West Midland Bird Club

Harborne Nature Reserve

Introduction

Situated less than three miles from Birmingham city centre, Harborne Nature Reserve is comprised of two areas, totalling approximately nine acres of disused allotments forming part of Pereira Road/ Westfield Road allotments, at grid reference SP034851 *. The reserve is being developed and managed by the West Midland Bird Club under an agreement with Birmingham City Council.

News

The Harborne Reserve is now open to all members who have opted for Inclusive Membership, using the 4-digit code as stated on the membership card, but without the letter component. See below for details of how to enter the reserve.

Working the Reserve

From the car park, approached from the main entrance drive between numbers 31–33 Pereira Road, walk westward past the bird feeding station which is checked each day by a rota of volunteers and contains plantings of berried shrubs to encourage winter thrushes and other bird species.

The gate at the end of the path leads to the western end of the reserve which has been planted with native tree species with associated understory and woodland edge shrubs and herbaceous plants. Native bulb species: Daffodil, Bluebell, Snowdrop and Wood Anemone have been planted to provide early season colour before the leaf canopy closes in.

At the extremity of the western end the Stan Young wetland, named after one of the original volunteers, is planted with wetland and moisture-loving plants which will grow satisfactorily under conditions of relatively high fertility stemming from the days of allotment useage. A group of Alder trees close to the wetland attract Redpoll, Siskin, Goldcrest and Coal Tit searching for seeds within the Alder cones during the winter months.

Crossing the Chad Brook at the wetland leads to an area of naturally developing oakwood, enhanced by a fairly steep circular walk giving good views over the reserve and the greenery of Harborne and Edgbaston. An area of rough grass and scrub between the walk and the disused routeway is left to encourage butterflies, moths and other insects, and ground-feeding and nesting birds.

The eastern end of the reserve, across the Chad Brook from the car park, consists of a maturing conifer plantation, which has been thinned to encourage the development of native ground flora, and attracts good numbers of seed-eating birds in winter.

Margaret's Meadow is passed on the approach to the conifers, an area planted with large numbers of native meadowland species which gives good flowering from spring to autumn and provides additional seed-feeding for birds. A small adjoining area of constantly rejenerating Teasels and Evening Primrose provides seed for winter flocks of Goldfinch and Redpoll.

The paths at the western end of the reserve, including the circular walk, are surfaced with wood chippings to give comfortable walking conditions at most times and gives the impression of a mature woodland path system.

Birds

Nest boxes have been provided at over forty locations and are proving successful particularly with Blue and Great Tits. Owl nesting boxes (tunnels) have been fixed to a number of older trees and there has been successful breeding of Tawny Owls.

Over eighty species of bird having recorded either on or passing over the reserve and up to twenty butterfly species are noted each year.

All three native woodpeckers are seen but these are thought to nest in older trees in the large gardens of houses in Westfield and Woodbourne Roads.

Access

Access to the reserve is avaiable to "inclusive" members and other permit holders only, except during special events, which will be advertised in our diary.

Organised groups wishing to visit should contact our secretary.

Unfortunately, the circular path on the reserve is not suitable for people with walking difficulties, or for wheelchair users.

At the bottom of the drive, adjacent to the allotments club shed is a newly-improved parking area sufficient for 6–8 cars, dependent on spacing. Please do not park anywhere else, as this may cause problems.

The site is shared between the reserve and allotments and therefore the main gate has a locking system allowing access to both groups. There is a large black key-box marked "WMBC" attached to the gate. Inside the box is the key for the main padlock. To open the box pull down the black plastic cover, scroll the four dials to the using the 4-digit code number on your membership card and then press down the adjacent black button to open the flap, exposing the key. To close, simply put the key back in the box, close the flap and scramble the four dials at random. Finally, pull up the black plastic cover.

In addition to the main entrance, a footpath runs along the former railway line now known as the Harborne Walkway and passes a gate onto the reserve. The gate has a combination padlock which can be opened using the same 4-digit membership code. The Walkway runs from Summerfield Park, Winson Green to Park Hill Road, Harborne and has recently been resurfaced.

Public Transport

Busses numbered 636 (the "Harborne Hopper"; not Sundays) pass the reserve entrance on Pereira Road.

Number 10 busses pass the junction of Pereira Road and Gillhurst Road; walk down-hill to the reserve.

Hagley Road routes 9, 103, 109, 126 and 140 all pass Meadow Road. Walk Meadow Road — Gillhurst Road — Pereira Road.

To plan a public transport journey in our region use the Traveline Midlands * journey planner.

Cycling

A designated cycle path also runs along the Harborne Walkway (see above). Once inside the reserve there are no facilities for cycling, but you are welcome to secure your bike to a tree, being sure not to damage the bark or obstruct other visitors.

You can from your location, at CycleStreets.

Nearby

Further Information

© West Midland Bird Club, 147 World's End Lane, Birmingham, England B32 1JX
Registered charity, number 213311

Ornithology in Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire & the West Midlands county, since 1929.

Fetched from http://westmidlandbirdclub.com/harborne/ on Thursday 24 April 2014 12:56:09

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