The best park in Birmingham – maybe

It occurs to me that I rarely write about local stuff. Which is a shame really as I live in a fairly pleasant part of Brum – not many people get to live within sniffing distance of a chocolate factory. But as nice as Bournville is, the best park in the area is Cotteridge Park. It has something that Bournville’s other open spaces lack – community.

Friends of Cotteridge Park are the very active group that look after the interests of the park. They were set up to stop the planned de-commissioning of the park for housing in the late 90s. There’s a bit of history on their website (including the fact that apparently during the war the park was used to store barrage balloons) but to give you a flavour of the work they’ve done:

  • Redeveloped some derelict land into an orchard
  • Organise a Christmas tree recycling point
  • Built a fantastic natural amphitheatre in the park for open air concerts
  • Lobbied for and got a skate park, new playground equipment and re-surfacing of the dilapidated tennis and basketball courts
  • Run a toy bank and volleyball games during the summer
  • Do tons of traditional fund-raising with quiz nights etc., 

And of course they won the battle to save the park in the first place. Their most recent plans are for a funky shelter building.

The park is next to the cross-city rail line between Bournville and Kings Norton and has a good mix of open land and wooded areas, as well as the orchard of course. It’s on a decent slope which, for a runner, makes it good for short hill sprints along the paths but there is a flat area which I think may have been a bowls green at one point but which is now ideal for impromptu five-a-side. The play area is great for most ages and the skate park attracts a good selection of motley teens – all of them unnervingly polite when faced with a six year old trying to do wheelies on her scooter.

It’s a great park – am chuffed to live in walking distance of it.

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Pic: Pete Asthon

8 thoughts on “The best park in Birmingham – maybe

  1. Looks well worth a visit. Sutton Park which is the largest is not the best cared for and suffers from being in Birmingham but peripheral to the intentions of and spend by the Council. It is a massive asset for Sutton Coldfield and North Birmingham, but not invested in accordingly. The Keepers Pool lido which was enjoyed by families for many years was demolished a few years ago, roads and pathways are neglected, and there is not much sign of new trees being planted. Having said all that the parks are one aspect that makes living in Birmingham such a pleasure, especially compared with Manchester where we lived before. Something else that we are not celebrating sufficiently, your blog notwithstanding .

  2. Many thanks for the round of applause for Cotteridge Park and the volunteers – we really appreciate it. New volunteers are always welcome – whether you have an occasional half an hour to spare or want to get regularly invovled there is something for everyone.

  3. Great post Dave – Cotteridge Park is just around the corner from our house, but we don’t visit it often enough! Your post has inspired me to go check it out in this fine weather again. 🙂

  4. Until we suffered reps around it last summer, I never knew it existed, but it struck me as a great asset.

  5. Pingback: What makes your park blossom? « better environments, better lives

  6. 2 and a half thousand acres with wildlife and numerous lakes. Please do not attempt to compare an inner city park with a National Nature Reserve!

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