The pools are the focus of the site, being the largest area of open water in Dudley. The pools are an important site for migrating and over-wintering waterfowl. Ducks, Shoveler and Gadwall are also attracted to the watery site. Rare visitors include some breeding birds, like the Mute Swan and Great Crested Glebe, utilising the bushy forestry areas that line the edges of the pools for nesting.
The smaller ponds north of the pools are also home to an abundance of wildlife, toads, frogs, insects and newts. The pools house the largest numbers of the Great Crested Newt in the U.K, although sadly on the decline in recent years.
The land is surrounded by shrubbery, mosaic scrub and pioneer vegetation. This great richness has been developed upon the abandoned wastelands left from the coal and iron industries. The areas have some tarmac and un-managed paths (gravel/dirt tracks) with a selection of seating benches. The pools are the focus of outstanding scenery, they have water based bird resting platforms and raised land based feeder platforms. So the area is idea for bird watching.
The nearby Stourbridge canal has strong links the Stourbridge glass making industry. The coal measures in the area comprised a series of thick beds of fine fireclay and coal. Good quality fireclay was found to be particularly abundant in this part of the coalfield and is the prime reason the glass industry settled here. Fireclay was an essential material for making bricks suitable for lining furnaces and glass kilns which can resist high melting temperatures and aggressive chemistry of molten glass.
There is a new Stourbridge Canal & Glass Quarter Heritage Trail leaflet that can be downloaded at www.glassquarter.org.uk and an accompanying video which can be viewed at www.youtube.com/user/dudleymbc and click on Heritage.
There are no visitor centre, café or toilets at the site so plan your visit with this in mind. Alternative public toilet facilities can be found at The Dell Stadium in Pensnett approximately 0.5 miles away open 9am to 4pm or in Dudley Town Centre at Castle Street, Dudley, opposite Dudley Bus Station about 2.5 miles away.
For more information, including copies of leaflets, details about events and guided walks call +44 (0) 1384 812780 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm).
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Geosite 019 Red House Glass Cone is a visitor attraction offering glassblowing demonstrations at weekends and during school holidays, a gift shop, craft studios to explore and a coffee house on site. Call +44 (0) 1384 812750. Visit www.dudley.gov.uk/see-and-do/museums
Geosite 001 Dudley Museum at The Archives is the Geopark headquarters where you can find information on the aspiring Black Country Global Geopark. There are toilet facilities here which is about 3 miles away from the nature reserve. Visit www.dudley.gov.uk/see-and-do/museums
Geosite 010 Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust. Take a trip into the underground limestone mines. Call +44 (0) 121 557 6265. www.dudleycanaltrust.org.uk
Geosite 017 Dudley Zoological Gardens. Explore the 11th century castle and zoo. Call +44 (0) 1384 215313. www.dudleyzoo.org.uk