A summer of fun

Sun 4 Aug
BUTTERFLY WALK with Ranger at 10.30am. Meet at Garden Tea Room, Russell Rd Entrance.
14 Aug - 1 Sep
BIRMINGHAM BEACH and Summer Holiday Festival - South Park, Pershore Rd Entrance. 
Make My Play sessions, Community Games with Juggling & Circus skills, South Birmingham Beach Volleyball,
Birmingham Adoption Families Roadshow, with Storytelling and Rainforest Animals Family Shows,
Festival Stage artists plus Children's Characters and entertainers, Punch and Judy by the Beach.

* Free entertainment for families each day 12 - 6.30pm. Refreshments, toilets. Bus 45/47 or Rea Valley Cycle to Park*

8th Sep
Cannon Hill Family Cycle Day 8 Sep2013

Cannon Hill Spring Fair


Look out for the Easter Holiday ‘Big Top’ Festival in Cannon Park April 11-13th 2013. Check the details at:



River Rea Flood Walk Feb 2013

Notes/Links for a ‘Flood River Walk along the Rea’
Cannon Hill – Selly Park – Moor Green – Stirchley

Compiled 2011- Revised for Feb 2013 Walk. cannonhillfriend@aol.com

'A Lost Landscape' - Mathew Boulton's love of Birmingham Heath - between the growing town and his factory by Soho Pool in Handsworth. (written 2009 by Shena Mason, Val Loggie and Phillida Ballard)
'Sexing the Plants' - article by Jenny Uglow, in The Guardian 2002, with a reappraisal of Erasmus Darwin who brought Natural History science studies to Birmingham Lunar Society.

For a look at Birmingham’s Georgian and Regency Town at the time of Industrial growth see

The opening of Calthorpe Park by the Prince of Wales 150yrs ago and the early use of Cannon Hill & Calthorpe Park in the new suburban Birmingham begins our social history of local Peoples Parks
'Curlew Country' - Staffordshire Blog web site following Local Heritage Lottery Project about the Staffs Moorland habitat and this bird.
Find Wild Flowers celebrated in different counties of England – and why the Foxglove is linked to Birmingham. But how many native flowers are we losing?

Our Cannon Hill Peoples Park web site - paths of local Discovery, Heritage and Observation
www.cannonhillpeoplespark.net (including seasonal Wildlife Diary and blog 2008-2013 >

The beloved River Rea, with Rea Valley Interactive Map and Heritage Trail starting at Cannon Hill Park. See Resouces> Environmental plant archaeology from Longbridge to the Bull Ring.

OPAL Open Air natural Labs - with neighbourhood and national partners
www.opalexplorenature.org Big Lottery 2008-13 and www.opalwestmidlands.org
iSpot - OPAL Biodiversity Survey: have you spotted? what other type of support is good for you, and seasonal observations? Feedback here and to our Peoples Wildlife website Blog -

Description of the new Park in Birkenhead (1840) designed by Joseph Paxton, with apprentice John Gibson, by Frederick Olmsted an American Farmer. Olmsted went on to design Central Park New York, while John Gibson designed Battersea Park(1860) & Cannon Hill Park (1873).
Kings Norton and Northfield Urban District History - prior to Birminghamham Boundary Extension 1911 two thirds of Cannon Hill Park was in Worcestershire.
History of Cannon Hill Fields, and Map of 1921 showing Moor Green Mill and Mill Race coming off the river Rea
Moor Green Forge and Mill from Tudor times, also known as Farmons Mill
Floods in Selly Park and Pebble Mill Fields 2007/08- taken by Residents Flood Action Group

For a collection of flooding pictures from up and down the River Rea in 2012, see
Edible Foraging YouTube video with Alys Fowler along Moor Green and Selly Park river banks

Style of Prefab Houses erected beside the Rea in Moor Green and Hazelwell 1944
Learning more about Birmingham Prefab houses and building science -
Vimeo of Planting on the Fields and Woodland edge, with residents interviews
Dogpool and Ten Acres History
Invasive non-native plant species are a threat to native wildflowers along the Rea. They’ve increased since the 1960’s. Help track them –
Wild Angelika, grown on local allotments has an interesting history – see Kew Gardens listing
Bumblebee Conservation, a Heritage Lottery funded Community Project. (see also OPAL Buzz)
Media Archive for Central England, MACE helped Park Friends make local history movies –
* Shows of two films during February half term: ‘Breathing Places’ and Birmingham Weather’

Univ of Birmingham VISTA Research – GIS Projects including Climate Change

Friends of Hazelwell Park, Birds Survey Jan 2011 and Spring 2013 programme of activities

Research is on-going – help add to our notes on the River Rea and its natural learning courses.


