Sutton Park - An Introduction
Sutton Park Holly Initiative
Important forestry work is being carried out at Sutton Park during November and December 2015.
It is seeking to bring the woodlands into sustainable long term management for ecological reasons and in cost effective ways. There will be large machinery in operation on site and the creation of large piles of brash and logs. There is no reason to be concerned by the scale of timber being extracted - this simply illustrates how extensively the holly has taken over within the woodlands.
• Woodland habitats need working upon to keep them in good condition.
• This is a pilot project to reduce the over dominant holly within the woods. The plantation oak trees will be retained and favoured.
• The woodlands at Sutton Park were planted to grow timber as a fuel crop.
• The Forestry Commission licence and approve forestry works such as this.
• Stobart’s are using the chippings as biofuel, as well as trying to create new jobs in the renewable energy sector as part of a major innovative project.
• Woodland wildlife will benefit from the these works as light will be let into these currently dark woods.
• Natural England, the government’s wildlife agency have approved these works as being beneficial to this site of special scientific interest.
• English Heritage have approved the working methods to ensure the site’s historical landscape is enhanced rather than damaged by the works.
• The proportion of holly within the woods will be reduced, but there is no intention to eradicate holly. Indeed it will regrow and thus is a renewable energy crop.
Delivering a sense of wilderness within an urban environment, visitors to Sutton Park can enjoy the captivating scenery, using an accessible network of paths.
There are opportunities to enjoy walking, jogging, angling, nature watching, orienteering, play areas, restaurants and use bridle paths and cycling routes in the Park. Car parks are located at all the main entrances and the Park is linked to a variety of public transport routes.
Sutton Park is an historic landscape that covers an area of over 2,000acres and attracts over two million visits every year.
In 1997, English Nature designated Sutton Park a National Nature Reserve and it is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Lying six miles to the north of Birmingham City Centre this landscape is a mosaic of open heathland, woodlands, wetlands, marshes and seven lakes each with their own rich variety of plants and wildlife, some rarely seen in the region. It is an important site for wildlife and conservation, containing fine examples of natural countryside that have survived for hundreds of years. These habitats are part of a working grazed landscape where cattle and wild ponies can be seen grazing during the year.
This park is a natural area where animals roam freely. Please wash your hands with soap and water before eating or drinking.
Stay safe, wash your hands and enjoy your day out at Sutton Park.
Visitor Centre – The ideal place to start your journey into the Park. Found 250 metres on the left from the Town Gate entrance.
Incorporates toilets, baby changing facilities, gift shop, interpretive displays and maps. Staffed all year round open daily from 10.00am until 6.00pm in the summer and 4.30pm in the winter.
Opening Times - The gates are open across the Park by 9.00am all year. Closing times vary in line with dusk. During the winter from mid-November the Park closes at 5.00pm until late January when it rises incrementally up to 10.00pm by mid-May. At the end of July the closing times fall back down incrementally to 5.00pm by mid-November. Closing times are advertised at the gate entrances and may differ from other Parks within Birmingham.
Hand Washing Facilities - Always wash your hands before eating and before leaving the park. Hand washing facilities are situated throughout the park and are easily accessible to all visitors. Please refer to our map (attached to the bottom of this page) to see where your nearest hand washing facility is.
Car Parking – at all vehicle entrances to the Park. Charging applies from Easter until early September, Sundays and Bank Holidays from 11.00am until 6.00pm. Charge is £2. Free at all other times.
Education – Birmingham Parks Ranger Service works to achieve better understanding of wildlife and the natural environment at all levels, from introductory walks and talks, Education Naturally and curriculum-linked primary programmes through to university research projects. Please follow this link to find out more or to book a school session.
Events – The Ranger Service and Friends of Sutton Park Association (FOSPA) provide a wide range of events throughout the year. Please follow this link to find out more or to book a place at a Ranger led event.
Families and Children – There are two playgrounds on site at Town Gate and Banners Gate. Baby Changing facility within the Visitor Centre.
Food & Refreshments – There are a number of establishments within the Park providing a range of meals, snacks and drinks:
Blackroot Bistro – Open all week. Serving hot and cold food and drinks.
Tel. 0121 355 2570 Email: Info@blackrootbistro.co.uk
The Boathouse at Bracebridge – Open all week. Restaurant serving a modern British menu.
Tel. 0121 308 8890
Miller and Carter – Open all week. A steakhouse - pub - grill.
Tel. 0121 355 6919
Park House Carvery – Open all week. Serving roasts and other traditional dishes.
Tel. 0121 354 2458
Town Gate Café – Open all week. Serving hot and cold snacks and drinks.
Tel. 0121 354 6791
Toilets – Found at Town Gate entrance, Visitor Centre and Banners Gate, Wyndley Leisure Centre as well as customer toilets for patrons of the above eating establishments. There is also provision for hand washing at these venues.
Walks – There is a vast opportunity to explore the Park using either major or minor paths. There are currently 5 self-guided routes around the site, 3 archaeological a Walk 2000 and a 5km route.
Whether you are travelling by car, train, bus or bicycle Sutton Park is more accessible than you may think. Please follow this link for directions and maps.
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