September 26th – Winging back along the canal to Brownhills, I took another scout along the fringes of Clayhanger Common. Locals will know that 40 years ago, the was a benighted site of contaminated land used as a refuse tip. Careful and brave reclamation in the early 1980s saw the lad reclaimed and planted, and this is the result. Even with autumn on their heels, still the thistle, bindweed and meadow cranesbill are flowering strongly, teasels stand tall and ripe, and the shiny black gloss of elderberries hang heavy on the boughs. This is such a long way from how this land was, and something everyone in Brownhills should cherish and be proud of.

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