Nature & Gallery

Animals

  • Moorhen
    Common on ponds and park lakes. Swims jerkily. Defends its territory - males will fight. Nests in thick cover close to water. Not a strong flyer.
  • Coot
    Plump, black, seen in parks and resevoirs, bigger than a Moorhen. Clumsy in flight, lands with a splash. Head bobs while swimming, dives a lot. Patters along surface when taking off. Rather quarrelsome
  • Mallard
    Nests on ground, sometimes in a hollow tree. very tame. Strong flight. Duck quacks loudly, Drake has a quiet whistle.
  • Great Crested Grebe
    Once nearly exterminated because of demand for feathers for women's hats. But now protected and numerous again. Found in reservoirs and lakes in Birmingham. Nests on floating nest, attached to vegetation. When courting, offers gifts of water-weed!
  • Mute Swan
    A familiar sight, with graceful curved neck. Powerful in flight, with a creaking noise. Hisses and snorts - keep away! Mates for life. Is considered a royal bird - the Crown once owned them all.
  • Canada Goose
    Largest Goose, brought in from North America for ornament but they escaped. Seen on ponds and town parks. May up-end in water.
  • Heron
    Stands like a sentry beside water, waiting for a fish. When flying, has slow flapping wing-beats, head tucked in. Will steal goldfish from ponds. Herons are very noisy during nesting, croaking and chattering of beaks.
  • Rook
    Similar to Crow except for whitish face and beak. Very sociable, found in groups or rookeries. Aggressive in defending the group's territory. Useful to farmer - eats wireworms and leather-jackets.
  • Pipistrelle Bat
    Commonest and smallest type of Bat. Common in parks and gardens. In summer, sleeps in buildings, hollow trees, in daytime, comes out soon after dusk. Flies fast but erratically, dodges about. Can be seen also in spring or mild winter. Hibernates in Winter.
  • Brown Rat
    Occupies anywhere undisturbed where it can find food - in winter in buildings, store rooms, cellars. In summertime moves to edges of lakes or canal banks. Digs, burrows and swims well. Can do severe damage and spread disease.

Plants

  • Snow Drops
    snowdrops
  • Pieris - Forest Flame
    A shrub originally from Asia which can grow to 15 feet in height. Has a pretty white flower and spectacular red foliage in spring. Found near the tennis club in the Park.
  • Rhododendron
    An acid soil loving plant which is primarily from China and Japan. Again brought over by the Victorians in the 19th Century. It was very popular in Victorian parks and gardens and can grow up to 15 feet in height. Rhododendrons flower once a year with colours ranging from white to deep purple.
  • Ivy
    A climber or ground cover plant which is evergreen. It comes in either green or variegated colours. It can be very invasive but also can be very attractive. Will climb walls, trees, etc. Native to the UK.
  • Fern
    Evergreen and deciduous species. Recently introduced to the park and can grow from a few inches high to over 4 foot tall. Ferns love the shade under the woodland canopy at the Moseley village end of the Park.
  • Gunnera - Giant Rhubarb
    
Cannot be eaten. Known for very larges leaves which can grow to be 6 feet across. Originally comes from Asia. Enjoys a boggy environment and humus rich soil.
  • Kerria - Easter Rose
    
Deciduous - loses its leaves in the autumn. Has pom-pom yellow flowers in April. Grows well in shady spots. Can grow up to 10 feet in height.
  • Bluebells
    
Bluebells are now protectd by law in the wild, after many illegal thefts to sell. They actually come in blue, pink and white colours. They grow vigorously in the park and provide a carpet of colour in May.
  • Wild Primrose
    A British plant which thrives in the woodland. Provides a carpet of yellow in March and April.
  • Japanese Knotweed
    Introduced from Japan in the 19th Century in a garden in the south of the UK and has now escaped to most of the country and is considered a pest as it is very difficult to get rid of.
  • Cyprus Tree
    Cyprus trees are evergreens meaning they do not lose their leaves in the winter. They can grow up to 150 feet in height.
  • Horse chestnut Tree
    Famous for providing conkers, a traditional children's game for over a hundred years. The hardest conkers are those that have fallen to the ground because they are the ripest.
  • Hawthorn Tree
    The male of the species has pink coloured blossoms, the female of the species has white coloured blossom. It is known for its medicinal properties.
  • Acer - Crimson King
    An ornamental tree which can grow between 20- 30 feet in height. Foliage used by florists in creating displays because of the colour. Indigenous to Europe.
  • Sycamore Tree
    Grows to over 150 feet. Has been known in England for over 300 years.
  • Alder - (Dissectum) Tree
    This is a hybrid tree. Known as an ornamental tree because of its decorative effect. So called because its leaves look like they've been dissected.
  • Lime or Linden Tree
    Wood from this tree is used in the creation of piano keys because it is highly resistant to warping. Can grow to 100 feet and is indigenous to the UK and Europe.
  • Weeping Willow Tree
    
Has naturally drooping branches and leaves. Can grow to 25 feet in height. Willow is used in cricket bats because of its soft and resilient nature.
  • Black Cherry Tree
    The fruits from this tree are inedible despite the name. This is an ornamental tree which can grow up to 25 feet and is known for its dark coloured foliage.
  • Monkey Puzzle Tree
    Can grow up to 50 feet in height. So called because branches look like monkeys' tails. Originally from Chile. Branches fall off lower part of trunk as the tree grows.

Trees

  • Cyprus Tree
    Cyprus trees are evergreens meaning they do not lose their leaves in the winter. They can grow up to 150 feet in height.
  • Horse chestnut Tree
    Famous for providing conkers, a traditional children's game for over a hundred years. The hardest conkers are those that have fallen to the ground because they are the ripest.
  • Hawthorn Tree
    The male of the species has pink coloured blossoms, the female of the species has white coloured blossom. It is known for its medicinal properties.
  • Acer - Crimson King
    An ornamental tree which can grow between 20- 30 feet in height. Foliage used by florists in creating displays because of the colour. Indigenous to Europe.
  • Sycamore Tree
    Grows to over 150 feet. Has been known in England for over 300 years.
  • Alder - (Dissectum) Tree
    This is a hybrid tree. Known as an ornamental tree because of its decorative effect. So called because its leaves look like they've been dissected.
  • Lime or Linden Tree
    Wood from this tree is used in the creation of piano keys because it is highly resistant to warping. Can grow to 100 feet and is indigenous to the UK and Europe.
  • Weeping Willow Tree
    
Has naturally drooping branches and leaves. Can grow to 25 feet in height. Willow is used in cricket bats because of its soft and resilient nature.
  • Black Cherry Tree
    The fruits from this tree are inedible despite the name. This is an ornamental tree which can grow up to 25 feet and is known for its dark coloured foliage.
  • Monkey Puzzle Tree
    Can grow up to 50 feet in height. So called because branches look like monkeys' tails. Originally from Chile. Branches fall off lower part of trunk as the tree grows.