"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 20 March 2017

Kingsbury Water Park

Kingsbury Water Park, a 600 acre Country Park, comprising 15 lakes and pools plus streams, marshes, woodlands, meadows and the River Tame is part of the Tame Valleys Wetland Project. The Partnership consists of a number of organisations led by Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the aim is to protect and improve the area creating a wetland living landscape which is rich in wildlife and accessible to people. The wetlands are located between Birmingham and Tamworth, cover 104 square kilometres and the River Tame, floodplain and canals form the core of the region. We do occasionally visit various reserves in the Wetlands such as Ladywalk and Whitacre Heath Nature Reserves, Shustoke Reservoir and RSPB Middleton Lakes but I've only ever been to Kingsbury Water Park once before over 30 years ago! To be honest we parked in the main car park and I think it must have been a bank holiday weekend because it was absolutely heaving with people - not my idea of fun at all! Yesterday we decided to finally make a return visit. The country park contains fishing lakes, a children's farm and playground, a sailing area and a miniature railway but there is a more "wildlife" type area with bird hides so this time we parked in Broomeycroft car park near the reserve part.

Rather controversially, from several people I know who visit the Water Park regularly, 100's of trees have been cut down. I think from memory the reason given for this was to improve visibility of the lakes - to me it looked a bit bleak and barren in places :(

You can just make out some pussy willow in the distance - sadly, couldn't find a tree near enough to get a close up of the catkins.

For some unknown reason instead of exploring the nature reserve part the rest of the family made a bee-line in the direction of the main car park! However, if they hadn't have done that I wouldn't have found a memorial bench mum had erected for my father (she and Dad used to visit Kingsbury all the time). These are the views from the bench.

It was a lovely walk although we did at one point get hopelessly lost but we walked past pools and then through woodland.

At one stage when I had lagged some way behind the others to take photos I could see the family waving at me to hurry up. It turned out they had seen a Peacock butterfly. Of course, by the time I reached them it had disappeared totally from sight so I am still awaiting my first butterfly sighting of the year.

Not quite sure who or what this is but I suspected we were getting closer to the more popular area of the country park and main car park.

Arriving at the main car park. I could kick myself now for not buying a map of the reserve for future use.

I saw a few wild flowers on the walk -

Lesser Celandine



Wild Arum leaves


White Dead-nettle


Bird species seen included - Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Robin, Goldcrest, Canada Goose, Mallard, Mute Swan, Coot, Tufted Duck, Grey Heron, Chaffinch and Black-headed Gull.

Rather than risk getting lost again! we walked back to the car via the main road crossing over the M42.

An inquisitive calf

A tea-room and time for

tea and cake (lemon curd).

We will return and next time visit the nature reserve part where we parked. I would also like to walk along the canal to RSPB Middleton Lakes.


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

You've found a Snorlax, biggest and sleepiest of all the Pokemon!

Great flower shots, pretty much the same selection as on view here

amanda peters said...

Looks like a great place to go, trying out a different area on each visit.Although the tree looks a mess.
I find big places like this you have to go regularly as the wild life gets lost, if you know what I mean !
Nice to see Coltsfoot, not something we get very often round here.
The character under the tree is a Snorlax, Pokemon :)
Tea room a sweet building.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks very much Simon and for explaining about Snorlax - I noticed my daughter looked chuffed - now I know why :)

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much Amanda. If we go back in the week it should be quieter although to be honest most of the activity and people were by the main car park - rest of the walk there were few about! It reminded me a bit of Ladywalk but the beauty there it is purely and simply a nature reserve and members only so very very quiet :) Yes, I think it would be easy for wildlife to get lost there - it is a huge site!
Shame about the trees - some friends of OH visit all the time and they were livid and I know someone else who does a blog and he felt the same. Fortunately for me I hadn't seen what it looked like before - I suspect I would have been rather upset if I had. Not good for wildlife either to chop down all those trees (100's I think!) .
I was chuffed with the Coltsfoot - I don't see much either here but there was some as we walked back on the road and again several clumps along the drive back to the car park.
Thanks re: Snorlax :))
Tea room was really quite charming :)

CherryPie said...

Lovely photographs of your walk. I particularly enjoyed reading about the memorial bench and seeing the views :-)

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thanks so much :) It was quite a moving moment finding by Dad's bench.

Rosie said...

Well you would definitely need and deserve tea and cake after such wonderful adventures. Looks an interesting place to visit and I like the sound of the walk along the canal to the RSPB reserve at Middleton. Such a lovely place to site a special bench too. Lovely wildflowers and plants and a great list of birds seen:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks so much Rosie. The cake was lovely :) Will go back and concentrate on nature reserve bit and either then or on a future occasion walk along canal. Have you been to RSPB Middleton? I have a feeling that you mentioned that you had.

It was moving to see my father's bench - had quite a lump in my throat!!! Still miss him dreadfully even after 15 years.

Pete Duxon said...

Ever so sorry you missed the flutter.... Quite a few about here today 😀

Ragged Robin said...

Pete Duxon - Thanks Pete - still none around :( lol - not surprised you are seeing them - have been waiting for you to post a picture!!! :))

Bovey Belle said...

You'd think it Council-owned as cutting down trees is a typical Council "tidy-up". I hope something positive comes from this felling as it doesn't sound to have made much "improvement".

Sorry you missed the butterfly. I saw a Peacock at an auction recently, flying ever more desperately around the high-ceilinged room, and I kept hoping it would find the doorway when they were left ajar.

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thank you - still waiting for a butterfly here!

I've just checked and it looks as though the Water Park is owned and run by Warks County Council!! Someone contacted me on Twitter yesterday about it. He has apparently been birding there for years and reckoned that cutting down trees round the pools will be better for the birds as it was like that years ago when numbers were higher. He thinks duck numbers have already increased. Others are against the tree decision. It wouldn't be fair for me to argue one way or the other as I haven't been for over 30 years. But I do hate to see trees chopped down!! especially if healthy!