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My Wild Runs - Kings Norton Nature Reserve (1)

Posted: Thursday 30th April 2015 by Joe.P

Great tit photo by Amy LewisPhoto by Amy Lewis

Neil Hatton's third blog post in his series linking his running training with taking a look at urban wildlife sites moves to a site further in the south of Birmingham. Kings Norton Nature Reserve is a place we've long been involved with and was one of the first places to receive funding from the Nature Improvement Area.

Having been unable to run for the past three weeks, due to an injury so I was keen to finally get out and make the most of the fantastic weather. I felt that I wanted a change from the familiarity of Moseley Bog so I picked Kings Norton Nature Reserve from the multitude available on the Wildlife Trusts nature reserve finder.

Finding parking proved simple enough, my first time at this location meant I had yet to familiarise myself with the best parking. The beautiful weather recently meant that I would not have to contend with mud tracks or puddles. However, as it turned out at Kings Norton Nature Reserve this is not an issue, as there are well maintained Tarmac pathways running along side Wychall Reservoir.

The first wildlife I was able to identify was an enormous flock of great tits that had taken up residence in the trees all declaring their respective territories. As I ran along the excellent surface hearing such a large flock of one species of bird shows to me how important these ribbons of green are to the environment providing a space amongst a dense human population.

The reservoir is framed by willow trees all around, which are gradually turning green in the bright sunshine. I spot a pair of Canada geese perched on the Reservoir seemingly oblivious to the sweating jogger staring at them. Then I hear a coot calling from the reeds along the edge of the water; spotting nature is now getting harder as there is a great deal more undergrowth.

I exit the nature reserve at a road and unable to find the route I had briefly planned out I cross and enter an area of grassland. The variety of habitat offered by this green corridor keeps the running fresh and interesting, providing a break from the monotony of street running. The nature reserves are usually quieter than streets and the trees and bushes seem to filter out a lot of pollution.

I reach the edge of the common land and under strict orders to keep my running limited to twenty minutes I turn around and head back. I am surprised at how little wildlife I have seen considering the variety of environments but with everything in full bloom it is harder to identify what I see and have to rely more on what I hear.

The route I took is here.

Neil Hatton

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