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Situated on the western edge of Coventry, Allesley is adjacent to the very pleasant Warwickshire countryside forming the Meriden Gap. This acts as a vital green buffer keeping apart the urban sprawl of the industrial cities of Birmingham and Coventry.

Consisting of slightly undulating mixed farmland it is a countryside of many fields, hedgerows, woodlands separated by numerous roads and of course typical English country lanes.
The nearest villages are Corley, Fillongley, Meriden, and Berkswell.

A number of country lanes radiate out from Allesley, sometimes producing ideal routes for cyclists and walkers (and border collies).

But why do some people go out of their way to desecrate such lovely natural places.

Country lane near Allesley
Winter's Day in Clay lane

The endless mosaic of pasture fields and arable land divided by ancient natural hedgerows is all around the visitor here. The hedgerow trees, many several hundred years old, are mainly oak and ash which, being deciduous, lose their leaves every winter to stand like "tree skeletons".


Early Spring colour showing in the oak trees

The whole district was once part of the large Forest Of Arden and many small pockets of woodland remain. Much consists of natural English species but some of it is now taken over by commercially planted foreign conifers.
At the end of Clay Lane is one tiny example.

Elkin Wood

A few years ago it was a dark and forboding untidy tangle of closely packed tall, thin trunked conifers, many dead and leaning on their neighbours. Then the Woodland Trust charity stepped in, and helped by donations from local people, purchased the little wood. Now slowly Elkin Wood is being improved and opened up for people to enjoy.

Elkin Wood

Dark neglected woodland
Elkin Wood

New paths and cleared areas

Crisscrossed by ancient rights of way the Meriden Gap provides a huge choice of routes and scenery for the rambler. All photographs were taken from a Public Footpath or road.

The coming of Spring provides some new colours after the dreary winter.

Private Undisturbed Woodland

Few "bluebell woods" remain now so we are lucky in having several to see on our walks. This amazing solid carpet of blue extends throughout the whole wood.

( Click on thumbnails for larger photographs)
Link to larger photograph   Link to larger photograph

At the same time of the year a lovely contrast can sometimes be seen by fields of yellow crops of oil-seed rape in flower in April.

Open Field near Meriden

In late summer a purple swathe of wild flowers marks an uncultivated area of land. In the foreground a public right of way shows clearly across the field of ripening corn.

Early summer buttercups
Late Summer in another part of the same field another year

This lovely corridor of countryside is under continual pressure from developers, and regrettably the Planning Authorities are slowly giving in. Old farmhouses and buildings are being allowed to be converted into offices and industrial premises. Farmland is worth more for Golf Courses than for agriculture so more are opening up all the time each with its noisy clubhouse and leisure centre.
The Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre and the nearby Business Park all eat more and more into this green belt strip.

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