Blackcurrant picking, Kinver – Thursday 23rd July

blackcurrantsVale Head Farm (Compton Road, Kinver, DY7 5NJ) has lots of Blackcurrants and needs help with picking!

We’ve planned a picking session this Thursday 23rd July, from 6pm. (We will plan other picking days if needed)

Everyone is welcome to take home half of what we pick as a Thank You and the other half the farm keeps for juicing.

  • Bring containers!
  • Feel free to bring a picnic if it is your supper time!
  • Any queries feel free to call Margy on 01384 351414 or 07817 555204.
  • Happy picking and hope to see you there!

Valehead Farm Photos

River Stour clean-up – Sunday 19th July

The-Stour-BridgeNext River Stour clean-up event

Place: River Stour Bridge
Date: Sunday 19th July
Time: 10.15 for 10.30
Parking: pretty good in Mill Race Lane

As last time this will involve work in the river and hauling it up the slipway for the Council to take away. I will bring some gardening tools if you would prefer something more gentle as the parapet garden always needs attention! There’s usually something for everyone!

Future dates: September 6th and October 18th. Always a Sunday and will be confirmed nearer the time.


  • Richard and Rosanne went to a workshop in Birmingham to see if there was any hope of getting Heritage Lottery money for upgrading the bridge. We found out that in that form the request would not be fruitful! However there might be some mileage at looking at a different way forward. We will investigate!
  • Richard, Maris and Rosanne put up a river display for Stourbridge in Bloom. The judges always seem very interested in the river work.
  • The window in the town centre does seem to generate interest and Nigel Blunt has offered to take photos to help keep it refreshed with new angles on the work of volunteers.

Hope to see you on Sunday.. it always helps to have some idea who might be able to come!

All the best Rosanne

Photos from last time

Bridge over the River Stour




River Clean-up Event – Sunday 28th June

River Stour, The Stour BridgeNext river clean up event

Date: Sunday 28th June
Time: 10.15 for 10.30
Place: River Stour Bridge
Parking: Wherever you can along Millrace Lane or Bonded Warehouse area. Watch out for
No Parking signs there.
Contact: Please contact if you intend to come. Thanks

All being well we will go back to finish up under the Stour Bridge and under Fox’s. As always it depends on whether we get a deluge and the river levels change. If there is doubt I will email again. This needs people who are prepared to go into the river to load up the boat and others to barrow the rubbish up to the top of the slipway.

Anybody who would rather something a bit less demanding can contact Richard Brooks on Richard is waging war against himalayan balsam which is an invasive species which doesn’t allow space for our native species. He would very much like help on Sunday if you would prefer to do that. He has already made a huge impression almost banishing it by the river at Richardson Drive.


  • The flowers on the bridge parapets look really marvellous and have done brilliantly. Bees are visiting them and quite a few people have stopped to admire them! By the way Waitrose has a green counters box for wild flowers all round the ring road if anyone’s interested!
  • Rosanne has been to three primary schools to show the Message in the Waves film and talk to the children about the river Stour. It seemed to go quite well and it would be good to do a bit more. Many thanks to Jean and Helen for making that possible. The teachers and children were really great.
  • Transition Stourbridge has reprinted Gerald Darby’s booklet on the river Stour .. its history etc with quite a few photos. They sell at £3.95 of which £1.50 goes to Mary Stevens Hospice. Available at Fair & Square, Market St, Stourbridge. I will bring some on Sunday so bring some money if you’d like one.

So, hoping for a fine week and a low water level and that we may be able to finish the job under the two bridges.

All the best, Rosanne

FILM: Fed Up – Saturday 20th June

Fed-Up-Food-Documentary-SugarThis is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. FED UP blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry.

Date: Saturday 20th June, 7.30pm
Where: Quaker Meeting House, 37 Scotts Road, Stourbridge, DY8 1UR  (map)

This no-frills documentary tells it like it is about obesity – and it’s not a pretty picture. Since 1980, sugar intake has doubled, there is an epidemic of Type II diabetes and overweight children have ascended from the exception to the norm. Why is this happening?

“The film the food industry doesn’t want you to see”

  • All Welcome
  • Refreshments
  • Entry by Donation

River Stour Event: CHANGE OF PLAN – Sunday 31st May

River Stour Clean-up Event, Richardson Drive, Amblecote, StourbridgeNext Event: Please Note Change Of Plan!!

Date: Sunday 31st May
Place: Harrop Way off Richardson Drive (which is off Wollaston High Street)
Time: 10.15 for 10.30am
Parking: good: but beware of parking in front of people’s driveways!

Next Dates: (to be confirmed nearer the time)

  • Sunday 28th June
  • Sunday 19th July
  • Sunday 6th September

As it has rained recently the river has filled up and made it impossible to get into as hoped and planned. We are always dependent on the weather for our events and are generally quite lucky.

However there’s always something to be done! This time we will ‘balsam bash’. Himalayan balsam is an invasive species which takes the place of our native varieties. We are slowly clearing this particular area and have cleaned up the river here. There may also be litter to pick. It’s also great if volunteers can help with these less dramatic events! Good gloves useful if you have them.. if not we do.

Rod will check the river tomorrow morning and if he feels it is possible he will lead a small group to do some more clearing if anyone wishes to go into the river. We will know when we meet at Harrop Way.


