Brownhills Canoe and Outdoor Centre: Just what on earth is going on?


The Canoe and Outdoor Centre is very popular, and is the focal point of activities during the Brownhills Canal Festival. Brownhillians are justifiably proud of this great amenity at the heart of the community.

Whilst plodding around Facebook this evening, something troubling came to my attention concerning the Brownhills Canoe and Outdoor Centre: the people who were running it appear to have pulled out.

Brownhills Canoe Centre opened a few years ago, and has been one of the facilities Brownhills has been rightly proud of. It has been a popular, well used waterside amenity, overseen by Brownhills Community Association.

The Facebook page for the centre says the following:

We provide watersports in the heart of Brownhills for groups & individuals. Ranging from taster/experience sessions to qualification courses Our aim is Adventurous Learning, In the Heart of Brownhills.

Available to all to ENJOY.

Brownhills is managed by Bear Creek Adventure Ltd and Edgbaston Watersports on behalf of Brownhills Community Association.

It was therefore with some degree of surprise and shock that today, I noted on the centre’s Facebook page, the following announcement:

Untitled 4

Oh dear, all is not well. Posted on the Brownhills Outdoor Centre Facebook page on 7th March 2013.

Dear All

Unfortunately due to contractual difficulties Bear Creek Adventure Ltd & Edgbaston Watersports have withdrawn from Brownhills Canoe Centre.

We however are able to offer activities from our base at Edgbaston Reservoir which is about half hour drive from the Brownhills area.

Please contact us on 0121 454 1997 or  for more information.

Thank you to everyone for your support.

The relationship between Bear Creek Adventure Ltd., Edgbaston Watersports and Brownhills Community Association doesn’t seem to have lasted long. Back on January 22, they announced that the Brownhills centre was under new management:


The original Bear Creek takeover press release, posted on Facebook on 22nd January 2013. Click for a larger version.

Incorporating Brownhills Outdoor Centre

To All Customers,


Bear Creek Adventure Ltd & Edgbaston Watersports are pleased to announce that they are expanding their facilities with the acquisition of Brownhills Outdoor Centre (Brownhills Canoe & Outdoor Centre).

Bear Creek Adventure Ltd & Edgbaston Watersports are a limited not-for-profit company that have been offering providing activities and courses since 1999 and all the staff are very excited to get to know the local community and surrounding area. Some of the existing staff team will be transferring from Bear Creek Adventure Ltd & Edgbaston Watersports to Brownhills Outdoor Centre and are excited with this opportunity to offer their wealth of knowledge and experience to new and existing customers in the areas of Walsall, South Staffordshire, Wolverhampton and the Black Country.

We will be offering an exciting range of watersports and dry-land activities from our central Brownhills premises that are perfect for enrichment days, team building days, GCSE PE & BTEC Programmes for schools and groups nearby. We work with youth organisations, holiday schemes, kids clubs, corporate groups, family & friends groups, birthday parties & private lessons & individuals.

All bookings & administration for Brownhills Outdoor Centre will be organised by our head office at Bear Creek Adventure Ltd, located at Edgbaston Reservoir, to ensure we provide the same quality service from start to finish that our existing customers at Edgbaston Watersports receive.

Should you have any queries or wish for a member of the team to visit your organisation to discuss your requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regard,

Jacqui Dutton

Company Director of Bear Creek Adventure Ltd.

The website now points to the site for Edgbaston, and there seems no mention of Brownhills there that I can find. There may be a perfectly genuine reason for that, but it seems somewhat disingenuous to me. Just to state this clearly: people looking for the Brownhills Outdoor Centre are now diverted to a website advertising Edgbaston instead.

I have no idea what has gone on here, but I think the centre users and members of the wider Brownhills community need some kind of explanation from Brownhills Community Association as to what has gone wrong, and what the intended way forward actually is. The Brownhills Community Association website says nothing on the matter whatsoever.

It is important that the association make a statement regarding the security and continued operation of Brownhills Canoe and Outdoor Centre, and explain clearly what the hell has gone so wrong.

This is very worrying indeed.


Brownhills needs to know that kids like these can continue to enjoy the canal and sheer joy of paddling their own canoe.

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5 Responses to Brownhills Canoe and Outdoor Centre: Just what on earth is going on?

  1. Clive says:

    I do hope this facility for the local people does not fade away! its nice to see the cut being used and people enjoying the local enviroment.

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