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Environment & green action
10 hours ago - FreeTimePays
Gallery

'All things Water' from across Birmingham & the West Midlands

Photo above courtesy Kevin Maslin

With all the heavy rain we have had let's share some wonderful  'all things water' photography from our brilliant and talanted people with real passion.

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'All things Water' from across Birmingham & the West Midlands





Photo above courtesy Kevin Maslin

With all the heavy rain we have had let's share some wonderful  'all things water' photography from our brilliant and talanted people with real passion.


Gas Street Basin

Photo courtesy Chris Fletcher

 

Moseley Park & Pool

Photo courtesy Barry Whitehead

 

Gas Street Basin

Photo courtesy Christine Wright

 

Birmingham & Fazeley Canal

Photo courtesy Kevin Maslin

 

Along the canals just past Digbeth

Photo courtesy Tammie Naughton

 

Doing the loop the canal way in Birmingham

Photo courtesy Jay Mason Burns 

 

Brindleyplace

Photo courtesy Damien Walmsley

 

Edgbaston Reservoir 

Photo courtesy Daniel Sturley

 

Witton Lakes Park

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

 

Gas Street Basin

Photo courtesy Mac McCreery

 

Swanshurst Park

Photo courtesy Karl Newton

 

Gas Street Basin

Photo courtesy Pete Davies

 

It's good to get out for a ride or walk on our West Midland Canals

Photo courtesy Peter Leadbetter

 

Urban Autumn in Birmingham

Photo courtesy Victoria Ball

 

250 years since West Bromwich was linked to Birmingham by canal

Photo courtesy Kevin Maslin

 

Cannon Hill Park Lake 

Photo courtesy Karl Newton

 

Gas Street Basin in Snow

Photo courtesy Daniel Sturley

 

Early evening sunset at Gas Street Basin in Birmingham

Photo courtesy Chris Fletcher

 

Regency Wharf in Birmingham

Photo courtesy Barry Whitehead

 

Fox Hollies Park

Photo courtesy Tammie Naughton

 

The Blue Hour, Edgbaston Reservoir 

Photo courtesy Karl Newton

 

Autumnal reflections

Photo courtesy Jay Mason Burns

 

Kings Heath Park, Birmingham

Photo courtesy Christine Wright

 

Canal Journey 

Photo courtesy Damien Walmsley

 

Pool in Moseley Park

Photo courtesy Elliott Brown

 

Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham

Photo courtesy Peter Leadbetter

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50 passion points
Green open spaces
12 hours ago - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Witton Lakes Park: a pair of lakes north of the M6

Not far from Witton Cemetery is Witton Lakes Park. It's also quite close to the M6. On the Christmas Day morning of December 2019, we went on a walk around this park. There was also time to pop into Brookvale Park (post coming soon). The walk started at Perry Common Road and passed both lakes towards Marsh Hill and back. Was lucky that morning to have a blue sky and clear weather.

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Witton Lakes Park: a pair of lakes north of the M6





Not far from Witton Cemetery is Witton Lakes Park. It's also quite close to the M6. On the Christmas Day morning of December 2019, we went on a walk around this park. There was also time to pop into Brookvale Park (post coming soon). The walk started at Perry Common Road and passed both lakes towards Marsh Hill and back. Was lucky that morning to have a blue sky and clear weather.


Is it too late to say "Merry Christmas"? On the 25th December 2019 we headed up to Witton Lakes Park for a Christmas Day morning walk around this park with a pair of lakes. Such a lovely morning. Had blue skies and sunshine. Plenty of birds about such as geese, swans and ducks etc.

First some history from Wikipedia: Witton Lakes. They are a former pair of drinking reservoirs between Perry Common and Erdington. They are fed by two brooks from Kingstanding and from Bleak Hill in Erdington. They overspill into the Brookvale Park Lake before eventually reaching the River Tame. The brooks are natural. The lakes were created near the end of the 19th century to supply drinking water for Birmingham. At the time they were in the countryside but when Birmingham grew and got industrialised, the water was no longer fit for drinking. So the City turned to the Elan Valley in Wales for a supply. One lake is now used for model boating, the other for nature conservation. The North Birmingham Cycle route runs through the park.

