Wednesday 17 June

We packed a rucksack and headed off to explore and to look for a park where Max could have a good run off his lead.

We left the canal at Rotton Park and walked westwards along the line of a dismantled railway line which took us to Summerfield Park. Rotton Park was once open land but has been developed for housing over the years. Summerfield Park though is one of Birmingham’s few public parks with a large area of open grass with a mixture of indigenous trees around the edge and lining the pathways.

Max enjoyed his freedom here running between us and fetching sticks. After a while we headed off again to look for a different route back towards the City centre. We’d no sooner left the park than we saw a sign for a “Sailing Club”. Being less than a mile from the City Centre, we found ourselves on the edge of Edgbaston Reservoir; built by Telford to feed the canals and now used for various water sports with quite a number of aquatic birds.

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Edgbaston Reservoir

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Telford’s feeder channel from the reservoir that takes water down to Icknield Port

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Great Crested Grebe with one of its three chicks

As we walked along its causeway we found ourselves looking down on Icknield Port (a loop off the canal inaccessible by foot from the main line). Here was another secret community of boats surrounded by workshops now used by CRT maintenance crews.

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Icknield Port

Birmingham’s Tower Ballroom overlooks the reservoir and the sailing club and hides much of the reservoir from another Telford building – one of his typical houses with hexagonal bay which was built for the reservoir manager.

Leaving the reservoir behind us we headed eastwards and were intrigued by a decorative chimney that towered above the nearby housing. We went to have a closer look. This belongs to the local water company, when perhaps the Edgbaston reservoir was used to supply local housing.

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We turned another corner and found ourselves looking at another interesting tower. This was Perrott’s Folly. Apparently the two towers together, gave J R Tolkien the inspiration for his twin towers in Lord of the Rings. Tolkien apparently lived nearby.

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A local resident said that both towers had also featured in a Harry Potter film.

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