Kingfisher Country Park
Cole Valley Road, Birmingham, B28 0DG
- About the park
Kingfisher Country Park was opened in July, 2004. The park was created to care for an 11km stretch of the River Cole valley, improving it both for people and wildlife.
The valley contains many different types of landscape and wildlife habitats. Alongside the river there are areas of formal public open space, tall herbs and scrub, coarse grassland, wetland with several small ponds and ancient woodland.
There are a number of man-made lakes in the park. The lake at Shard End has been created in the remains of an old gravel quarry, whilst Babbs Mill Lake in Kingshurst was formed as a balancing feature in times of flood.
- Awards and status
- Country Park
- Local Nature Reserve
- Park friends group
The Friends of Project Kingfisher isn't conservation group, but a way for local people to join and support the park. Members are consulted over major plans for the valley and have the chance to comment before schemes are implemented.
Special meetings are organised for members, including occasional photo and film shows. Members also get priority booking and discounted tickets for coach trips organised by Project Kingfisher (at least two a year).
For information on membership, contact the Rangers at Sheldon Country Park.
- Lake or reservoir
Along the river, kingfishers and herons are a common sight, feeding on fish in the river. Water voles and mink are both associated with the river and, more recently, otters have been recorded at the lower reaches of the Cole.
Over the years several ponds have been dug at Shard End to make the most of the natural wetland within the valley. These have now developed to become havens for pond invertebrates and amphibians. Common toads, frogs and smooth newts can be found alongside dragonflies and damselflies, beetles, water boatmen and water scorpions, all of which live in and around the ponds. In winter, teals have become regular visitors to the ponds, and widgeons have also been recorded.
Next to the pond is an area of coarse grassland where skylarks have bred successfully for a number of years.
Yorks Wood at Kingshurst is an eleven-hectare ancient woodland. is home to a wide variety of birds, with sparrow hawks and greater spotted woodpeckers breeding every year. In spring the woodland floor is a carpet of bluebells.
Wood anemone and celandine can also be found in other areas of the wood throughout spring. Towards the end of the year many species of fungi can be found, which helps to make the wood an all year round attraction.
Yorks Wood at Kingshurst is an 11 hectare ancient woodland, made up mainly of oak trees.
There are records of a woodland on this site that go back over hundreds of years.
The wood was declared a Local Nature Reserve in the 1990s.
- Walking or jogging routes
By following the river upstream you can reach the Ackers, and further on to the Shire Country Park. Alternatively you can join up with the Grand Union Canal.
At the lower end of the river in Chelmsley Wood you can continue into Coleshill and beyond. You can also join Kingshurst Brook in Chelmsley Wood, which takes you through Meriden Park and on into Sheldon Country Park.
There are a number of smaller circular walks within the valley and these are contained in a booklet, which is available from the Rangers.