Clayhanger Summer Litter Pick this Sunday afternoon!

Help Clayhanger look it’s best for summer!

I see from the excellent Madwblog that there’s a Summer litter pick event going on in Clayhanger this Sunday afternoon (Sunday 25th June 2017) from 3:00pm until 5:00pm and all are welcome – kit and gloves provided!

This is being run by local community volunteers with the support of Walsall Council for the benefit of the community, so it’ll be a worthwhile event to get involved with and help improve the local environment!

Litter pick event covering as much of Clayhanger as possible.

All welcome for as much time as you can give. 10 minutes can make a huge difference to the appearance of the village and is so important for the rich wildelife we enjoy here in Clayhanger.

Make it part of your #30dayswild challenge or your pledge for #volunteerweek!

Fully supported by Walsall Council. Litter pickers and bags provided.

You can check out the event’s Facebook page here.

The previous events have been a huge success, so let’s see if we can make this one even better!

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Meet your local coppers this Saturday in Pelsall

Just walking’ the dog. Image from Walsall Police.

I received notice of this great event from Walsall Police via the excellent WMNow service a few days ago, advertising a pop-up meet the police event this Saturday, 24th June 2017 at Pelsall Library from 10am until 12 noon where you can meet your local policing team and get help, crime prevention and public safety advice.

Since Pelsall and Brownhills share the same policing team, if you couldn’t make it to last Friday’s event at Tesco Brownhills, this could be a good chance to catch up instead.

I must say, it’s good to see the local police making efforts again to reach out to the public. Long overdue.

Also, if you haven’t signed up for WMNow, please do – it’s free and you can select to receive alerts on all kinds of local issues. It’s a fine thing.

Posted in Brownhills stuff, Environment, Events, Fun stuff to see and do, Interesting photos, Local Blogs, Local media, News, planning, Reader enquiries, Shared media, Social Media, Spotted whilst browsing the web, Walsall community, Walsall Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Walsall Wood Remembrance Parade: An important appeal

Walsall Wood Remembrance Parade and Service are always well attended. Image from the Parade Appeal Facebook page.

Here’s a very important appeal from Lee Bragginton of the 1st Walsall Wood Scout Group, who like all other folks involved with local Remembrance pParades, is appealing for help and donations so the Walsall Wood Parade can take place this year.

Options are available for individual donations online or by post, and Lee is also interested in any businesses locally who may be able to assist with sponsorship or other means.

Walsall Wood is unique in the area in being the only afternoon parade and one of the few that has no associated British Legion help.

The rights and wrongs of the current situation have been gone over many times, but we are where we are and donations are required. For my take on this situation, see this post and those linked from it.

Lee said:


Like other parades in the Walsall Borough, Walsall Wood parade needs to raise funds in order to continue in it’s traditional format.

Unlike other parades however, we have no Royal British Legion involvement in our parade and it is organised and funded by the youth organisations themselves.

We welcome any contact from any local businesses, organisations and individuals who may be willing to support our cause in any way.

See details of how to help below.

We will be holding a joint youth organisation fundraising car wash later in the year towards the parade.  Details will follow.

Lee Bragginton

Group Scout Leader
1St Walsall Wood Scout Group

It’s not a huge event, but small, intimate and very community focused. . Image from the Parade Appeal Facebook page.

Walsall Wood Remembrance Parade needs your support to continue!

Our parade only receives a small contribution from Walsall Council in order for our parade to take place; we rely on donations in order to pay for this event to take place for the benefit of the youth and other members of our local community.

You can donate on our MyDonate page here.

You can also keep updated on our Facebook page here.

If you prefer, postal donations can be made using the form available here (also at the foot of this post).

Contact Lee Braggibnton: or call on 0844 414 2438

38th Walsall (1st Walsall Wood) Scout Group; Registered charity 1133604. C/0 50 Longacres, Hednesford, Cannock, WS121LD

You can print this form out and use for postal donations – please send to 38th Walsall (1st Walsall Wood) Scout Group, C/0 50 Longacres, Hednesford, Cannock, WS121LD

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Tragedy at local lake as boy drowns

Ryders Mere- scene for a tragedy. Archive photo from 365daysofbiking.

I’m very sad to relay the news that yesterday evening (Tuesday 20th June 2017), a local boy tragically lost his life after entering Ryders Mere, a large pool in the nature reserve situated between Pelsall and Clayhanger.

