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Moseley Bog

Moseley Bog is a Local Nature Reserve, and area of ancient woodland close to Sarehole Mill.  Under threat some years ago, it was saved by the efforts of local residents who set up this group and who have worked tirelessly in conjunction with volunteers and the Rangers to maintain and look after this area of outstanding beauty and interest. Joys Wood within its borders was created to commemorate the work of Joy Fifer whose work to retain this area was unstinting.The Wildlife Trust have commenced a package of care awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund amounting to £376,500.   The funding is being used to restore aspects of the site and improve public access.   Board walks have been created together with a slope to enable wheelchair access and a viewing platform overlooking the older (and wetter) part of Moseley Bog.  The Moseley Bog Conservation Group have Sunday monthly work days within the site, clearing the streams and pond and coppicing, dead hedging, and hedge laying and there are also Tuesday weekday workdays (see above for dates).

The composition of the mound is exposed in the stream banks as a layer of heat-shattered stones and charcoal nearly 14m long and about 30cm thick in one bank and a thinner layer 4m long in the other. On one side of the stream the mound survives as a low but prominent mound about 12.5m long and 6.5m wide, and on the other it is crossed by a path. Heat-shattered stones are visible on the eroded path surface. The visible remains suggest that the mound is approximately circular and is about 13m in diameter. A resistivity survey in 1998 confirmed the extent of the mound, as an area of high resistance, on the path side of the stream and located a possible former stream channel. On the other side of the stream an area of low resistance may indicate the location of a pit or trough under the mound. Samples of charcoal from the stream bank at Moseley Bog have been dated to about 1100BC by the radiocarbon method.
A second burnt mound is located about 11m east of the first and is visible as a layer of heat-shattered stones 3.3m long and up to 4cm thick in the north bank of the stream.   The site was scheduled as an ancient monument in 2002.

(Information by Mike Hodder, Planning Archaeologist, Birmingham City Council)

Moseley Bog was an ideal place for Tolkien's childhood adventures. It is an ancient place with the Bronze Age burnt mounds and a mill pool, probably a storage pool for Sarehole Mill. The bog is recalled in Tolkien's description of the Old Forest, last of the primeval wild woods where Tom Bombadil lived. This is a woodland explored by Tolkien during the few years he lived nearby as a young child.   At that time the area was a glade he describes as being full of wild flowers.    Walking through the area today it is easy to appreciate how his imagination may have been stirred.   

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