 

Getting into the park from Perry Common Road and following this path towards the lakes.

As the path continues, the trees made some nice shadows in the sunshine.

Field to the right of the path, I was more interested in seeing the pair of lakes. I found this park a few months before looking on Google Maps when I was last in Erdington.

Crossing over this footbridge near a brook that feeds into the first lake I would see. This is part of the National Cycle Network route 535. Also known as the North Birmingham Cycle / Walk Route. You can follow a nearby sign to Stockland Green or to the City Centre.

A look at the brook in the direction of the lakes. This bridge with a grill was closed off (I don't think members of the public can walk over it).

First view of the first lake. Clouds were clearing, the sky already looking blue. And plenty of birds around.

Several low rise tower blocks in the distance from this view of the lake. Four towers called: Huntington House, Kingsbridge House, Lynton House and Greenford House.

Near the end of the first lake. There is a nearby school called Wilson Stuart School. And Perry Common is in this direction.

Between the two lakes is this path and benches to sit and admire the lakes and the wildlife. Some nice shadows from the benches on the left.

This Tufted Duck was in the first lake that I saw. Viewed from the path betwen both of the lakes.

This is a Eurasian Wigeon, also seen in the first lake.

On the other side of the path that splits the lake. Another path that leads towards the North Birmingham Academy. Next it was time to walk around the second lake in the park.

There was a large family of swans with their young on the second lake. I would soon walk down the straight that leads to a waterfall or weir.

View of the second lake. The sky was looking so blue from here, hardly any clouds. A perfect morning.

Could this be a palm tree on the Witton Lakes? Maybe it would more impressive in the Summer, but in the Winter it looked good.

This Coot was swimming in this direction, making an interesting ripple effect in the lake water, making a V shape. Various gulls were behind.

This view of the second lake from the bridge over the weir or waterfall.

Now heading on the path towards Marsh Hill (and on towards Brookvale Park), saw this weir on the brook that follows out of the second lake.

Bright sunshine on the path towards Marsh Hill. Hard to believe that this was on Christmas Day. But then on Christmas Day's on years gone past we've had sunshine and blue skies before (I think).

Later after the walk around Brookvale Park, headed back through Witton Lakes. And got some more views of the second lake on the way back to the car park on Perry Common Road.

For more photos of this park, please check out my album on Flickr here: Witton Lakes Park.

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
Construction & regeneration
15 hours ago - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Constructon of Symphony Hall - February 2020 update

The Symphony Hall extension is rapidly progressing.  It will look spectacular. 

Stephen and Dan have been watching and have documented the development every step of the way. See their February 2020 update here.

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Constructon of Symphony Hall - February 2020 update





The Symphony Hall extension is rapidly progressing.  It will look spectacular. 

Stephen and Dan have been watching and have documented the development every step of the way. See their February 2020 update here.


HOW SYMPHONY HALL WILL LOOK ONCE FINISHED

The development will provide a state-of-the-art performance space to host 
free and affordable events, improved bars, cafes, seating and hospitality experiences. 

It will also become home for Symphony Hall's Learning and Participation programme, which will include spaces for teaching, performance, and rehearsals. The Box Office and welcome desk will also be relocated to a much more prominent position.

The new look will provide Symphony Hall with a curved sweep of the façade, centred on the Hall of Memory across the square. Two new entrances will be created, both providing quick and direct access from Centenary Square.

Artists Impressions from Page/Park Architects

LATEST PROGRESS ON SITE:

February 14th:

Photos by Stephen Giles

EARLIER THIS MONTH

February 7th:

Photos by Reiss Gordon-Henry

4th February:

Photos by Stephen Giles

Photos by Daniel Sturley

January 2020:

Photos by Daniel Sturley

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60 passion points
Green open spaces
19 Feb 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Hazelwell Park: a small park near the River Rea Valley Route

This park you are most likely to be walking along the River Rea in Stirchley than actually going around the park. In the past I've got onto the path from either Fordhouse Lane or Hazelwell Fordrough and walked towards either Cartland Road, or crossed the footbridge over the River Rea towards Hazelwell Lane (near the ex Tesco now Seven Capital land). Path good for walks / cycling etc.