Spring Festival

Spring Half Term Festival – Feb 2013

Cannon Hill Park Friends with Community Hub Workshops 16 – 23 February
Location: Big Top Studio mobile workshop on Events Organiser standing by Golden Lion


Sat 16th OPEN DAY 10.00am to 2.00pm with Displays and Information – Park Friends 2013 Programme, Community Hub and Big Top Studio facilities. Schools photo competition sponsored by SCCB College and Park Friends.

Sun 17
th FLOOD RIVER WALK – Friends and Rea Valley Conservation Group 10.30am From MAC to Ten Acres, Stirchley along old and new River courses. Notes on Friends website, supported by OPAL WM, & River Rea Heritage Trail.

Mon 18
th FAMILY PROGRAMME for 8-12yrs with accompanying adults. 10 – 11.30am The BIG CARDBOARD THEATRE Workshop – Make My Play company, working with Parks for Play and BPCN. ( 10 Places ) *watch a drama production from the BCT Company, then * join a workshop to make your own cardboard characters and puppet theatre play. £1 for materials
12.30 – 2pm Explore the main park features with guides and help Park Friends create an interactive visitor trail for use with ‘Amplify the Map’ trails online. See
www.cannonhillpeoplespark.net Heritage features map
2.30 – 4pm Heritage Friends Hub workshop – by invitation.

Tue 19
th MAKE MY PLAY –Inclusive Play Workshop (1) for 8 – 12yrs & families 10 – 11.30am The BIG CARDBOARD THEATRE – Make My Play company Performance and puppet theatre workshop for SEN children and their family.
12.30 – 2pm Inclusive Toy-making Workshop (2) – family workshop using recycled materials to make interactive toys suitable for all abilities.
2.30 – 4pm Park Community Play Hub cluster workshop with Make My Play.

Wed 20
th FAMILY PROGRAMME for 8-12 yrs with accompanying adults. 10 – 11.30am T Shirt Making Workshop (10 Places) £1 for materials Join the workshop group to design, print and assemble your own interactive techno-shirt to amaze your friends and family.
12.30 -2pm FAMILY PROGRAMME for 8 – 12yrs with accompanying adults Create and sow your own Mini-Garden Herb Tray with Change Kitchen * learn about herbs, and choose seeds to plant and grow at home, * make some healthy take-away dough for baking or pizza, and * participate in our topping taste quiz. (10 Places) £1 for materials
2.30 – 4pm Community Growing Hub workshop – by invitation.

Thu 21
st FAMILY STORYMAKING PROG for 8 – 12yrs with accompanying adults * Listen and participate in a Story-in-a-Bag session, then * make your own Story Bag and stories to share with friends ,family or at school.
12.30 – 2pm PARK EXPLORERS SAFARI – collect Map at the Big Top Studio leading to clues hidden around the Park. Answer Safari questions and complete tasks to collect your Big Top Studio goody bag.
2.30 – 4pm Community Games and Sport Hub workshop –by invitation.

Fri 22
nd FAMILY SHOWCASE DAY for 8 – 12yrs and accompanying adults. 10 – 11.30am WINDCHIME MAKING WORKSHOP on Park Bandstand. 10 – 2pm Display of all workshop materials in Studio.

Sat 23
rd OPEN DAY – PARK FRIENDS and COMMUNITY HUBS SHOWCASE: Display of all workshop materials, and opportunities for families and volunteers to become involved with Park Community Hub projects. 10 – 2pm around Park Bandstand and Big Top Studio.

Cannon Hill Park Friends and Community Hub
www.bigtopstudio.co.uk community asset
Contact: Tony Fox cannonhillfriend@aol.com