May 19th – The Swag, as it’s commonly known locally, is part of the wetland band that occupies the hollow between Shire Oak Hill and Pelsall. A wet area for centuries, it stretches for miles, from the common to the north, across Clayhanger Marsh, Jockey Meadows and Stubbers Green, into the Goscote Valley. Pictured looking north from the old railway line parallel to Pelsall Road, it’s easy to see the very old spoil heaps from bell pitting in the area two centuries ago.

Nowadays, they are a peaceful, post industrial wildlife haven, as is the trackbed I stand on to capture this odd little sunset. Turning around, I see an old dog fox trotting off into the distance. This is both his territory and mine, and we are familiars. No doubt having watched my approach, he’s content that everything is in order and is away on his rounds.

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