|Bilbrook shown within Staffordshire|
|Area||1,396 km2 (539 sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||West Midlands|
Bilbrook is a village in the South Staffordshire district of Staffordshire, England. It is situated close to the border of the West Midlands, just outside Wolverhampton. Bilbrook is often overshadowed by the adjacent Codsall village but has its own separate identity. The village gets its name from billers (an old word for watercress), which grew in the local Moat Brook until recent times. The Moat Brook rises in Chillington Estate and Oaken Village, it runs into the River Penk in Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve. The river continues, where it joins the River Sow, which joins the River Trent which joins the River Humber and eventually flows into the North Sea from the Humber Estuary, near Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
Prior to the 1850s Bilbrook was a small farming village composed mainly of the Estate of Bilbrook Manor, with its constituent farm workers cottages. The original village green was situated to the north of the existing green at the junction of Bilbrook Road and Joeys Lane, and was the location that the founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley preached in 1745.
Education and amenities
Bilbrook has a first school (Lane Green), a middle school (Bilbrook Middle) and a church (Holy Cross). Other features include The Woodman Inn public house and two rows of shops including One Stop Shop and Budgens supermarkets. Bilbrook's village green includes a war memorial, and a carved oak arch adorned with historical information about the local area. It has a yearly street fair on Easter Monday in the road outside the Church and is generally considered a safe place to live.
Bilbrook has a thriving community football club called Bilbrook Junior FC, which was founded in 1978 with the objective of providing local youngsters with the opportunity to enjoy playing football both in training and competitive matches, the club catering for 300 boys and girls from under 7s to under 18s. In December 2005 the club achieved "The FA Charter Standards Community Club" award. The club, based on Pendeford Lane with pitches off Wobaston Road in nearby Pendeford, has recently been told to vacate its Wobaston Road pitches as the land is needed as part of the i54 business park project.
The Friends of Bilbrook
The Friends of Bilbrook was formed in 2011 by local residents who wanted to improve the open, green spaces in their village. Some of their many projects have included the fund raising and construction of a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) on the Twentyman's Playing Fields. They have also planted 1200 trees in a community wood called the Jubilee Wood which was planted to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Recently they formed a partnership with Vinci Construction and Jaguar Land Rover for a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project which included the installation of a wheelchair access gate, seating benches and information boards in the wood. They host local businesses for volunteer days carrying out maintenance and improvement works in the wood. In an annual project with Bilbrook Codsall Scouts they construct bird nesting boxes, bat roosting boxes and insect hotels. The wood is now brimming with wildlife including: bank vole, field vole, common shrew, wood mouse, grass snake, barn owl, tawny owl, kestrel, kingfisher, noctule bat, soprano and common pipistrelle bat. Bordering the Jubilee Wood to the North East is the Moat Brook. The group regularly carry out water health monitoring activities and record all their results through Waterside Care and the Environment Agency.
The group holds regular litter picks in the village as well as hosting community fundraising evenings such as skittles, quizzes and barn dances. They have planted thousands of bulbs along the road verges and recently renovated the dilapidated signs at Bilbrook Railway Station in a partnership project with Bilbrook Middle School and London Midland Railways.
Children and education are very much at the heart of what the Friends of Bilbrook do and they try to include the local schools wherever possible. Pupils from Lane Green and Bilbrook Middle Schools regularly visit the jubilee Wood for outdoor education sessions including pond dipping, tree recognition, bug hunts and pooh stick competitions. The school children were also present during the opening of humane mammal traps as part of a small mammal survey undertaken by South Staffordshire College at Rodbaston.
The Friends of Bilbrook are a not-for-profit, constituted group with a committee who hold regular meetings and an Annual General Meeting. It is also affiliated to South Staffordshire District Council.
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- "How we have served your Parish" (PDF). Bilbrook Parish Council News - Spring 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- "Fears for future as club is told to vacate pitches". Express & Star. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
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