Himley Railway Cutting.
Organised in partnership with the Baggeridge Country Park (BCP) Rangers, this visit was the first visit for BCGS members. The section of cutting we visited, between the Himley Plantation and Wombourne, is approximately 250m long and situated between two over-passing bridges. (Off Himley Lane, SO 873 910.)
The Great Western Railway Company built the railway between 1912 and 1925 to serve the rural area between Dudley and Wolverhampton, via Wombourne, Himley and a small Halt at Lower Penn. The former railway covers a distance of approximately 14km (9 miles) and fell victim to Dr Beeching in June 1965. Today, walkers, cyclists and horse riders use the route for more leisurely purposes.We met the BCP Rangers at 10:30 in the car parking area off Himley Lane on a cold, cloudy, damp and windy morning. Luckily the cutting provided some good protection from the elements. The Rangers are responsible for looking after the length of this former railway line, but its length makes this task very difficult. The Rangers undertook clearance work some years previously, however the cutting has since become heavily overgrown, with brambles, trees and scrub leaving only a hint of the hidden rock faces beneath.
From the cars we walked northwards along the former railway route to the southern end of the cutting. Once set up we started clearing vegetation, from approximately 50m of cutting, exposing high walls of red-brown Trassic Wildmoor Formation.