A quick break in the A-Z challenge whilst I share a pictorial walk of today’s afternoon out at Moseley Bog Nature Reserve in Birmingham.
Every now and then, I need to get out into the woods. It helps me get into my setting for writing my novel. Quite literally. I see it as a form of loose research. Not conscious research, just a time to reflect and absorb details I may or may not include. I take photographs to use at a later date. And yes, sometimes I pretend I’m my characters. Today was just a free Easter outing, but I knew a little bit of soaking up the atmosphere will help me get some inspiration back for kick-starting some writing next week.
Anyhow, as I say today we visited Moseley Bog.
Moseley Bog (known as The Dell when I was growing up) was cited by JRR Tolkien as one of the places of inspiration for the forests in The Lord of the Rings, but although the site is a little mecca for Tolkien fans, it is so much more than a cultural heritage site. It is a local nature reserve slap bang in suburbia, but could easily have been developed into housing had it not been for the efforts of Joy Fifer and her campaign to keep the area as woodland. Thankfully her work from 1980 onwards has helped to preserve the bog as a nature reserve.
In 2010 a lottery grant saw a project to restore and improve the site further in order to enhance access and encourage more visitors and is what you will see in the pictures here today.
I grew up just a mile from here, (and even now only live about 9 miles away), and actually used to be taken to the playing fields once a week for PE lessons when I was at primary school. Yet I have never, until today, visited the reserve. When I was growing up, I imagine the site was not so accessible, and instead outings were to Swanshurst Park just a stones throw from The Dell.
Anyway, it was a lovely afternoon out with some glorious Spring sunshine. Of course we took our pretend swords…I mean what else does one do when treading in Tolkien’s footsteps?
It is hard to believe this is all slap bang in the centre of England’s second city, yet here it is. I may not have visited once in thirty-nine years, but I’ll be visiting plenty more times from now on.