We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who want to get involved with the Parkland Project. You will be helping to enhance the habitats for wildlife and people by carrying out practical conservation that will make a big difference as well as learn new skills and meet new people!
We were busy Tree ‘popping’ with our LYRiC (Love your River Cole) trainees in the Parkland last week.
It was both a training exercise showing them how the tool worked as well as what could be achieved with it, as well as a chance to do some much needed woodland work.
I borrowed the Tree Popping tools from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, one of our project partners, which we put to good use removing some of the many Horse chestnut and Sycamore saplings that are springing up as well as some of the Holly.
Fortune was on our side as all the recent rain ensured the ground was soft resulting in even very tall (7ft) saplings coming out with their roots intact.
We created two ‘dead’ hedges with the removed saplings and brash which creates a nice habitat for wildlife and a tidy boundary between areas.
We cleared a good sized area between our historic ‘Avenue of Trees‘ which just starts to hint at how the avenue will look once we have opened up this section.
If you are interested to learning more and would like to get involved please get in touch – we would love to hear from you!
Email us on: CastleBromParklandInfo@gmail.com – Your friendly Parkland Team: Tara, Ann & Oliver.
We have been busy creating a Wildflower Meadow Bank in the Parkland!
The Parkland Team carefully prepared the soil by raking and removing any woody debris.
Then last week we scattered a mix of native grasses and wildflowers over this.
Lucky for us it has been a wet few weeks so the ground and conditions are perfect for sowing and growing new seeds!
Fingers crossed that over the next few weeks we will start to see shoots appear as they seeds grow.
This will be a real delight for pollinating insects who rely on wildflowers to survive. What can we expect to see?
Some of the Wildflowers:
CornCockle, CornFlower, Corn Marigold,
Corn Poppy, Ox-Eye Daisy, Red Campion,
White Campion & Yarrow
as well as these low competition grasses: Meadow Fescue, Smooth Staked Meadow Grass, Crested Dogstail, Sheeps Fescue, Creeping Red Fescue
The plants should start flowering from around the end of July, depending on growing conditions such as warmth and rain. Flowering should continue until about the beginning of November subject to early frosts.
As we dare to peer over the lockdown horizon into May we thought we’d offer something musical that is safe and rather special.
We’re not encouraging singing outdoors until we know it’s absolutely safe but in the meantime we’re planning some outdoor instrumental events with some of the best players in The Midlands. All hosted by the irrepressible guitarist extraordinaire Vo Fletcher.
The music will range across all genres – we kid you not, from standards that you know and love to inspirational improvisations as our musicians get the first chance for over a year to do what they all love – playing with other people.
We’ll settle down in the gorgeous Melon Ground with numbers limited to just 50 so that we can all be close to the performers but safely distanced from each other seated at tables. Speaking of tables there’ll be a selection of wines, beers and soft drinks with some excellent artisan pies to snack on if you’re peckish.
Music will commence at 7pm but you’re welcome to arrive from 6pm if you’d like a stroll around our gorgeous gardens whilst you’re here. We’ll aim to finish around 9m. In the event of inclement weather we’ll set up under our stretch tent on the archery lawn where we can all stay dry whilst still being outdoors.
May 27th Vo will be joined by Violinist Ric Sanders
June 10th Vo will be joined by Pianist Phil Bond
June 24th Vo will be joined by guitarist and oud player Sam Slater
Learn more about the musicians joining us here:
In a long and varied career Vocalist/Guitarist Vo Fletcher has played, recorded and toured with: Nigel Kennedy, Fairport Convention, the Ric Sanders Group, Rik Mayall, Tuxedo Bay, Touch & Go, The Albion Morris Band, Catherine Howe and Brent Ford & The Nylons to name but a few. He used to be a presenter on Channel 5 but he’s alright now.
Ric was born and brought up in Birmingham. He joined Fairport Convention in 1985. The violin was Ric’s first love and he took up the instrument as a youngster. His first professional engagement was in 1972, touring Europe with Stomu Yamashta’s Red Buddah Theatre. During the mid-1970s Ric was in demand as a jazz soloist and worked with, among others, Michael Garrick, Johnny Patrick and legendary jazz pianist Jaques Dieval. In the late 1970s, Ric pursued both his folk and jazz interests as a member of, respectively, The Albion Band and Soft Machine. He toured and recorded with both bands. With The Albion Band, Ric performed at the National Theatre.
