Category: Environment

Enjoyable Tree Walk, despite the weather!

Despite the damp and drizzle over 16 folks turned up to The Lodge at 11am yesterday to join BCC Park Ranger Dean Paul’s excellent 2 hour plus ‘tree and cemetery walk’.

Combining his extensive knowledge of Brandwood Cemetery from his previous role as a member of the ground maintenance/grave team with his current role as a City Park Ranger for South Birmingham, Dean covered an wide range of fascinating and instructive topics.   I am sure that everyone who attended found the whole experience hugely instructive and worthwhile.

Spotted on the walk was this industrious Squirrel’s dinner table!

Our thanks to Dean for his time. He hopes to do a further ‘walk’ when we have some Autumn colour so watch this site for the date.

Civilian Garden Autumn Hedge Maintenance

Our thanks go out, yet again, to Birmingham Council Grounds Maintenance staff that carry out the horticultural maintenance at Brandwood End (Grass cutting etc).They have carried out a fantastic Autumn cut on the hedge surrounding the Civilian Garden area. This hedge was planted a number of years ago by pupils of St Albans school and has been so successful that we need their professional assistance to keep it in check! Thank you Paul and team.

Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods visits Brandwood End

It’s taken 3 attempts by Councillor Sharon Thompson to meet with Bereavement Service staff and the Friends in Brandwood End to view the work on the Chapels and the drainage improvements, as her diary is always jam packed with pressing issues and meetings- but today she made it and I am sure she will agree that every one of us enjoyed her time in Brandwood End.

Local Councillors, Lisa Trickett and Mike Leddy,took the opportunity to view this amazing building and along with Councillor Thompson it was agreed that such a magnificent space should be put to use…..but how?

This was also an opportunity to thank Bereavement Service staff, both office and ground maintenance, for going above and beyond to clear the interior and spruce up the exterior of these magnificent buildings.

Whilst on site Councillor Thompson had an extensive ‘walk about’ that took in both graves and the natural tree heritage that Brandwood End offers. It was also an opportunity to see the extensive work that has been done to reduce the risk of flooding to adjacent housing. We thank everyone for their time…..and their enthusiasm. (Especially Councillor Thompson, who seemed as fired up about Brandwood End as we are!)

 

Aerial views…..

Our thanks to a local drone operator who shared these magical views with us.

In the following higher shot you are able to get a small insight into the amazing trees within Brandwood End. We are hoping to arrange a walk around the cemetery with Dean, our local Ranger but as local people will know- their time is very much at a premium.

I hope the residents of Kings Heath realise the amazing green space that sits quietly on their doorstep. Luckily for us, the local wildlife are well aware of their opportunities and the cemetery is home to Muntjac deer, Foxes, Hedgehogs, Squirrels,Woodpeckers, Owls, birds of prey……….and many species of familiar birds.

Autumn Litter Pick

Who would believe that we are just about to enter Autumn!! Join the Friends for our AUTUMN LITTER PICK in Brandwood End Cemetery.

Meet us on the main drive (opposite the Lodge) at 10am. (We finish officially at 11.30)- Saturday 7th September. Litter pickers and bags provided but we would recommend stout footwear and gloves as well as outer wear.

Come and enjoy this beautiful green open space, whilst helping to keep it litter free.

If you go down to the cemetery tonight, you are in for a big surprise!!

It’s not very often that you can get into Brandwood End Cemetery at night…..but tonight was the night! Great bat walk from Jasmin Fields to Brandwood Pool via the cemetery. All ages, and many new to the whole walk route, despite being local.

 

Thanks to Chris from Brum Bats and Ranger Dean for giving up their own time for this event. 30+ people, lots of bats and an amazing Tawny Owl made it worth it!

 

We hope that tonight’s adventure encourages people to visit all three sites again and be aware of the amazing natural spaces on their doorsteps.

If, as a result of tonight site visits, we could encourage anyone to be involved in litter picks or work parties to help Ranger Dean keep these sites accessible and welcoming to the public, please   e mail us with your contact details on ‘friendsofbec@gmail.com’ We can then add you to the mailing list or maybe consider joining the ‘Friends’ via this web site.

 

Annual Bat Walk with Brum Bats.

It’s time again for the ever popular Bat Walk that starts at the farm gate on Bayston Rd, B14 (facing Kinsey Grove) and finishes at Brandwood Pool.

August 21st.    8.15-10pm (prompt start). Good torch, stout shoes essential. Under 16…you need to bring an adult. Fair bit of walking on uneven surfaces and grassland.

Flowers make a difference!

The photographs below, taken today, show how welcoming flowers can be to an area. The first shows the entrance to the now unused Lodge on the main drive. The second is a small area of the Civilian Garden of Remembrance.

We need to get in and do a bit of weeding….but generally it looks lovely and we must thank the BCC grounds maintenance team for the excellent job they have done in reducing the hedge height and keeping it in check for us.

Best use of a few rare dry hours!!

The Friends grabbed the chance to tidy up the hedge surrounding a small Commonwealth War Graves area before the rain started again!

 

Before and after. All that is needed are a couple of hours to spare and a few willing hands!!

We have several hundred War Graves in Brandwood End and neither ourselves nor Bereavements Services staff can find an explanation as to why these 8 graves are not dispersed within the cemetery like the others. There have been many theories but all have proved incorrect. No one knows……unless you know different??