Shire Country Park 5km Walk Route
- Start at Sarehole Mill, cross the Cole Bank Road and join the John Morris Jones Walkway.
Now one of Birmingham’s last two working watermills. There has been a mill on the site since before 1542; the current buildings date back to the 18th century.
- Pass Colebank Playing Fields on the right.
In summer, common speedwell and lady’s smock carpet the field edges, if left uncut.
- Follow the River Cole on left.
Rangers carry out habitat management along the valley; the laid hedge provides cover for nesting wrens and dunnocks. Also, kingfishers can be seen as they hunt for fish along the meandering river.
- At the end of the walkway, cross Brook Lane and walk along Coleside Avenue to Four Arches Bridge (on left) and The Dingles.
- Bear right past the Four Arches Bridge and see the sign to Trittiford Mill Pool. Go through the gateway, then turn left over the concrete bridge, keep river on left, then go over wider whirl hole bridge and then turn right on to the field.
- Walk along the grass pathway, keeping the River Cole on right and the undulating medieval ridge and furrow on the left, then see sculpture, The Throne of Creation by Graham Jones, on the left.
Here are thickets of willow and hawthorn and birds include thrush and redwing. In places the grass is left to grow, and together with tree planting, provides a habitat for wildflowers and insects, birds and mammals.
- Out of the park, cross Highfield Road and follow pathway to main entrance of Trittiford Park and the Mill Pool, which used to serve Trittiford Mill.
Look out for great crested grebes and heron. Four species of bats are known to use the pool to hunt for insects.
- Take path to the right of the pool and, at its end, bear left over the iron footbridge. Carry on following the pathway around the pool. The River Cole runs along the right of the pool.
- Cross the grass and pass through the gap in the fence to take a short-cut out of the park.
- Cross Highfield Road, but bear left into Trittiford Road and take the entrance on the right into The Dingles, further up by the bus stops.
- You re-enter The Dingles with the Chinn Brook flowing on right, parallel to the River Cole for several hundred yards. Walk along the grass path on the left hand side of the meadow. Common spotted orchids grow here in early summer.
- At the end of the meadow, bear right on pathway, then retrace your steps to the left back to Four Arches Bridge. From here you can make your way back along the John Morris Jones Walkway and return to Sarehole Mill.