In 1980, Ric and Soft Machine guitarist John Etheridge formed Second Vision. They recorded an album and toured extensively. Ric next teamed up with guitarist Vo Fletcher in music education projects: the duo supported a Musicians Union initiative in schools and recorded for BBC television. Since 1985, Ric has played full-time with Fairport Convention but has continued to take an active interest in jazz and other musical forms. He has collaborated with June Tabor, Andrew Cronshaw and Martin Simpson among others and also recorded solo albums and a violin tuitional introduced by Jools Holland. His session credits include Roy Harper, Jethro Tull, Strawbs, Pentangle, Gerry Rafferty, Loudon Wainwright III, Robert Plant, The Fureys, and Ashley Hutchings among many others. As well as Fairport Convention, Ric has his own trio, The Ric Sanders Trio, with Vo Fletcher and Mike Gregory. The group performs a wide repertoire of jazz and good time blues
Phil Bond, born in Worcester playing professionally since the age of 18. Worked with Del Shannon, Henry Lowther, Fish, Dana arBras, Fairports, Dylan Project, Syrian musicians, Irish musicians and SGB. Resident musician/composer at Liverpool Children’s Theatre.
Written music for the BBC, Art exhibitions and much more.
Has been ‘pianist for hire’. Slept on couches, worked ships, busked around Europe, played 5star hotels and played in most European capitals. Always writing and playing, based in Birmingham most of his life, lived and worked all over the planet.
Sam is a musician, composer and producer, playing guitars and the Arabic Oud for a number of eclectic jazz, world and roots music projects, alongside long-standing touring and writing with the critically acclaimed gypsy jazz, flamenco and contemporary classical instrumental band TG Collective, and Anglo-Polish singer songwriter Katy Carr. He has performed worldwide, from the mountains of Bulgaria and castles of Spain, to the many festivals and concert halls of the UK, and car parks of southern Serbia!
Sam also directs the jazz-inspired Birmingham record label and artist development indie, Stoney Lane Records, and live producers/programmers Mubu Music.
He has played on live sessions from BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends to Poland’s Trójka Radio, with his music featured on television from NBC and ESPN to the BBC, ITV and CBeebies! In 2020, he won Best Crime/Investigative Track from the American PMA Mark Awards for his co-composed string quartet, A Curious Voyage.
Yumi Grindley’s food for our English Hanami blossom picnics has been a feature of the event for a few years.
This year she is offering a greater variety of scrumptious Japanese home cooking for you to pre-order.
Each is made fresh to order for you, so although there will be some curry and other things on offer on the day, there is limited supply.
Make sure you get your order in by the Thursday before each of our picnic weekends to ensure your sushi/Katsu sandwich or curry is there waiting for you to enjoy .
Here is the menu .. .when you have decided, click through to the website here to order
(PLEASE NOTE … you ALSO need to purcchase and book a ticket to the Garden – then you will be able to eat your food under the blossoms in our two heritage orchards (crossed fingers for good weather and good blossoms)
*Sushi should be eaten fresh on the day of purchase!!!* All Sushi menu served with Sushi Ginger, Wasabi, Soy Sauce & Chopsticks
PikaPika Signature Fish Sushi Maki Roll x 4 pieces
Smoked Salmon, Homemade Japanese Egg Omelette, Cucumber, Avocado & Japanese QP Mayo £5.50
PikaPika Vegetarian Sushi Maki Roll x 4 pieces
Homemade Japanese Omelette, Cucumber, Avocado & Boiled Spinach ( No Mayo) £5.50
PikaPika Signature Vegan Sushi Maki Roll x 4 pieces
This 12 hectare greenspace is an oasis of calm and tranquility in an otherwise densely built up area. A short stroll into the Parkland and you instantly start to relax and breath more easily, you are surrounded by tall grasses, brambles, trees and wildflowers getting ready to bloom. The site is made up of a mosaic of different habitats from the wild lower Marshlands to the higher grasslands and young developing woodland. The Parkland is classed as a Local Wildlife Site (LWS) and also has historic significance with a Grade II* listing from Historic England.
The Parkland has largely been left unmanaged since the estate was sold in 1969 with little work been done and so it now feels a bit neglected and quite wild. We plan to carry out a number of habitat improvements to enhance the site for wildlife and improve the experience for its visitors.
We are busy getting to know the Parkland and would love to hear from you. We want to know what wildlife you see here.
Do you regularly admire the birds? Have you seen any owls?
Caught a glimpse of a fox or badger? We would love to know!
Please get in touch and send us your stories and pictures.
Do you remember what the Parkland used to be like in the past?
Did you play here as a child or have your grandparents told you stories about the park?
Maybe they would go hunting for horse chestnuts or picnics on the grassland?
Do they remember what the Avenue of Trees looked like before it became wild? Or have stories about the ponds?
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