Saturday 29 December 2012

Our response to the latest Selly Oak Regeneration plan proposed for Sainsbury's

The Friends of Selly Oak Park
Object to, and do not support, the “refreshed” Selly Oak Regeneration plans as presented in December 2012, since they omit the watered canal included in the planning application submitted in March 2012.

The Friends of Selly Oak Park URGE the developers and planners towards:

·    First and foremost, the inclusion of a fully watered canal across the proposed development area.

·    To forsake established retail park models, and embrace a more imaginary, creative, holistic and inclusive approach to design with the canal as a fortuitous FOCUS for the development.

·    To capitalise upon, the rich – but often ignored - historical and archaeological setting of the site.

·    To observe the success of canal developments in other areas, and to learn from, and capture, the added value and benefits such a canal feature affords (e.g. Reading, Leeds, Stalybridge, and Droitwich).

·    To link the development into the needs of the local and adjacent community.

·    To have regard to the longer term possibilities of the development in conjunction with other local sites (Dingle, Selly Oak Hospital, Selly Oak Triangle, Pebble Mill and Old QE sites). We call on BCC to take a lead in providing a coherent vision for the whole area rather than the current piecemeal approach.

·    To take a holistic approach when engaging with local interested parties and groups.

·    To extend the same holistic approach to the consideration of the needs of local amenities such as Selly Oak park, Bournbrook recreation ground and Selly Oak Library, and their role in complementing the development.

·    To see the project as a Visitor attraction rather than just a retail / science park.

·    To consider the benefits of the canal and local history elements in the attractiveness of the name for the site/project, e.g. building on heritage of “Harborne Wharf” as a concept.

In summary we urge the developers and planners to consider the two canals (Worcester and Birmingham & Lapal) and associated historical sites as key elements in the development, to work together and with local groups to design the retail, recreation, and residential aspects around these features while reserving some space for mixed (science park / offices / hotels etc).

Thursday 20 December 2012

Seasonal Greetings

The Friends of Selly Oak Park wish all their neghbours, suppporters and website readers a happy Christmas and a successful New Year.

We hope to see you in the Park again during 2013.  We have plans for more developments and improvements and we shall be pursuing a Green Flag award.

As a group we will continue to cherish the Park's past, relish its present, and plan for its future, so that it remains a premier open space for the local community for ever.

It just needs you to use it so we don't lose it. 
Please help and support us.

Friday 14 December 2012

Latest Battery Site / Sainsbury's development

The Friends of Selly Oak Park are aware of new plans for the Battery Site / Sainsbury's Selly Oak. We understand that the plan preserves the route of the Lapal Canal but it does not allow for an actual canal. We believe the new proposed route will be difficult to navigate - if it was ever actually implemented. While the plan does not include a watered canal we are reluctant to give it our support.

You can view the proposals and COMMENT at the following link -

Saturday 8 December 2012

Carols in the Park - A great Success

Thanks to everyone who helped and who took part in this first Christmas venture which exceeded our expectations by a substantial margin - between 150-200 people thoroughly enjoyed themselves, sang well - well accompanied by superb musicians, and then refreshed themselves with tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cakes and mince pies provided by the Ariel Scouts. 

We are encouraged to do it all again next year.

Saturday 17 November 2012

In association with Ariel Scouts and local churches.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Have your say ..............

And win a free family season ticket worth £55 for the Birmingham Nature Centre.

Just tell the City Parks Department about your visit to Selly Oak Park. 

Go to and click on their survey form,

or go straight to the survey form at

Good luck.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

New Notices

Notices have been posted on the new noticeboard near the Lodge in Gibbins Road:-

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Have you noticed the New Features in the Park?

Look out for new notices being posted.


More about this board coming soon.

Take your bat and ball and have a go - while the sun is shining!

Friday 6 July 2012

Fair update

You may be wondering why the fair is still in Selly Oak Park. The simple answer is that they have got stuck in the mud. Or rather if they were to move their heavy rides they would tear the ground up too much. They have now got some of the heavier rides onto paths so can start moving off the park soon. But they will be with us for a few days yet.

The park is now wetter than I have ever seen it, even in winter, so wet that an unusual phenomenon has occurred: water zits. These are large bulges in the grass caused by water welling up under the turf.