My sympathies and those of the blog community are extended to the family and friends of the lad concerned – this is a terrible tragedy, the sadness of which I cannot imagine.

This kind of incident occurs all too often in hot spells as folk swim in pools and reservoirs, often unaware of how cold and difficult such waters can be, even during hot weather.

Please warn your children about this hazard: open, natural water in places like this, Chasewater and old quarries and so forth is often cold, deep and fraught with hazards. Swimming in these places is very hazardous.

West Midlands Ambulance Service issued the following statement:

Tuesday 20th June 2017 – 9.15pm – Murray MacGregor.

A teenager has died after an incident at a lake in the Pelsall area of the Black Country.

West Midlands Ambulance Service was called along with West Midlands Fire and Police colleagues to the lake beyond Ryders Hayes Lane at 6.50pm this evening (Tuesday) to reports that a boy had gone into the water and not resurfaced.

An ambulance, a paramedic officer, the Hazardous Area Response Team who have a water rescue capability, the Midlands Air Ambulance from Strensham and the MERIT trauma doctor were sent to the scene.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “While staff on the ground searched the area, both the air ambulance and a police helicopter searched the lake from the air.

“Tragically, the boy was later recovered from the water and was confirmed dead at the scene.

“Although it is very hot at the moment, the dangers of going into open water cannot be underestimated.”

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Hot spell causes bloom of blue-green algae at Chasewater


The algae is a natural occurrence, but can be deadly for dogs and very unpleasant for humans. 

This is an important one for dog-walkers and users of Chasewater in general who may let dogs swim in the water – blue green algae has once more been found in the lake, and Staffordshire County Council yesterday (19th June 2017) issued a warning to park users.

While the naturally occurring algae is present, people are warned not to let their dogs swim in the water, and not to bathe there (although that’s never recommended) – signs have again been put up warning of the hazard.

It would probably be wise to be mindful of this hazard if your dog likes a swim at any local open water, particularly the pools on CLayhanger and Brownhills Common and Ryders Mere.

For those wondering about the Ironman competition on Sunday, Staffordshire County Council said the following:

A test was taken by Ironman on Saturday and they had the all clear, however, we have been monitoring the situation at Chasewater, and this is a fast growing single celled plant that can emerge in a matter of hours. We will keep monitoring the situation

Staffordshire County Council also said:

Chasewater visitors advised on blue-green algae

Visitors to Chasewater are being advised not to take a dip or let their pets go in the water as a purely precautionary measure.
A small amount of suspected blue-green algae blooms have again appeared on the lake, and ecologists are asking people to follow advice on posters at the site while testing continues.

Blue-green algae is a common form of bacteria that occurs naturally in inland waters, estuaries and the sea. Blooms usually form in shallow water that is subject to strong sunlight, and are a blue/green colour.

If the blue-green blooms are swallowed, they can cause stomach upsets in humans and more serious illnesses in pets.

As the suspected algae blooms are only in small areas around the circumference of the lake, this means the sailing, water-skiing and Wakelake activities are unaffected.

County Councillor Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “We have tested the water we suspect has blue-green algae blooms in it, but we won’t have these test results until sometime next week. Therefore, we think it’s best to let visitors to the site know we suspect its blue-green algae so they can take sensible precautions. It’s fairly common and tends to come and go itself, and we suspect the growth is likely just a natural result of the warmer weather we’ve had.

“Chasewater is not a swimming lake and people shouldn’t be diving in for a swim at any time, but it does get popular when the weather is hot like it is currently. The algae will only cause upset if it is ingested, so we’re just advising people not to swim or let their pets swim in water where algae blooms obviously present.”

Chasewater rangers will continually be monitoring the situation, and signs will be taken down at the site once the all-clear is given.

The algae is a natural occurrence, common in outdoor waters at this time of year. The Environment Agency explains this organic growth:

Blue-green algae naturally occur in inland waters, estuaries and the sea. Blooms can form when their numbers become excessive.

There’s a wide range of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). In fresh waters, they’re suspended within the water or attached to rocks and other surfaces. They include single- celled species and others whose cells are arranged in colonies and filaments. It’s difficult to see individual cells, colonies and filaments, but you usually can when they’re concentrated into clumps. These clumps can look like green flakes, greenish bundles or brownish dots.

Where high levels of phosphorus exist, and other requirements for growth are met – for example, adequate light, mixing, flow and temperature – then the numbers of blue- green algae can increase. Increased periods of growth are called blooms.

