Warley Woods is a 40-hectare community park located on Lightwoods Hill in Smethwick. Located three miles from the centre of Birmingham and combining a mixture of open meadow, woodland and a 9 hole golf course, it has Grade II status with English Heritage and areas of the park are designated as a site for Nature Conservation.
The woods are predominantly a mixture of beech and oak trees, combined with sweet chestnut, ash, sycamore, yew, pine, alder and lime and provide a safe haven for a range of wildlife, and with such a large area of open land, pavilion, café, car park and a children’s play area, it’s the perfect place to spend the day with the family.
Originating as private parkland for the Galton family and designed by Humphrey Repton in 1754, a gothic mansion was built on the site in 1819, remaining until 1957 when it was demolished. It is known as the People’s Park – a title given to it during the official opening in 1906 by Alexander Chance after it had been saved from being developed into housing. Chance, of the famous firm of Smethwick glass-makers stated: “I want it to be known as the People’s Park, for there never was a park in the Midlands that was paid for directly by the money of the people.” Indeed, while the park and golf course are managed by the Warley Woods Community Trust after being backed by Heritage Lottery Fund, it relies heavily on the support and work of local people and hundreds of volunteers to maintain the facilities.
There are numerous activities and events that take place at Warley Woods throughout the year, including the annual Picnic in the Park that hosts a mini-festival with a stage and live bands. For more information, visit here: www.warleywoods.org.uk/Event/calendar-of-events-2019
For an interesting and fun activity for children at any time of year, there are guides available online to identify species of trees, birds and wildlife throughout the woods – there can be found by visiting here: www.warleywoods.org.uk/Pages/Category/leaflets
Warley Woods Park and woodland is open 365 days a year. The golf course and café are closed only on Christmas Day.