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Festival Thanks

Thank you to everyone who had any part to play in the Selly Oak Festival last Saturday (30th June).  The weather didn't dampen spirits, even if it did keep cars off the grass, and more people attended this than any modern day Festival in the Park.

We'll try and let you know how successful different stalls were in their fund raising activities when all the sums have been done; and we will post photographs to show those who didn't attend what they missed, and to whet the appetite for the next festival.

Yes, all being well, we will organise Festival 2013, and, if you want to, you can reserve your stall space now - just contact

Similarly, if anyone wants to offer entertainments, we will consider all offers - again just contact us through

Saturday 9 June 2012

Sunday 20 May 2012

Volunteers Urgently Needed

We have an urgent need for volunteers as follows:

Committee Members (approx 7 meetings per year plus help at festival).
Leaflet delivery (can you deliver 2 leaflets a year to your street).
Festival Stewards (no training required).

If you can help contact chair @

Thursday 26 April 2012

Selly Oak Festival - Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Selly Oak Festival
will be held in Selly Oak Park on

Saturday 30 June 2012
10.00 am - 3.00 pm

As well as the usual array of festival stalls there will be

***** a new stage*****
made available to us by
Robert Wilkinson's Fair
which will also be open on the day.

There will be an opportunity for budding artistes to show their skills and entertain visitors at the Festival.  If you, individually, or in a group, are interested in performing then why not contact us now to discuss this opportunity.  Similarly if you want to hold a stall then reserve your space now.
Contact us at:

Put the date in your diary.
Don't miss a great fun day and a great opportunity.

Also appearing:
Scooby Sue and Friends
Bloco Louco (Samba Band)
Fireworks Cheerleading Squad
The Falconry Centre Team
Circus characters
Knights Bouncy Castle

Friday 13 April 2012

The New Work is looking well!

Development work in the park is drawing to a close.

The new paths are complete:


Compare these views with earlier ones (click this link). 

A new bench has been installed:

Gates have been hung at the entrance by the Lodge in Gibbins Road:

New bollards have been fitted at the Harborne Lane entrance:

The trip rails along Gibbins Road are nearing completion.
We are waiting for new notice boards and an interpretation board for the Oak stump.

Thanks to the Park keeper and the maintenance staff, the park is looking fine:

Monday 12 March 2012

Birmingham Heritage Forum

The Friends of Selly Oak Park have joined the Birmingham Heritage Forum. 


The Forum is a consortium of prestigious heritage sites in and around Birmingham and it has kindly accepted the Park on the grounds of its historical interest - being i) the first park in the area of the former Kings Norton and Northfield Urban District Council opened in 1899, and ii) the last resting place of the stump of the famous Selly Oak oak tree, and having iii) a Nature, Art and Heritage Trail, and iv) a detailed account of its history.

Beside all of that, the park is an attractive place in a busy part of the city to while away an hour in an open, airy green space - a lunch hour or a relaxing hour after work.

Thursday 23 February 2012

What a difference a year makes!

 February 2011            February 2012

It may cost £500 to repair this damage!

Please if you see such acts of vandalism taking place phone 454 7810 immediately.

Friday 10 February 2012

Work has started

Despite the frosty and snowy weather work has started on the creation of new paths in the Park.  Additions are being made to the footpath network so that eventually there will be a circular walk right round the park.  Some of the old (1899) pathways which are little used now, and have fallen into disrepair, are to be filled in and grass seeded.



There will be other developments in the Park in the next few weeks - watch this space for further reports ......................

PS   Spring is on the way - honest! - the crocusses are pushing their way through the ground and just beginning to show their colour.

Saturday 28 January 2012

Paganel School Visit The Park

A group of Year 6 children from Paganel School visited the park recently to follow the Nature Trail and complete the quiz. They were inspired to come after listening to a local history talk which included mention of the Old Oak Tree whose stump now resides in the park (part of the trail). They were also looking for inspritation for their own Nature Trail at school. You can read all about their trip here.

ps. Our own version of the quiz is now up to date.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Memorial Bench

We are pleased to announce the installation of a new bench dedicated to the memory of founder member of the Friends of Selly Oak Park, Geoff Bartlett. The bench was carved by local wood carver Graham Jones who has two other carvings in the park.