This is a Birmingham park in 2014.


013 The pictures you see here are of a Birmingham park in 2014….. In 2006 I visited southern India.  It was a most magical and wonderful place as anyone who has back packed across India, will tell you.  One of the areas I visited was the state of Tamil Nadu where there is a large city called Madurai which sits on the banks of the river Vaigai.  It was here that I realised how shockingly filthy India`s waterways can be and I stopped to photograph a part of the river where a lot of rubbish had been allowed to gather and pollute the water. I am attaching here, some more pictures that I took today.  Not of southern India but of Fox Hollies Park near where I live.  The water running through it is a (mostly underground) culvert called Westley Brook.  The brook is a feeder to the river Cole and runs all the way up to Bacons End , next door to Chelmsley Wood.  It shocks and saddens me to see how filthy the brook has become and it reminded me of my visit to India. 016 In the sixteen hundreds the land where the park sits was owned by the Holley family and much later by the Fox family who farmed there until until 1869 so the site was a former country estate acquired by Birmingham city council in 1929.  Fox Hollies Hall was a manor house situated in Acocks Green and belonged to the Walker family.  The hall stood until it was demolished to make way for several large housing estates at Gospel, Edenbridge and Pool Farm.  The remains of the great gates are still to be seen on Fox Hollies Road. Westley Brook runs through the middle of the landscape and Broomhall Mill was built here where corn was milled until sadly, the building was demolished in 1890. There is a Bronze Age burnt mound to see in the park as well as a deep pool which I think must have been the mill pond.   Ancient carp swim lazily around there, some of them must be forty or fifty years old. In 1989, 3,000 new trees were planted to enhance the land so it is particularly sad to see the brook and the parkland in such a sorry state when once it was so grand. 017 You can see for yourself the amount of litter that now strews the ground and the amount of stuff that kids and grown ups regularly chuck into the brook.  A burnt out motor bike is the latest addition, it isn`t uncommon to find motorbike wrecks in this park.  Kids steal them to have burn ups where they race up and down churning up the grass and terrorising people like me out walking their dogs.  You won`t find families picnicking here in the summer, it just isn`t safe.   God alone knows what infection a child or a much loved family pet would wind up with if they fell into that toxic water, the thought alarms and concerns me every time I walk there. 019 Well…….  I`ve had enough and I feel it is high time for ACTION!  The local elections are coming up in May.  I intend e-mailing this blog to all of the councillors who represent my ward and asking them, “What do you intend to do to clean up this park and make it once more a safe and beautiful place to visit?  If you read this on Face Book, please do me a favour and share it.  I know there are many people in Birmingham, Fox Hollies and Acocks Green who agree with me and who maybe might join the protest. Thank you!

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