Blooms can have a negative effect on the appearance, quality and use of the water. It may become green, blue-green or greenish- brown and several species can produce musty, earthy or grassy odours. Blooms can also cause foaming on the shoreline – sometimes confused with sewage pollution.

During a bloom, the water also becomes less clear, blocking sunlight and stopping plants in the water from growing.

There’s nothing that can practically be done to counter this problem in the water, and caution is advised until the danger passes.

Blue-Green algae can be quite toxic to humans upon ingestion, and can be deadly to dogs. If your pet enjoys a swim, Chasewater should be avoided for the foreseeable future, and it’s definitely not good for human swimming (although it’s not for casual swimming at the best of times!)

If you suspect your dog has been made ill by algal poisoning, there’s a help guide here. for people concerned about wake boarding or other Chasewater based waterspouts, best contact the relevant club or operator for guidance.

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Incidents last night in Brownhills…

Brownhills High Street – archive picture from 365daysofbiking.

Hi folks, just a heads-up if I may about some rumours circulating about an additional incident that took place in Brownhills High Street yesterday evening (Saturday, 17th June 2017), at around the same time as the collision on Pelsall Road reported earlier.

I have made enquiries, and there was indeed an incident on the High Street which police and emergency services attended. This incident was isolated, those involved are known and injuries sustained were not life-threatening.

Update 1:38pm from West Midlands Police Corporate Communications:

We were called to an incident in the High Street, Brownhills just after 9.30pm where a young woman sustained a knife wound to her arm. She was taken to hospital for treatment. This was a targeted attack as the offender is known to the victim.

There was a two car collision reported at 10pm on Pelsall Road at the junction with Clayhanger Lane which may be linked, but is yet to be confirmed, where one driver made off from the scene. One of two women in the other vehicle was taken to hospital.

Deb Edmonds
News Producer
Corporate Communications (Press Office)
West Midlands Police

There was, I am assured, no threat to the general public, and this remains the case.

I provide this information in good faith and good authority, and do so in the hope of countering some of the more extravagant rumour circulating. With the community understandably a bit sensitive and nervous at the moment, it will always be by duty to try and get facts out where I can to allay fears.

If you have any information about either incident, please do contact your local policing team by calling 101 or any of the methods listed here.

I would ask, as always, that any discussions on social media are responsible, not speculative and don’t name anyone involved. Remember that such actions can and do result in the collapse of criminal proceedings and denial of justice, so think on please.

This post is for information only and discussion is neither invited nor welcome. I will post more information immediately should it become available. Thanks.

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A great new cake stop in the heart of Staffordshire with a bit of Brownhills within!

Lovely cake and drinks, and nice china too… image from the Bearded Been Facebook Page.

Since it’s such a nice day, and having tried the place out myself in the last few days I’d like to give a shout out and a little plug to a Brownhills lad’s new coffee enterprise at a popular Staffordshire craft centre and working farm – Amerton.

Nathan Le Moine, son of long term friend of the blog Julie and all round top bloke has just opened a great coffee shop there called the Bearded Bean. It’s where I was headed last Sunday until my bike decided to give up the ghost…

Located at Amerton Farm, just off the A51 towards Stowe by Chartley, I’d not been to the place in a very long time, and was pleasantly surprised with the facilities there – farm shop, play barn, farm animals, miniature railway, craft shops etc – and Nathan’s great Bearded Bean coffee stop.

You can check out the Bearded Bean’s Facebook page here.

The tea and cake were excellent, service prompt and attentive and exceedingly polite. This will become a regular cake stop on my travels from now on and I commend it to you all.

Hi Bob

I hope you are well! I’m just wondering if you could maybe let people know about a new business venture of mine. I’ve opened a coffee shop at Amerton Farm (near Stafford) and sell barista coffee, teas, milkshakes and smoothies.

Most of my stuff is made using Fairtrade, organic or local products (or a combination of the three).

I have had some great comments from people so far and just need to get the word out a bit more. It may be worth mentioning that next door is a brand new play barn (they’ve spent lots on it so it is pretty impressive!) – but its a great place to come for just a cuppa or to bring the kids and grandkids!


I can’t think of a better place to visit on such a lovely sunny day – and at weekends they’re open until 5pm so why not get out there and give it a go?

One of the many nice things about Amerton is there are swallows nesting in the buildings, and their antics are a joy to watch!

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