Kingfisher Country Park
|Kingfisher Country Park|
Meriden Park lake, within Kingfisher Country Park, which flows into the River Cole
|Area||1,000 acres (4.0 km2) approx.|
Kingfisher Country Park is a country park in Britain. It is situated in South Birmingham, West Midlands. Initially designated as Project Kingfisher by Birmingham City Council, the park was formally declared a country park in July 2004. The country park is located along an 11km stretch of the River Cole from Small Heath (Birmingham) to Chelmsley Wood (Solihull) at the M6 motorway. It is a Local Nature Reserve.
The overall aim of the project was to preserve and care for the River Cole valley. The project was inaugurated in 1985.
- English Nature
- The Environment Agency
- Warwickshire Wildlife Trust
- Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country
The country park has an area of around 1,000 acres (4.0 km2)  and crosses the border between Birmingham and the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull. Within the original project, and now surrounding the country park, are several local nature reserves. These include Yorks Wood which was declared a local nature reserve by Solihull MBC in the 1990s after purchasing it in the 1980s. Other nature reserves include Babbs Mill Lake and Alcott Wood. Cole Bank, Smiths Wood, Elmdon Nature Park and Elmdon Coppice are proposed local nature reserves.
Flowing through the country park is the River Cole which forms the River Cole Valley. The valley is home to different wildlife habitats and different types of landscape. The area contains a number of artificial lakes surrounded by plants ranging from grassland, wetland and woodland which dates back hundreds of years. Babbs Mill Lake in Shard End was dug to be a balancing feature in times of flooding at the river. Shard End Lake was created as a result of an old quarry being filled with water.
The area is open to cyclists and walkers who can walk along the river towards other nearby country parks such as Shire Country Park and also walk to other places such as the Grand Union Canal, Coleshill, Kingshurst Brook, Meriden Park and Sheldon Country Park.
Animals seen along the river include herons, kingfishers (note the project name), water voles and mink. In the ponds created in Shard End, many invertebrates have nested as well as many amphibians. Skylarks have been seen around the course grassland and they have bred successfully for a number of years.
- "Kingfisher". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Map of Kingfisher". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Native Woodland Plan NWP 015/207" (pdf). Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
- "Kingfisher Country Park". Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 2007-12-22.