River Clean-up Event – Sunday 31st May

IMG_5987New River Clean-up date

Date: Sunday 31st  May
Time: 10.15 for a 10.30 start
Where: Lion Health, Bradley Road, Stourbridge

If we are unlucky with the weather and the river is too deep to work we may go in for some Himalayan balsam bashing. I will not be able to contact you till the Friday or Saturday morning to confirm the final decision. Rosanne (

Photos from previous event

Join our email list

Please contact Rosanne ( to be added to our River Stour Clean-Up email list to be kept up-to-date with future events. Thank you

You Tube film of river event

The You Tube film is now ready (I haven’t seen it yet) and it has been suggested that it is a link from a facebook page. My daughter Kat has offered to set this up for me and help with it but in the long term it would be great if one of our volunteers who enjoys computer work could dedicate some time to making this a really good page and to refresh it regularly. Would also need to be a good communicator! Please let me know if this might be for you!
Very many thanks to Ian Winstanley for giving time to do this for us and to Kat for offering to help with the facebook page.

The River Stour Booklet

A reprint of this is now at the printers and should be ready in about 10 days. This will sell at £3.95 of which £1.50 will go to Mary Stevens Hospice. 1000 copies gave us a good price with Direct to Print (who were excellent to work with and gave us a generous discount and recycled paper was the same price. If you have contacts with local historical societies, local shops etc who might be prepared to sell the booklets please let me know as we need to move them along quickly to recover expenses.

School visits

Rosanne has done a first school assembly showing clips from Message in the Waves and relating the plastic in the oceans (effect on mammals, animals and birds) to the River Stour. The children were lovely and several came up afterwards to share concerns about their own area. Thanks to Jean Cooper and Helen Lacey for making contact. Three more schools have shown interest and two are booked in for a talk.

So various things are moving along thanks to you all! It’s great the way so many contributions are made by so many in different ways.

All the best to everyone.

River Stour Clean-up – Sunday 26th April

River Stour, Lion Health Centre
River Stour, Lion Health Centre ©

Next River Stour Clean-up Event

Date: Sunday 26th April
Time: 10.15 for 10.30
Place: Lion Health, Bradley Road, Stourbridge
Parking: no problem


We were incredibly lucky last Sunday with the weather and cleaned the river in bright sunshine. It was good to see well known faces and some new ones too. The boat ferried the rubbish and the bit we cleared looked very much better. There’s still more to do in the same area.

Storage Space

We are still in urgent need of storage space for our equipment and boat. If anyone knows of someone who can help with a secure lock up or garage do please let me know.

River Stour booklet

We have the go ahead for reprinting Gerald Darby’s River Stour booklet. It’s on a Microsoft Publisher data stick. (help!) If anyone knows anything about this and can help – all expenses met- that would be a great help. Profits go to Mary Stevens Hospice. I hope to get this sorted very soon.

Graham Beckley’s River Stour Exhibition

This will be held in Himley Hall and will be up and running starting April and running through the summer. Will let you know dates when I have them. Photos of the full length of the River Stour to where it flows into the Severn at Stourport.

River Stour Sign

Photo and copy for this have not appeared this week in St. News. Hopefully next week!

With many thanks to everyone for all the help and support.

FILM: SELL-OFF – The Abolition of our NHS – Saturday 2nd May

nhs-logo-1NHS services like Staffordshire Cancer Care are being sold off to companies putting profit before patient care. Concerned GPs and Health Insiders tell the alarming story

Date: Saturday 2nd May, 7.30pm
Where: Friends Meeting House 37 Scotts Road, Stourbridge, DY8 1UR

  • All Welcome
  • Refreshments
  • Entry by Donation


Corporate interests rather than patient care is driving reform in today’s NHS and the media are failing to tell us this. NHS insiders (including one professor, two consultant radiologists, a cancer expert, a public interest lawyer, and several outspoken GPs), tell the alarming story of how the health service as we know it has been quietly abolished, to be  replaced by a system modelled on the US in which care is delivered by profit-maximising companies that charge patients for treatment


Save our NHS campaign

The NHS has been part of our lives for 67 years, but now it’s make or break. The NHS isn’t getting the cash it needs. And the government is letting money-hungry private companies carve out profits from treating the sick.

Eco Home Visit – Saturday 25th April

hobro-lodgeJoin us for Visit to Eco Super Home Hobro Lodge – Part 300 years, part 150 and part 15 years, mainly brick construction, detached, ‘permaculture smallholding’ with 6 acres.

Some of the measures installed: Biomass Boiler, Floor Insulation, Internal Wall Insulation, Low Energy Appliances, Low Energy Lighting, Roof Insulation, Solar PV Panels, Solar Water Heating, Water Saving Devices.

Date: Saturday 25th April, 2.30pm
Where: Hobro Lodge, Sladd Lane, Wolverely, Kidderminster Continue reading “Eco Home Visit – Saturday 25th April”

Foraging Walk – Saturday 18th April

IMG_5783Join us for an afternoon guided foraging walk around the River Severn and Bewdley!

Date: Saturday 18th April
Time: 2.30pm
Meet: Blackstone free car park, just outside Bewdley on the B4194
(drive out of the town until you have passed under the flyover, then it’s the next left, there are two large signs for the car park).

Donation: £3 (suggested)

Owen Raybould will guide us for our third foraging event. The walk will take around two hours and will include part of the river, some meadows and the town itself. Previous walks have been highly informative and enjoyable!