During October we're documenting Megan Henebury's walk along the route of the River Rea, walking in the river itself as much as possible. Pete is following her with a camera and Megan will be producing a film in the new year. All Walkspace posts on this project are here.
Day two of Megan's intra-river walk started well, working through Balaam's Wood in Rubery ending at this delightful bridge, water-falling into a surprisingly deep pool.
But then it all went a bit wrong. Megan went through a tunnel which took the river away from any and all public paths and Pete was not able to join her again. Phone battery issues multiplied the problems and we decided to call it a day around Bournville college.
For day three we were a lot more prepared, and confident that the footpath would follow the river nicely from Longbridge to Kings Norton.
The river along this section seemed more managed yet still fairly wild. We came across a number of remains of mills and places where the river had been co-opted by early industry, a history that was almost invisible from the footpaths.
We also started to see the current river management infrastructure – mysterious looking flood-prevention overflows and pumping stations around the Wychall reservoir.
And we also saw a lot of people. These paths are a beaten track, and not just by dog walkers and cyclings. The river still connects the city up.
We made it to Kings Norton Park, nearly at our home bases in Stirchley. Now we're just waiting for a dry day that doesn't follow heavy rain (which swells the river above Megan's waders), something that's become less common as we move into British Winter Time.