I have lived in Bearwood for 32 years. I have always enjoyed the woods but recently the 100acres became a life line for me.

Three years ago I suffered a severe depressive episode with acute anxiety and was unable to work. I was treated by the secondary mental health team and my GP. I was suicidal and could not sleep or eat. It was unbearable but I had to bear it.

One of the few things that helped was walking, for hours. I couldn't stay inside.

I would walk from my house to the woods and golf course and walk several circuits for several hours until my anxiety was less acute. I did this every day, several times a day, for weeks.

It was near enough my house to reach and I felt safe there. There is nowhere else nearby that would provide this as the Harborne walkway is not, or does not feel safe. The reservoir is much further to walk and whilst lovely felt like a circular walk only. Lightwoods Park is too open.

Warley Woods is just big enough but not too big. It has public and private space. There are people around but never feels overcrowded. The trees are glorious and for me it helped so much.

Thankfully over time I made a good recovery but continued my daily walks for some months.

Now I walk in the woods several times a week. It has helped me do my 10,000 steps. I go alone and with friends. 

Warley Woods has always been one of the reasons I have stayed in Bearwood. It is such a haven. it is so much more than a park. I love the bird life there. I love the trees. I feel well when I am there and if I do feel low in mood it is my favourite place to go to.