This World Environment Day Toqueer Ahmed Quyyam (volunteer at Footsteps and Birmingham Friends of the Earth) reflects on an inspiring walk at Shire Country Park:
I hope to take you on an adventure, like no other, oh local people of Birmingham, on a beautiful day. I, along with Marcus from the Active Wellbeing Society, started our adventure from the Springfield project, where we saw green shoots beginning to grow from their garden’s pace. Spring is here, we smile.
As we both walked towards the entrance of Shire Meadows, sun shining and the sounds of gushing water, we could hear the sounds of birds of every kind. As we walked inside, we saw swans in the river Cole, and as we continued, there was a stream, a little waterfall, you could say. We stopped there for a while to listen to the wonderful sounds of water, how heavenly.
We saw people walking and some said hello. There above me, a bat , so exciting, I cannot believe it as it is the first time I have seen a bat in real life at 1pm. Marcus shares with me that some do come out at night and mid-afternoon, however it was rare and it was just amazing to see them. Further along, I notice a robin and as we approach slowly, not to disturb it, it peacefully embraces nature, with all its love. The rangers here do an amazing job, we saw lots of planting, apple trees growing nearby and bird-feeders too.
As we continue and reach the end of our video, we walk to turn left by Sarehole Mill and there away from the main park is what looks like a colosseum, a place for performers. As Marcus encourages me to perform, I take centre stage and try stand-up comedy, ‘it looks easy on TV,’ I thought. However, I will stick with documentary-making. There were also lots of wild garlic growing, you could smell it, it was strong and as I asked Marcus about it, he said that it grows naturally during this time.
Finally we catch up with Taz, who normally organises the sensory walks and treats us to lovely hot chocolate at Sarehole Mill, all socially-distanced, I promise. I feel like a hobbit, maybe dreams do come true after all – or was it the hot chocolate I had?
Tolkien lived close to the mill at around the turn of century and said that he used the mill as a location in The Lord of the Rings, for the Mill at Hobbiton. Always believe in better, I say, and welcome to a magical world called Shire Country Park. It’s only around the corner, just come and visit it for yourself and bring your family, it’s for everyone and it’s free to enjoy.