Gallery 2023

Click on any image for slide show

Heritage Weekend – 16-17 September 2023
A rare opportunity to visit the Lickey Hills Country Park quarry as part of Birmingham Heritage week. The Lickey Hills Society invited visitors to see maps, drawings, paintings and hear more about our fascinating history. WWI & WWII walks by the rangers and a walking presentation by Sandra Mason and Jill Harvey.

Blackwell Music Festival – 9 September 2023
Held on a particularly hot September day, Emma Westwood & her team welcomed a record crowd of 900. Seven bands played a wide spectrum of music genres: ‘Indigo Kid’, ’The Strand’, The Kazoos’, ‘The Bizz’, ‘Lucas D and the Groove Ghetto’, and ’The Precursors’.

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The Weighbridge Inn Beer Festival – 8-9 September 2023
Fresh from The CAMRA Best Pub award, Alvechurch’s very own beer festival wowed punters with a fine range of 45 real ales, half a dozen craft beers, and almost 20 ciders. Morris sides and live music entertained as landlord, Chris Lamb & Town Cryer, Kevin Ward opened the festival.

Music In Alvechurch – 22 July 2023
As the final concert of the current season, The Midland Sinfonia and guests presented ‘French Fancies’. As part of the Bromsgrove Festival, the packed St. Laurence church enjoyed works including Faure’s ‘Requiem’ and ‘Bolero’ by Ravel of Torvill & Dean fame!

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Music at Burcot Grange – 21 July 2023
Members of The Midland Sinfonia paid a visit to this rather splendid care home with Shulah Oliver regaling the audience with the preparation of her coming nuptials. Familiar melodies and an opportunity to join in with percussion instruments added to the afternoon.

Bromsgrove Carnival – 15 July 2023
Amid the inclement weather, the colourful floats weaved their way from the town centre pass cheering on-lookers to Sanders Park. A thoroughly great afternoon for familes enjoying the intermittent sunshine and atmosphere.

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Bilberry Wake – 9 July 2023
A regular on the family events calendar had a new track designed by MC Ranger Dave Beardsmore for the hobby-horses to race on. Rosettes and prizes for those taking the challenge of building and riding their steeds!

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GlastonBeoley Music Festival – 1 July 2023
This two-day music festival had a new venue this year as Redditch Cricket, Hockey & Rugby Club welcomed revellers. Dispute recovering from a recent accident, jubilant organiser Debbie Joynes managed a set!

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Bromsgrove Beer & Cider Festival – 29 June 2023
This well established CAMRA beer festival, held at its usual venue of Bromsgrove Rugby Club, opened its doors to visitors from near and afar. With belts tightened, there were no festival mugs this year but record number applying for CAMRA membership!

Revd. Louise Beasley – 25 June 2023
A weekend of celebrations for the new curate concluded with a welcome lunch at the Trinity Centre following the Sunday Service held at the Holy Trinity Church, Lickey. Louise has began her three year training in the parish of Lickey & Blackwell under the guidance of Revd. Sheri Gidney.

Balsam Bash – 24 June 2023
The Lickey Hills Society organised three ‘Bashes’ in the Country Park to reduce/remove the invasive Himalayan balsam. A good number of enthusiastic volunteers helped pull-up these not unattractive plants.

Park Safari – 16 June 2023
The Consultative Committee went out and about in the Park to view the newly planted orchard at the Old Rose & Crown, the source of the River Arrow and the work so far on Cofton Hill following the devastating wild fire in 2022.

Alvechurch Picnic in the Park Pt 1 (Dog Show) – 28 May 2023
The ever-popular Dog Show preceded the official opening of the PinP. As usual, there was a large entry with excited mutts and owners vying for those covered rosettes.

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Alvechurch Picnic in the Park Pt 2 – 28 May 2023
With the various classes of the Dog Show completed, PitP logo winner 7-year-old Betsy formally cuts the tape to open the show!

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Alvechurch Picnic in the Park Pt 3 – 28 May 2023
Now in full swing, the highlight for many were the Spitfire and Hurricane flyby – well done the organisers!

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Bluebell Walk – 14 May 2023
The second guided walk by Ranger Penny Marriott in four days. This time, a party of 18 viewed one of the Parks most popular attractions. Accompanied by birdsong, she pointed out many features as we travelled touching on the tree felling, the planting of thousands of saplings to balance the books, the resurgence of depleted heathland, the wildflowers starting to peek out and demonstrating the tasty wood sorall. The latter out of earshot of the youngsters in the party. (Good with cheese apparently but only in small amounts.)
Returning from the leisurely two hour amble, Penny showed us bees pretending to be wasps from their small sandy-soil burrows on the bank metres from the Visitor Centre patio.

