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Where are Birmingham's Best Parks? (Part 3)

Home > Birmingham > Fun Things To Do | Outdoor | Parks | Picnic Spots | Walks
by David Vincent (subscribe)
Occasional blogger and sometimes freelance writer, hammering away in the West Midlands.
Published October 20th 2020
Enjoying the region's open spaces
parkland, parks, woods, birmingham, trees, nature
Look up!

The parks of Birmingham and the surrounding areas have never been so valued and important as they are today - providing space to exercise, connect with nature, socialise, enjoy and explore.

Here's a few more of some of our favourite spots - below - perfect for a relaxing walk, more energetic run or just to see the sights.

Don't forget to also check out our earlier guides, still available on WeekendNotes.

The Leasowes

The historic Grade I listed parklands in neighbouring Halesowen were developed in the mid-18th century by landscape gardening pioneer (and poet) William Shentstone.

The original grand house may no longer be there, but what remains is a highly diverse landscape, consisting of beautiful wooded valleys, open grassland, lakes, and streams.

Covering 57-hectares, the area was granted Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) status by Natural England in early 2020 due to the rare plants and fungi, including 29 species of waxcap fungi.

There's also a short canal segment which used to run into Selly Oak. It's no longer possible to walk along the canal that far, although there are renovation plans afoot.

Location: B62 8DH

leasowes, dudley, halesowen, parks, landscape, historic
The Leasowes (images from Leasowes Update Summer 2020)

Sandwell Valley Country Park

A sizable 660 acres of parkland, woods, farmland and pools close to West Bromwich, in Sandwell, with both surfaced footpaths and natural tracks.

The busy M5 may dissect the area, but it's surprisingly tranquil and teaming with wildlife.

Sandwell Valley is also home to Sandwell Park Farm and Forge Mill Farm (where you'll find several rare breeds, a walled kitchen garden, and tearooms), and also a RSPB nature reserve.

For those interested in ornithology, look out for goosander, lapwing, little ringed plover, snipe and whitethroat.

Location: B71 4BG

Moseley Bog

Moseley Bog and the adjoining Joy's Wood are today best known for their connection to the Lord Of The Rings author JRR Tolkien, who used to live nearby and play there as a child.

Reportedly inspiring some of his later literary adventures, there's still something magical about the area, which is highly popular with the surrounding communities.

Two 'burnt mounds' demonstrate that the site was used some 3,000 years ago, by Bronze Age settlers, before being eventually cleared to be replaced by arable fields, and later, in more modern times, domestic gardens and landfill.

Location: B13 9YP

Woodgate Valley Country Park

The third-largest country park in Birmingham - after Sutton Park and Lickey Hills - Woodgate consists of 450 acres of countryside in the centre of Bartley Green and Quinton.

Home to over 250 species of plants and some 90 species of birds, the site includes Woodgate Valley Urban Farm, where you can get up close to poultry, rabbits, goats, cattle, pigs and other small animals, as well as Hole Farm Trekking Centre - for pony trekking.

The Bournbrook runs through the park, which also has a small play area and Visitor Centre.

With eight miles of pathway, there are various signposted routes to walk, ranging from one mile (Green Route) and two miles (Red Route) to the longer five mile Illey Way, which heads in nearby Worcestershire.

Location: B32 3DS
woodgate valley park
Woodgate Valley Park (image courtesy of WVP Facebook)

Please note that during Covid-19 restrictions the facilities at some parks may not be open or operating to full capacity - this includes toilets, play areas and cafes. As a result, we suggest you may wish to check their websites before visiting.
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Why? Enjoy nature close to home
When: 365 days a year
Where: West Midlands
Cost: Free
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