Sutton Park in Birmingham sparkles under an eiderdown of snow
7th Jan 2010
They say that familiarity breeds contempt, and sometimes one overlooks gems which exist on your doorstep.
These comments could easily be levelled at Sutton Park, the little recognised diamond in Royal Sutton Coldfield's crown. Sutton Park is a monster of an urban public open space, extending for over 2,400 acres and contains seven lakes, two golf courses and a huge quantity of unspoilt ancient woodland. All this within a 12 mile perimiter which girdles Europe's largest urban park, a public space since King Henry VIII gifted it to the town in 1528.
We live within 400 yards of the park's western edge, and it is a joy to wander along is miles of trails and paths. The seasons come and go, as do it's 2m visitors who seem to be swallowed up in it's vast acreage with barely a tell tale trace of their passing.
Today it was different. Today the area was the recipient of about eight inches of snow which fell on frozen ground, turning the ancient park into a sparkling winter wonderland. Suddenly the place was alive with people unable to get into work, hundreds of children emerged with sledges old and new, gleefully sliding down every possible hill with their shreiks of delight carrying in the frigid air.
I took the opportunity to take a walk around Longmoor Pool during my lunch hour and captured these scenes of Sutton Park at its gleaming best.
In a weeks time the snow will be gone, as will the thousands of footprints the crowds have left behind. But today was Sutton Park's finest hour and it was hard to believe that I live so close to an area of such beauty.
So next time you think of Birmingham remember Sutton Park, the diamond studded tiara which sits atop a truly great city.