Barnt Green Sailing Club Open Day – 13 May 2023
With the very changeable weather, the organisers of this year’s event were relieved when blue skies welcomed its visitors. A heavenly haven now celebrating well over 100 years since being established, the cathartic sound of lapping waters, a gentle breeze and losing yourself on this expanse of water is just what the doctor ordered yet a mere 10 miles from the City.
Two young members gave an impromptu demonstration of how to right a sailing boat. A confident 8-year-old Martha Dyer showed her paddling skills as did Anila and Kaitlyn both 14-years-old in their sailing boat. Young Frankie Leach brought along his grandad Gary as they considered joining the fishing group with another Gary, the Fisheries Officer, showed them one of the rods used.

Beacon Hill event – 8 May 2023
Intended to celebrate the Coronation, alas the weather thwarted Cllr. Simon Morrall’s (Frankley Ward) eleventh-hour initiative for entertainment and the opportunity to sign a commemorative book commemorative. Around 40 people made the journey with the ancipated bagpiper and singer unfortunately unable to attend

PC & Church Tea Party/Tree Planting – 8 May 2023
The Lickey & Blackwell PC and the local church held a joint ‘Coronation Street Tea Party’ inviting residents to The Wheel, Blackwell. This included planting an apple tree to commemorate the coronation. An incredible amount of baking had taken place as visitors vied for a tasty slice of cake and lovely cuppa. Plus a little bit of daftness from Angus Watson flashing his calf!

The Big Help Out – 8 May 2023
Part of the national event, rangers led another session on Rednal Hill collecting debris discarded by visitors. Ranger Penny Marriott welcomed the 30-strong volunteers who had braved the inclement elements. The weather greatly improved once work was underway with magnificently muted views seen across the golf course below to the hill opposite. Finds included a small metal spoon and a 1937 two and sixpence coin discovered by Baden Carlson/TLHS member, which he has donated to the Visitor Centre display cabinets.

The Lickey Community Group AGM – 24 April 2023
An enjoyable evening at the Trinity Centre started with refreshments before moving on to the agenda. Discussed were the Marlbrook Tip, inconsiderate parking, local development and other matters. To conclude, Steve Hinton, Head of Ranger Services, gave an entertaining talk on Country Park entitled ‘Icky on the Lickey’s’.

Commemorative Trees – 5 April 2023
The Lickey Hills Society have planted two new fruit trees in the Community Orchard ahead of the coronation. Led by Ranger Penny Marriott, the apple trees are to celebrate the coming royal event – one a ‘May Queen’ and the second a ‘King Charles Pearmian’.

BBQ Fire – 5 April 2023
Alas, vandals have been spoiling our beautiful park once again. Despite the devastating fire last summer, individuals sneaked into the Park after dark and lit four disposable BBQs on one of the new picnic benches on the Visitor Centre patio. All that remained were ash, the four metal grills and smoking tarmac for the Rangers to clear up!
Please let the Rangers have any information about the incident.

Skywatch – 31 March 2023
A welcome return since Covid, the Visitor Centre hosted the well attended Birmingham Astronomical Society’s open evening. Members displayed telescopes allowing a glimpse of the moon between scudding clouds. Three talks were held in the School Room and an open competition was won by young Patrick Blunt from Kings Heath.

Country Park Litterpick – 25 March 2023
The first of this year’s two litter picks had volunteers meeting at the Visitor Centre under blue skies. Organised by The Lickey Hills Society, they were pleased to continue supporting the ongoing issue of carelessly discarded rubbish.

Mothers Day Concert – 19 March 2023
The Redditch Orchestra entertained families on a bright Sunday afternoon with popular classical music. The concert, held at the new Cofton Village Hall, started with oodles of cake to the sound of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ and concluded with Johann Strauss’s ‘Redetzky March’ with accompanying clapping putting André Rieu to shame!

Alvechurch Wassail – 4 February 2023
Organised by the local Morris Dancers ‘Aelfgythe’, the road at the Crown Inn on Withybed Lane hosted a lively beginning to this years Wassail. As darkness fell, guest groups, musicians and musketeers mingled with the growing crowd. Torch bearers led the way to The Weighbridge on the other side of the village with calls of “Wassail” by the Green Man had replies of “drink hael”.
The Alvechurch Choir entertained and the Green Man invited people to dress a tree with toast on its branches – a traditional way to attract friendly spirits.
A line of musketeers primed their long guns with muzzle-loaded powder filling the air with smoke and smells reminiscence of firework night as they briefly lit-up the night sky.

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Wassail – 14 January 2023
A record turnout for this very popular annual event held in the Community Orchard of 260 revellers. The King Bean and Queen Pea were crowned, a hullabaloo of noise to scare off the bad spirits, warm infused apple juice and a Mummer Play with evil overlords unjustly treating the common folk.

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Alvechurch Mummers & Morris – 1 January 2023
A great start to the new year as the usual faces give their all. Whether dressing-up and telling an hilariously animated story or applying make-up and bells as Morris Dancers. Held at The Crown in Withybed Lane and later at the Alvechurch Marina!