133 Chester Road
|Tel:||0121 353 6464|
|Monday - Friday||9.00am to 5.30pm|
|Saturday||9.00am to 3.00pm|
Sutton Park is a large urban park located in Sutton Coldfield, Most of the park is a National Nature Reserve and large parts are also a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It is the seventh largest urban park in Europe and the second largest outside a capital city. The park covers more than 2,400 acres (970 ha), with a mix of heathland, wetlands and marshes, seven lakes, extensive ancient woodlands, several restaurants, a private 18-hole golf course on its western edge and a municipal golf course to the south. A wide range of leisure activities are undertaken in the park including dog walking, pony trekking, bike riding and kite flying. There are areas to fly model aeroplanes and helicopters. A railway line runs through the park.
The park contains a preserved section of the Icknield Street, a Roman road; the noticeably cambered road enters the Park near the Royal Oak Gate and exits towards the aptly named Streetly, the "meadow by the paved street"; it is still possible to walk the road.
The park was established as a Royal Forest by the Anglo Saxon kings of Mercia, from their seat at Tamworth at around the 9th century. By the early 12th century, it was in use as a Norman medieval deer park. The land was given to the people of Sutton Coldfield by King Henry VIII in 1528 after Bishop John Vesey, a friend of the King, asked for it as a present to the people of Sutton Coldfield.
In 1957, the 50th anniversary of Scouting was celebrated when the 9th World Scout Jamboree, was held in the park, with participants from all over the world. The event is commemorated by a short stone pillar in the centre of the park.
The park is popular for a number of sports. These include mountain biking, with the "Skeleton Hill" being popular with downhill bikers. Secondly sailing and canoeing, which take place mainly on Powell's Pool and finally kayaking and canoeing club on Blackroot Pool with Royal Sutton Coldfield Canoe Club.
There are countless cycling routes throughout the park for all different capabilities. There is a section of grass sectioned off for the usage of model aeroplanes and helicopters. This is between Boldmere Gate and the Jamboree Stone and can be accessed at most times by car from Boldmere Gate.
In 1997, English Nature designated most of Sutton Park a National Nature Reserve and it features on English Heritage's list of recognised historic parks and gardens.