Saturday, 9 February 2013

Birmingham Nature Centre

Birmingham Nature Centre on the Pershore Road was opened in 1974. It was originally called the Birmingham Natural History Museum. The entrance is off the main Pershore Road and is easily accessible from the city centre by the 45 or 47 buses, or the 61 and 63 which stop on the Bristol Road.

The land here was once a fulling mill, known as Pebble Mill, which gave its name to the BBC buildings that once stood here.

The Nature Centre is now home to many animals, including guinea pigs, deer, rheas, lynxes and all manner of reptiles. Apparently there used to be elephants here! And the porcupines are kept in the old fish pond. It’s a weird little place – much loved, quite dated, but still a good way to spend an afternoon before wandering off up to Cannon Hill Park or back along the river towards Stirchley.

The Bournbrook flows through the Nature Centre on its way to the Rea.

The Birmingham Council website has a page of updates for the Nature Centre with news of breeding programmes etc. I can’t seem to find much information with regards to the history of this building or the previous mill, which is a shame!


 Pictures of alive animals were taken by my sister, all the rest were by me.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Glacial Erratic; University of Birmingham

I did it! I found another one! I knew there was a glacial erratic somewhere on the University of Birmingham main Edgbaston campus, but I was never exactly sure where, and there has been a lot of work on campus with the construction of the Bramall Music Hall.

A few weeks ago, a friend and myself walked under the Bramall down a new flight of steps, and there it was! A huge boulder, perched on some grass. I will admit, I got very excited – but I am a geology student.

Note Michael for scale ;-)

This BBC page called ‘Walk Through Time’ alludes to the boulder being near the Physics building, but it isn’t exact.

The BCGS Geology Matters website has an interesting article on the origin of these huge boulders – I had always assumed that they were from the last ice age, but maybe they are even older deposits?