The/ Burned Heath
B17 - Grid reference SP024847
The Burned Heath lay west of Harborne village, an area now enclosed by Lordswood Road, Court Oak Road, Wood Lane and Elm Tree Road. Part of it remains unbuilt-on as the playing fields of Queen Alexandra College.
Heathland appears to be a natural habitat, but it is usually the result of forest clearance for agriculture perhaps as long as 5000 years ago. Farmers over hundreds of years burned heathland that had become overgrown with old heather, gorse and broom in order to maintain open grazing areas for their livestock. Some heaths now are burned in blocks by conservation organisations on a five-year cycle and grazed especially during the winter months by sheep and cattle. Heathers apparently benefit from burning and regenerate vigorously the following spring.
William Dargue 07.05.09
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For 19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Birmingham go to British History Online.