.


Welcome to the ... Warley Woods

 

My visit to the Warley Woods was during late July 2017. That day I was going on another Big Sleuth bear hunt around the Black Country, meaning I had to catch quite a lot of buses. My first two buses to Bearwood for Lightwoods Park. Then after I left the Warley Woods, another bus to Dudley, then later another bus to West Bromwich for the final bears I could find (and then a couple of more buses back home to Birmingham - it was a long day).

Now we will have a look back on my visit to the Warley Woods. But first some history (taken from Wikipedia).

The Warley Woods (sometimes also known as Warley Park or Warley Woods Park) is a public park in the Warley district of Smethwick, Sandwell. It was originally laid out by Humphry Repton. The estate which now forms the park was purchased by Samuel Galton, Jr. in the 1790s, at the time it was in Worcestershire. He commissioned Humphry Repton to landscape the fields and the building of the house. The house was occupied by his son Hubert in 1819.

The land was purchased by Birmingham City Council in 1902 and opened as a park in 1906. The house known locally as "Warley Abbey" was demolished in 1957. The park is now managed by the Warley Woods Community Trust who lease the land from Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council who themselves lease it from Birmingham City Council.

The drinking fountain dates to 1907 and was restored in 2009. There is also a nine hole golf course in the parkland.

 

Onto my actual visit to the Warley Woods from July 2017. The entrance gate at Lightwoods Hill and Barclay Road. Once you open the gate, close it behind you.

A notice board from the Warley Woods Community Trust and to the right was a map. Welcome to Warley Woods The Peoples Park.

Heading up the path amongst the trees.

Not much grass under the trees, there was some, but was mostly just soil.

So many trees in the woods, you wouldn't know that you were in the urban Sandwell. Could be the countryside. But then again it was in the late 18th century when this was in Worcestershire.

Getting close to the Big Sleuth bear I was looking for. The wooded part near the corner of Lightwoods Hill and Barclay Road gives way to a large field.

Here it is. The Big Sleuth bear I was looking for. Bentley the Bearwood Bear by the artist Rebecca Cresswell working with PAID (Positive Activities Innovative Development) and it was funded by PAID and Sandwell Council.

The back of Bentley the Bearwood Bear. It would later end up in Lightwoods Park in front of Lightwoods House (see my Lightwoods House post). I saw it again in November 2017.

To see Bentley the Bearwood Bear outside his new home check out this post: The restoration of Lightwoods House in Lightwoods Park.

A look at the Drinking Fountain. It was made in 1906 and 1907 and was restored in 2009. There is a similar drinking fountain in Lightwoods Park.

Heading onto the next path after the Big Sleuth bear, this path leads to the golf course.

The path actually goes through the golf course. But you have to stick to the perimeter. I can't recall if any games of golf were being played at the time I was there.

One of the sandpits in Warley Woods Golf Course. With a yellow flagpole in the hole.

Another yellow flagpole in a golf hole, was slightly hilly there.

One last look at the golf course before I exited the Warley Woods.

The gate from Harborne Road just before I headed to get my next bus to Dudley. As before when you open the gate, close it behind you. The bus stop I needed would be on the Wolverhampton Road.

Follow Warley Woods on Twitter.

 

I've got plenty more photos from other parks around the Black Country, and hopefully will be doing posts on those as and when the projects are set up for me.

Not too far from here is Leasowes Park in Halesowen. Which I visited in February 2018. Other recent parks I found include Mary Stevens Park in Stourbridge (July 2019 visit) and West Park in Wolverhampton (which I found in March 2019).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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Birmingham We Are People with Passion award winner 2020