The Cole Valley South, by John Morris Jones, published 1989 by the River Cole and Chinn Brook Conservation Group

 

John was a member of The River Cole and Chinn Brook Conservation Group from the start, helping us with the ideas we were working to turn into reality along the river walkway.

Over the years he had worked hard for many areas within Birmingham writing books on them, and those are held by the Birmingham Libraries. So when he died, with the co-operation and blessing of his Widow Joan we, with others, decided to get his last book - The Cole Valley South (The Millstream Way) - finished and published in his memory. With this now going online it will keep his work in the public’s eye as well as being of interest for future generations.

The River Cole corridor and its many adjoining areas which now come under the umbrella of The Shire Country Park are still a great attraction and a enjoyable walkway with much wildlife.  The Moseley Bog area on the Hall Green/Moseley  border is a large wetland and woodland area which is now looked after by The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust.

So John's ideas for the care of these areas and the love he held for them goes on and long may they continue.

  

Peter and Pat Bennett

 

We have, through community effort supported by the City Council, been able to enhance the area covered by this walk, so that it is understood from several perspectives: environment and green space management, wildlife diversity, local history, and literary history. While these strands have not always developed completely in harmony with the others, the result has been extremely worthwhile, and we hope that this holistic understanding survives the trials and tribulations of local affairs.

 

During the 1990s two channels were cut from the Trittiford Mill headrace south of the pool to let water flood the west bank of the river. The path now includes two small wooden bridges over them, all this not part of the industrial water engineering for the mill at Trittiford. This work created a wetland and removed much potential for anti-social behaviour. This stretch is gloriously overgrown now, and has returned to 'nature' perhaps more than originally intended, as there used to be a small area of open water there for wildlife to enjoy.

 

Fantastic wooden chainsaw sculptures by Graham Jones installed along the Dingle are now showing their age and have suffered some vandalism. Handrails have been provided at the Whyrl-Hole bridge.

 

The United Reformed church at the Stratford Road is now an Asian restaurant. The Burbury Brickworks site is now a Site for Nature Conservation: toxic industrial waste is still present underground beneath a clay cap. The Ackers Link bridge was opened by David Bellamy in the 1990s.

 

The Friends of the Shire Country Park have a very informative website.

 

Michael Byrne

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