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Pelsall North Common West Midlands

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Site Location Details

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Site Details

Located on the northern edge of Walsall and on the site of a 19th-century ironworks (demolished 70 years ago), this haven for birds, butterflies and dragonflies was given local nature reserve status by Walsall MBC less than 10 years ago. It comprises - country canal (the main Wyrley and Essington Canal and the dead-end Cannock Extension Canal), marsh and pools (with small reedbed areas); lowland heath (the original habitat); farmland (arable, dairy, set-aside and horse paddocks); woodland (deciduous copses and conifer plantations); willow and birch scrub; mown and unmown grassland; extensive bush and hedgerow areas; a dilapidated orchard; a landfill site on the northern perimeter. North Common is not noted for rarities (it is massively under-watched) but provides good, all-year birding (I've been watching it for 14 years - 110 species so far). Regular Common Buzzard, two woodpeckers, nine warblers(inc. Grasshopper), five tits(inc. Willow and Coal), seven finches(inc. Brambling), winter thrush flocks, Common Snipe, Grey Heron, breeding Little Grebe, good gulls and occ. Stonechat; passage Redstart, Whinchat, Wheatear and Common Tern; breeding Tree Sparrow; Long-eared Owl winter roost (max. 7 birds) since 1997; breeding Little Owl and occasional Short-eared Owl in winter.


Pelsall North Common
Wood Lane Pelsall Walsall West Midlands

Contact Details

Telephone: 01922 650000 (Walsall MBC)

Local Weather

Birding Sites in the Pelsall North Common Area

Additional Site Details


By car - travelling eastwards from Cannock on the A5 go to roundabout at end of long dual carriageway and turn right onto the B4154; cross 2 awkward canal bridges; immediately after second, pull on to Royal Oak pub car park. Recross canal and walk to left on to reserve. Alternatively, from the A34(at the north end of Bloxwich High Street), turn right onto A4124 (signs for Brownhills and Lichfield); after a mile, turn left into Wood Lane (by a small row of shops and before a petrol station) and park at the far end (near Free Trade pub). Walk over canal bridge onto reserve. By bus - route 346 fom Walsall town centre and ask for Wood Lane, Pelsall.


Open access at all times; no permit required.


Parking at either of the two pubs or on adjacent roads.

Opening Times

Open access.


No site-specific facilities. Two excellent pubs provide good food and drink, being situated at each end of the reserve. Parking available at the pubs or on adjacent roads.

Key Areas / Routes

A well-marked circular path visits most of the main sites. You may extend the visit by following the Cannock Extension Canal north as far as Wyrley Grove Bridge; turn left along lane (viewing Tree Sparrow hedges and gulls at landfill site), then first left into Fishley Lane (look for Little Owl in fields to right); after 3/4 mile, turn left onto track opposite Fishley Park (track entrance is marked by blue plaque to John Wesley). The path leads back to Free Trade pub. If you require further info (or even someone to show you round!), give me a ring on 01922 683668 - my name's Ken Wayman.

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British & Irish Records Archive Pelsall North Common

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