walsall wood


June 3rd - I found myself riding home through Walsall Wood and on through Brownhills in a gorgeous golden hour. The coos of Jockey Meadows were waiting at the gate, and keen to investigate me as I stopped to take their picture. 

On the canal, the greens are still magnificent, and something about the light and water interacted and made the evening precious.


December 1st - Visiting Walsall Wood on an errand on my way home, I stopped to admire their excellent Christmas tree in the grounds of St. john’s Church, which is always a personal donation by the local councillors, which is jolly nice of them.

The church also looked lovely in the cold night.

The Wood is absolutely lovely at night… even more so at Christmas.


November 10th - A long day, but passing Jockey Meadows in the morning showed me how lovely even the edgelands of the area can be; wedged in between Walsall Wood and Shelfield, the site of scientific special interest that is  the Meadows can be scrubby and untidy, and not quite one thing nor the other, but today it was gorgeous in the colours of autumn, with leaves falling gently in Green Lane and long winter shadows.

Just what you need to set you up for a day at work…


April 28th - There are a couple of unsung hedgerow stars at the moment. For everyone else, right now it seems to be about oilseed rape, bluebells, and cherry blossom. But look around. Pretty much everything is having a great year so far. The dandelions - the yellow, beautifully delicate yet ubiquitous wildflower - are really, really prolific. The apple blossom too is astonishing in its density and clarity.

It might be about the spring classics right now, but look beyond them and there’s a whole host of other stuff just trying to get your attention.

These were all on a very short section of canal bank in Walsall Wood.


June 25th - As the summer winds on, the next stage of the season begins; moving from the flowering, to the fruiting and seeding. In Walsall Wood’s Green Lane, there’s a patch of comfrey that’s going to seed, and I was intrigued by the way it forms from the flowers, another almost prehistoric-looking plant. Intertwined with it, the white bloom of mid and late summer, bindweed.

Soon, blackberries will be forming on the brambles, and there will be hips, haws and berries ripening aplenty, and time for a new palette of colours; but at the moment we’re passing from the purple into the white for a while.

The advancing summer makes me a little sad, but the weather is fine ad warm, and everything looks splendid. I’m in my element, to be honest.


March 6th - Bloody hell Bob, not crocuses again!

Yes, crocuses. After the months of riding in dark, damp and cold, the brightness of the first spring flowers to me is magical, enchanting, life-affirming and beautiful. Like a hot shower after a long sleep, it’s awakening and you could enjoy it forever.

These are in Walsall Wood High Street, and remain, as every year I see them, a credit to those who planted them.

Thank you.


January 29th - I love goats, and it seems we have a local herd now. In the field by Jockey Meadows in which I saw Mr. Fox in last week, I’ve been noticing the goats for a couple of weeks, but they’ve never been close enough for a good photo. Today, they were trying to get through the hedge at Green Lane. It seems there are seven adults and four or five kids, with a rather impressive ram. 

I have no idea who owns them, and I think they go wandering of their own accord sometimes; but on a grey, cold January morning seeing those little kids frolicking, jumping and having high jinks was a joy to the soul.


July 21st - The lads are still working hard in a field further up Green Lane. The small herd of cattle continue to live in the watermeadow, which is looking noticeably more cropped than it was. The cows themselves are all looking in fine fettle - but I do have a soft spot for the brown and white one.

Is it me, or does he seem to be smiling?