Bratch locks

Bratch locks

The Bratch is a set of three locks on the Staffs and Worcs canal on the edge of Wombourne. There is only a tiny gap between each lock, unlike a staircase where each lock opens directly into the next. Because the gap between the locks is less than the length of a boat, the lock flight is more complicated to navigate.

The narrow building between the lower and middle locks is an octagonal toll house. The other building behind it is the lock keeper’s cottage.

Dead nettle growing in a wall

Dead nettle growing in a wall

When not in flower, dead nettles look somewhat like nettles, which they are not. Hence they are “dead”, that is, they don’t sting.

This small plant was growing from the mortar in the sandstone wall of Worfield church.

Wood anemones flowering

Wood anemone flowers with small honey bee

Woodland flowers bloom early in the year, before the leaves on the trees cut down the light falling on to the ground. A small honey bee (top picture) was taking advantage of these wood anemones, one of the few sources of nectar in mid-March.

Wood anemones flowering

Foxglove leaves

Foxglove with a fallen ivy leaf

Plants showing this year’s growth by the towpath of the Staffs and Worcs canal. In the top picture a varicoloured ivy leaf has landed on the foxglove.

Foxglove

Foxglove

Holy Austin Rock houses

Holy Austin rock houses

Carved into the sandstone at the top edge of Kinver, these houses had people living in them as recently as the 1950s.

Holy Austin rock houses

The complex, on two levels, is now owned by the National Trust.

Holy Austin rock houses