Thursday, 29 August 2013

Bourn Brook Walkway

The other day I ventured down a path I’ve never been before – the Bourn Brook Walkway. I suppose I never knew it existed, I’m never usually in this part of Birmingham but I had seen it (the old faithful) Google Earth, and I decided to go for a mooch one day and see where I ended up. So, with my shiny new phone and its shiny new camera, I set off for a walk! The walkway also leads you towards Woodgate Valley Country Park.

The Bourn Brook walkway is approximately 1.5 miles long; I started it at the roundabout for the new Selly Oak bypass (near the QE Hospital) and then walked West towards the Weoley Castle area. I forgot to time how long it took me but I was ambling along quite slowly as it was a hot and sunny day! Apparently it is part of a larger walking route that takes in Harborne and some parkland as well.

The Bourn Brook is a small stream that flows into the River Rea in Cannon Hill Park via Selly Oak (it flows past the new Selly Oak bypass and the University). People often get it confused with the Bourn, which flows through Stirchley and the Nature Centre, before joining the Rea! Bournbrook is also the name of an area of Birmingham, primarily student-ville to the south of the University, and it’s roots may be traced back to the 19th century and growth around this part of the watercourse.


For a lot of the route, you can’t actually see the water, as it is obscured by vegetation, which is a shame! There are also no benches along this route and it is not tarmacked so be prepared! 

And now for pictures! (Lots and lots of..)

The view at the start of the route. The QE Hospital is up the hill behind me, and the Selly Oak bypass is off to the left.



Granite boulder avec caption. Geeked out a bit, but I am a geologist so it's allowed...





The end of the first part of the walk, on Harborne Park Road. The route continues over the road by the garage...

...by this small sign!












This is where I left the route, at Stonehouse Hill/California Way.

All in all, it was a pleasant walk in the afternoon and I enjoyed it, but I'd like to see more information boards along the way, highlighting the Bourn Brook and the local history and wildlife etc. and I'm aware that a lot of the pictures are very samey-samey as the views weren't very different along the route!


13 comments:

  1. Hello Laura,i found your site by accident last week, not sure how but I think its really informative. Anyway my wife and I attempted the Bournbrook walkway. We got a bit lost, found ourselves in Birmingham University(not sure how).We did not complete the whole walk as we got a bit confused around Quinton and had to ask directions to get us back to our car. A bit embarrassing as we are both Brummies. All in all we had a good laugh and a nice afternoon and went to places that we never knew existed. Thanks for your blog please keep it up. Phill & Claire

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  2. Oh no! I've edited the post and added a map of the route now, if you decide to walk it again! At least you tried, and explored! - which is one of the main aims of the blog.

    Laura

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  3. It is such a shame that so much of the Bournbrook Valley has been lost though due to building of the new QE hospital. Most of the unspoiled riverbanks at the end of Leasow Drive are gone, along with large areas of mature Beech and Oak plantation.

    Before it's destruction the area had a wider species count than the much hyped, "Moseley Bog" among which included badger sets and muntjac deer.

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  4. Kingfisher now on the Bournbrook Valley.

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  6. Great summary of walk - I've just been there and back - good breakfast at Woodgate Valley Visitor Centre

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  7. What a wonderful walkway! I haven't done it myself, but I will! It just goes to show that Birmingham has a far greater diversity than most outsiders believe! We've lost a lot as a City through modern demands, but any little that we get back has to be a bonus! Glad you enjoyed your "breakie" at Woodgate Valley Alf!

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