Here are a few recent photos from the Rowley Hills taken over the summer. Our Bee Orchids returned once again, and we had a couple of new and notable insect sightings – Black and Red Squashbug (Corizus hyoscyami) which has only been recorded once before in the Black Country, and Long-winged Conehead (Conocephalus fuscus), the first time this species has been recorded on the Rowley Hills. Both of these species are thought to be spreading northwards, probably due to climate change, so sightings are likely to increase in coming years.
As part of the Living Memory project, Friends of Rowley Hills recently contributed to Making Memories, a new creative project exploring the local area and its rich history. Led by artist Hannah Boyd and Blue and White Creative, pupils from Grace Mary Primary School and St James’s CofE School participated in a series of workshops exploring Jim Rippin’s photography of the area, with knowledge contributed by FORH’s Mike Poulton and Bob Duncan about the hills’ flora, fauna and geology. You can read a full account of the project and see photos at https://livingmemory.live/making-memories/; below are comments from some of the pupils and their teachers.
Watching the children explore the Rowley Hills area and engage with the activities was amazing! They were really engrossed and were fascinated by the talks they were given. It was a very enjoyable day and a wonderful experience for children and teachers alike.
The day was filled with fabulous opportunities to learn new art techniques whilst experiencing the natural habitat in our local environment.
The input from Hannah, Richard, Bob and Mike was excellent and we all learned a great deal about what the Rowley Hills have to offer!
Learning new techniques
Painting with sticks and ink- it was fun!
Exploring blue rock and the onion rocks
Looking at different flowers
Seeing a bee on Mike’s top!
I enjoyed everything but especially painting with sticks because I never knew you could do it! I loved learning about blue rock and I had a very great time doing it.
I enjoyed all of the techniques and the information about butterflies. I loved the water colour pencils and most of all how my art turned out!
I loved drawing with sticks and using the water colour pencils.
I loved drawing with sticks as it was unusual and fun!
I enjoyed drawing with the black pens.
I particularly enjoyed the journey up to blue rock where the landscape of Oldbury looked beautiful. I loved the activity where we drew a picture of choice. I enjoyed every single bit of the day!
I loved drawing with sticks as it was really beautiful!
I enjoyed painting with sticks and the special water colour pencils. It was fun learning about the types of flowers.
I enjoyed the painting with sticks and blue rock was an amazing part of nature.
Not to be put off by the cold easterly wind, those who attended the ‘Looking Back’ walk with Jim Rippin across the Portway Hill site on Saturday 13th April had a great time. To mark the occasion Jim brought along a special edition booklet containing some of his and others’ old photographs. Two of the photographs taken from his booklet (see below) show the entrance to Bury Hill Park as it was, prior to, and just after the A4123 Wolverhampton Road was cut through in 1927. It’s interesting to note that the terrace houses of Bury Hill Road in the middle of the first photograph and to the left in the second photograph are still there today.
Don’t forget that we have our Dawn Chorus walk this Monday 6th May, starting at 7:00am. Join local bird expert Nick Horton for a walk around the Portway Hill site; in December Nick spotted a Red Kite on two separate occasions over Turners/Portway Hill and watched crows mobbing a Raven. We will also be on the lookout for Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Peregrine, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, all birds regularly seen on the hillside. Wear sturdy footwear and dress appropriately for the early morning weather conditions. Meet on St Brades Close at the junction with Tower Road.
Join us for the second guided walk based on archive photos and stories from around the Rowley Hills. Jim and Mike’s carefully designed walk invites us to see the area in new and fascinating ways and reflect on the many changes that have taken place over the last 60 years. Come along and share your own views, photographs, and experiences of this iconic area.
Cost: £6 (all proceeds go to the Friends of Rowley Hills).
A special edition booklet will be available for an additional fee.
No need to book – assemble at the entrance to Bury Hill Park (adjacent to the Wolverhampton New Road and opposite Bury Hill Road) at 9.45 am.
Please wear sturdy footwear and bring appropriate clothing for changeable spring weather. We are sorry but the route is not suitable for wheelchair users. The terrain is at times undulating and possibly muddy in places.
For more information call 0121 559 4886 or visit https://livingmemory.live.