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Hazelwell Park: a small park near the River Rea Valley Route





This park you are most likely to be walking along the River Rea in Stirchley than actually going around the park. In the past I've got onto the path from either Fordhouse Lane or Hazelwell Fordrough and walked towards either Cartland Road, or crossed the footbridge over the River Rea towards Hazelwell Lane (near the ex Tesco now Seven Capital land). Path good for walks / cycling etc.


As I continue to go through the Birmingham parks I've passed through on many walks in the past. This time we take a look at Hazelwell Park in Stirchley. If you get off the 11A or 11C buses on Fordhouse Lane, head up the path alongside the River Rea. Then head right onto Hazelwell Road, then up the next path. The park will be straight ahead. By this point, the river would now be on the left.

You could also get off the 11A or 11C buses at the bottom of Vicarage Road, then walk down Hazelwell Fordrough, and enter the path towards the park. The path is right at the bottom of the hill, just head right.

I wouldn't spend long in the park, as I see the footbridge over the River Rea, this would continue my walk into Stirchley around what was the unbuilt Tesco land, now owned by Seven Capital (and still awaiting development). The footbridge exits you onto Ripple Road and Hunts Road, with Hazelwell Lane straight ahead (but that is now blocked off by Seven Capital hoardings). So you have to take one of the many side roads to get to the Pershore Road or Hazelwell Street (A441).

The final exit from the park is on Cartland Road that I've used. I've not really been around the field in Hazelwell Park, but there are entrances / exits on Edwin Road and from Newlands Road.

 

January 2011

Some of my earliest photos of the River Rea in Stichley, I took from the bridge on Fordhouse Lane in Stirchley. This is near the path that leads to Hazelwell Park. At the time was one my first photo walks around Stirchley, including checking out the Worcester & Birmingham Canal from the Pershore Road for the first time on my then camera. The burnt out ruins of a former pub called The Lifford Curve were to the right of here. A few years later the rubble was removed and it is now Thrifty Car and Van Rental Stirchley. The pub had been on fire sometime before 2011, but the pub had been To Let since 2008. Demolished in 2012, Thrifty didn't open until about 2016.

The path towards Hazelwell Road is to the left of the River Rea. The derelict land on the left, has recently had housing built on it, after being unused for such a long time. That is called The Hazelwells (from Taylor Wimpey).

Looks like at least one of the trees at the time had been cut down, or came down in a storm. It would several years before I ended up walking up that path from Fordhouse Lane towards Hazelwell Road.

June 2013

In the summer of 2013, heading along the path on the Rea Valley Route. On Hazelwell Road walking towards the bridge that crosses the River Rea. I had probably walked down from the Pershore Road if I was at this point, and may not have come from the path from Fordhouse Lane.

This path is part of the National Cycle Network route 5. The grass on both sides was left to grow wild, apart from the grass that was mown. This is the path towards Fordhouse Lane.

The bridge on Hazelwell Road that leads to the Hazelwell Trading Estate, as well as a path into Hazelwell Park.

One of the sides of the bridge, with a look at the River Rea.

Passing the graffiti wall near the Stirchley Trading Estate. This is the path that started from Hazelwell Road. On the right is the path towards Hazelwell Fordrough.

A look at the field in Hazelwell Park. In the distance are some goalposts. There is a path on the right that keeps you off the grass, but I have still yet to walk around there. Instead I crossed the bridge over the River Rea.

First time crossing the bridge over the River Rea. At this point the land for development beyond was still owned by Tesco, and you could walk up Hazelwell Lane towards the Pershore Road (but that is not possible now, at least until Seven Capital does something with the land).

A look at the River Rea, looking lush and green in the summer.

Welcome to Hazelwell Park. This sign was opposite the footbridge if you entered the park from this way in. The graffiti on here has been cleaned off, but I suspect that the vandals keep tagging it from time to time.

December 2015

Heading down Hazelwell Lane near the end of 2015, towards the footbridge that crosses the River Rea. Hunts Road to the right and Ripple Road was to the left. I probably got onto Hazelwell Lane from the Pershore Road, but this road is now blocked off by Seven Capital hoardings (was open when Tesco owned the land). From here, you can see that Welcome to Hazelwell Park sign on the other side of the bridge.

