An urban oasis
Park Lime Pits Local Nature Reserve is the perfect peaceful urban getaway. A walk around its tranquil pools and mature woodland belies its busy past as a quarry, when the limestone within was used to support the industrial revolution, and a busy network of canals connected the pits to iron foundries around the Black Country. These days, rather than the sounds of industry, you’re likely to hear the sound of great spotted woodpeckers hammering away in the trees, and the occasional splash of a fish in the big pool. It’s still adjacent to the canal, and as such it’s a frequent stopping point for people walking or cycling the canal towpaths between the Arboretum and Chasewater.
Lime Pits Farm surrounds the site, on three sides, wrapping around it and creating a green buffer between the reserve and the urban areas beyond, so that, in spite of the fact that its only 2 ½ miles from Walsall Town Centre, you really feel that you’re deep in the countryside, surrounded by wildlife.
Because the soil is on limestone, the diversity of wildflowers is amazing – over 300 species of plants have been recorded here. We even have another limestone-loving species, the rare white clawed crayfish living in Adam’s Brook which runs through the site. There are records of over 100 types of birds, including farmland specialists like lapwings and yellowhammers. Countryside Services staff hold regular summertime bat walks here, because it is one of the best places in the Black Country to watch Daubenton’s bats zooming over the pools at night, catching insects.
Lime Pits is also a fantastic place to go pond dipping, as there is a purpose-built pond dipping platform in the small pool, where you can also see ducks, moorhens, and even may catch a glimpse of the occasional heron. (Although someone should tell the heron that fishing is only allowed on the big pool!)
A Diverse History
There’s a great deal of history associated with the site. From quarrying limestone may have been used by the Romans to construct Watling Street (A5) and their settlement at Wall near Lichfield, to the historic Rushall Hall to the west, which was the site of two bloody battles during the English Civil war.
When quarrying ceased at Park Lime Pits Local Nature Reserve 150 years ago the Victorians started to landscape the old workings. The magnificent beech trees were planted at thus time and the quarry filled with water, creating the pools you see today. All the wildlife you see around you has moved in since!
Parking: Car Park on Park Road, off Daw End Lane
Buses: numbers 997 runs every 10 minutes from Walsall, alight at Daw End Lane
Nature Trails: Circular route around reserve, connects to Lime Pits Farm walk
Wildlife to see: Crayfish, Daubenton's bats, woodpeckers
This site is great for: Walking, pond dipping, watching wildlife
Grid Reference: SP 030 999
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Environmental Improvement Team
Clean and Green Environmental Depot
200 Pelsall Lane