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Moseley Bog

25 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 14 November 2013

Felicity Evans visits the land that inspired Tolkien's Middle Earth and discovers how this Birmingham Bog also kick started the Urban Wildlife Movement.

From the ages of four to eight , J.R.R. Tolkien, author of 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings', lived with his mother and brother opposite Sarehole Mill on the Wake Green Road in Birmingham, a short walk from what is now Moseley Bog and 'Joy's Wood', a local nature reserve. As a boy, it is into this unexpected patch of woodland that Tolkien would disappear - both literally and in his imagination. Years later he would cite this period of his life as the inspiration for the landscapes and characterless of his now legendary books. A century on, urban development of the ever increasing Birmingham City has stopped short of this special site. This rural idyll, just three miles from Birmingham's city centre was preserved by local mum, Joy Fifer who launched a local campaign in the 80's which went on to start a national urban wildlife movement. It is now cared for by enthusiastic volunteers and enjoyed by the local school children who still disappear into this land and their imaginations - much as Tolkien did so many years before them.


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