A close up look at the footbridge into Hazelwell Park. This particular walk took be towards Fordhouse Lane via the Rea Valley Route. So exited the park before I was in it for too long this time around.

After passing the graffiti wall again on the path towards Hazelwell Road, a look at the bridge near the Hazelwell Trading Estate, as a man was seen crossing the bridge on a bike. I would next get onto the path towards Fordhouse Lane again.

Near the end of the path to Fordhouse Lane on the Rea Valley Route. An NXWM bus on the 11A Outer Circle just passed me. I would have to wait for the next 11A. I usually use the bus stop close to the Pershore Road on Fordhouse Lane, or I may have walked to the left up to the next bus stop. The path continues beyond here on the other side of the road towards the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

January 2016

Another visit during the Winter of 2016. This time looking closely at the playground. The Hazelwell Park Play Area. You can see the houses on Newlands Road from here.

A big slide and a little slide.

A rainbow sign for the Hazelwell Park Play Area.

There is these stones that kids can climb up on, using the netted rope.

Like all Birmingham parks, Hazelwell Park has the yellow elephant sign for the Welcome to Hazelwell Park Play Area. No dogs are allowed in this area though.

Yellow swings to the left. Path in the background to the left, leads to Newlands Road.

This time heading towards Cartland Road. A noticeboard for the Friends of Hazelwell Park. Looks a bit damaged, I hope that in the 4 years that have passed, that they have repaired it, and made it more safe.

The path in Hazelwell Park that runs towards Cartland Road. The River Rea is on the left.

June 2016

The path from the Fordhouse Lane looking lush and green in the summer of 2016. This was from one of my many walks around Stirchley over the years. Probably got off the 11C bus on Fordhouse Lane, then walked towards Hazelwell Street, where I then waited for a 45 or 47 bus to town. Tesco had some old buildings knocked down for a potential petrol station that never got built (this was before they sold the land to Seven Capital).

 

I will do posts on Witton Lakes Park, Brookvale Park and Hillfield Park as soon as the projects are set up for me. Until then I will continue the backlog of parks that I have already been given access to.

 

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
History & heritage
17 Feb 2020 - Elliott Brown
Did you know?

The Bakehouse reopened at Sarehole Mill during Storm Dennis

Sarehole Mill have had the Bakehouse restored during the early part of 2020. And they scheduled a free open day on Saturday 15th February 2020. Storm Dennis didn't stop people visiting the mill or the Bakehouse despite the weather. This is the first time in almost 150 years that they have been able to bake loafs of bread and other things in the oven.

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The Bakehouse reopened at Sarehole Mill during Storm Dennis





Sarehole Mill have had the Bakehouse restored during the early part of 2020. And they scheduled a free open day on Saturday 15th February 2020. Storm Dennis didn't stop people visiting the mill or the Bakehouse despite the weather. This is the first time in almost 150 years that they have been able to bake loafs of bread and other things in the oven.


I've been to Sarehole Mill many times over the years, so wasn't going to stay around here too long during Storm Dennis. Saw something on their Twitter about the mill being open on Saturday 15th February 2020 from about 11am to 4pm, for free. As I didn't want to go too far in the storm, I headed down the 11 Outer Circle bus route and popped into the mill for a bit.

 

The Bakehouse has been out of use for almost 150 years. Early in 2020 it was fully refurbished and is baking for the people of Birmingham again. The last baker was William Anderton, who retired in 1872, after baking here for almost 20 years.

One of the smaller baking ovens on the left. Last time I saw this, there was either a Big Hoot little owl up here (in 2015) or a Big Sleuth little bear (in 2017).

Looking up to the ceiling, with the wooden roof supports.

The Bakehouse was probably built in the 1840s. The oven was never allowed to go cold as it was too expensive to heat it back up from scratch.

One of the Sarehole Mill Bakehouse volunteers places a loaf of bread in the oven, then quickly shuts the oven door.

I didn't stick around too long to see the finished result, but they have also baked other things in here such as pizza and pastries. They have an Instagram account here Sarehole Bakehouse. It might just be the Sarehole Mill account renamed.

The outside of the Bakehouse to the left, still stormy outside. I popped over the the Mill Pool and briefly into the mill again before leaving.

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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