Sheldon Country Park/Old Rectory Farm & Babbs Mill Local Nature Reserve

A few photos taken in and around Sheldon Country Park and Old Rectory Farm:

“Sheldon Country Park covers an area of just over 300 acres, comprising open grassland, wetlands, old hedgerows and some mature woodland. Situated on the very edge of the city, the land has escaped development and has become a haven for wildlife.
The Parks Ranger Service is based at Old Rectory Farm, a 17th Century dairy farm, which is situated on the main entrance to the park.
The farm has historic importance, having been the home of Sheldon’s most celebrated son, Thomas Bray, from 1690 to 1721.
Old Rectory Farm has been fully restored and operates as a demonstration farm, showing city dwellers traditional methods of farming. Animals kept at the farm include Jersey cattle, pigs, goats, ponies, ducks, chickens and geese.” Source: Sheldon Country Park

The park includes a viewing area of Birmingham International Airport, a playground, and plenty of space to picnic.

Thomas Bray “was an English clergyman and abolitionist who helped formally establish the Church of England in Maryland” Source: Thomas Bray

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One image was taken at the lake at Babbs Mill Local Nature Reserve.

“Babbs Mill Park was created in 1977 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II. A haven for wildlife, it was recognised as a Local Nature Reserve in 2002.
Complete with lake, the meandering River Cole, wildflower grasslands and woodland, Babbs Mill LNR is a wonderful space for us all to get in touch with nature. A natural habitat for owls and a protected area for bats, it is a diverse habitat well deserving of its Local Nature Reserve status. ” Source: Babbs Mill Local Nature Reserve

It is a pity then that the council is seeking to remove the Local Nature Reserve Status in order to build 52 luxury houses on this precious nature spot. Source: Petition to save Babbs Mill’s Local Nature Reserve (LNR) status and Action for Babbs Mill

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Heatwave

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It’s been incredibly hot in Britain this week, breaking the record for the hottest July day on the first day of the month(1). We’re not used to dealing with heat, often more concerned with remaining warm during winter. Very few homes have air conditioning, and while malls and some offices do have air con, many businesses and services make do with fans which largely push warm air around. Even our rail lines are at risk of buckling under the heat(2).

Climate change is likely a part of the reason for the extremes of weather that are occurring globally with increasing frequency. Thirty years ago we started to understand the importance of recycling, of renewable energy, of banning CFCs, and to recognise the impact an increasing population has on consumption and pollution. We did not do enough.

Other countries have done somewhat better; Germany generates seventy four per cent of energy through renewable sources(3). In 2013 only 15% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources(4).

I believe that we (locally and globally) need to do better, or things are going to get worse.

Sources
1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33324881
2 http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/london-weather-paddington-fast-trains-cancelled-as-heatwave–risk-of-buckled-tracks-10354445.html
3 http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/13/3436923/germany-energy-records/
4 http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/20/uk-on-track-to-meet-its-renewable-energy-targets