A reclaimed beauty spot
An abundance of wildlife can be found at Clayhanger Common, and it is hard to believe that back in the 1950s the area was used as a refuse dump! Mallards & moorhens nest in the reedmace at the edge of the lagoon, and a flowering waterplants including arrowhead and flowering rush thrive in the clean water of the Wyrely & Essington Canal.
Part of the Common has been designated a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and you will find heather, birch and willow flourishing in the acidic grassland together with the damp-loving common spotted orchids and the locally rare ragged robin in the drainage ditches which cross the site. The wet grassland areas have pools which are home to a large population of smooth newts.
Other animals that can be found include the rare beetle Carabus nemoralis, which is large dark ground beetle, and also caddisfly larvae, which make their cases out of materials they find in the ponds.
Young native British trees mark the start of the old road known as Spot Lane, whose name is still remembered in the local name for Clayhanger Common – The Spot! If you’re wondering why the canal is so much higher than the surrounding land, it’s because it was built on an embankment to avoid having to build any locks. The low-lying land was prone to flooding back in the mid 20
O’Grady’s pool was constructed fairly recently, and happily it hasn’t taken long for a large variety of plants and creatures to colonise its water. If you’re lucky you might also spot a grey heron doing a bit of fishing.
Clayhanger Community Woodland
Not far from Clayhanger Common, off Clayhanger Lane, llies another of Walsall's hidden treasures. Planted in the mid 1990s by Walsall Council with the help of the local community and school groups. Because the woodland was all planted at the same time, the trees there are all the same age and size, with an open feel due to the lack of understory / scrub layer. Clayhanger Community woodland used to be a farm field beloging to Swingbridge Farm, which no longer exists. Today a walk through its nature trail will take you through a meadow of native flowers and grasses and into a natural cathedral of silver birch trees, full of song birds. The site itself is only 2.3 ha in size, but its woodland has a sense of tranquility that belies its young age.
Walsall Countryside Services are looking into the potential for a nest box scheme for the woodland, and the possibility of traditional grazing scheme for the meadow.
Parking: For Clayhanger Common, itsest to park in Brownhills and cross the canal foot bridge. Clayhanger Community Woodland has parking just around the corner from the entrance.
Buses: numbers 32, 33 and 56 all run through Brownhills.
Nature Trails: A circular walk can be taken but no official trail. Clayhanger Community Woodland can be accessed from the Wyrley & Essington Canal.
Wildlife to see: Wetland wildflowers (in the SINC), Woodland birds, Waterfowl.
This site is great for: Nature Walks
Grid Reference: SK 046051
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Environmental Improvement Team
Clean and Green Environmental Depot
200 Pelsall Lane