The Wildlife of Smethwick’s Galton Valley: A Guided Walk


Smethwick Library

High Street, Smethwick, B66 3AP

Smethwick, England, GB, B66 3AP

Explore the historic natural landscape of Galton Valley with local botanist Mike Poulton and photographer Geoff Broadway.

Step into nature and learn about the local wildlife of the Black Country in Galton Valley!

This stunning man-made valley was created as a major canal and railway transportation corridor during the industrialisation of the region and hosts some of the most important industrial heritage sites of Britain. It’s now one of the most important green spaces in the area and is the home of a huge range of flora and fauna.

You will have the opportunity to learn all about these biodiverse landscapes from botanist Mike Poulton, while Photographer Geoff Broadway will be offering some tips to improve your basic photography skills to capture the world around us.

Fun, creative and unique, this will be an engaging way to expand your knowledge of your local heritage!

Join us for this creative workshop, and you’ll get the chance to:

  • Explore Galton Valley and learn about it’s wildlife from botanist Mike Poulton
  • Brush up on your smartphone photography skills
  • Find out more about your local heritage
  • Learn from our friendly professionals, and share your own knowledge with fellow creative minds!



Geoff Broadway is a UK-based artist, filmmaker, project director, mentor and coach with over 25 years of experience working in the arts, heritage and education sectors. He has lectured in the field of photograph, design and interactive technologies in the UK and New Zealand, and has undertaken several major artist residencies including Durham Cathedral and Medio-Lab Prado, Madrid. He is the founder and the current director of the Living Memory Project CIC which specialises in recording life stories alongside personal photographs to create publications, exhibitions, films and events across the UK. The Living Memory Project work with oral historians, storytellers, photographers, artists and filmmakers to produce projects that celebrate the rich lives and experiences of ordinary people from all walks of life and different cultural backgrounds.

Mike Poulton is a botanist and naturalist with a passion for helping other see the natural world around us with new insights and understanding. Mike is the co-author of the acclaimed book Flora of Birmingham and the Black Country which is the first comprehensive guide to wild plants of the area. His specialism is the flora and fauna of the urban environment and is a founding member of the Friends of Rowley Hills. Mike was instrumental in helping the Rowley Hills be designated a SINC (Site of Importance for Nature Conservation).



Where is this event happening?

We’ll be meeting outside the Smethwick Library for a brief introduction, before heading out for the guided walking workshop.

Do I need to bring anything?

This workshop will teach you how to improve your smartphone photography skills, to take part, please bring along a smartphone with a camera function.

Please also bring any snacks or refreshments you may need for the duration of the two-hour session. This session will be mostly outdoors, so please dress appropriately and wear suitable footwear.

• A smartphone with a working camera

• Any snacks or refreshments

• Suitable footwear

• Weather appropriate clothing (waterproofs/hats/suncream)

What happens if it rains?

This event will go ahead rain or shine. We strongly suggest you check the forecast ahead of time, and prepare for rain if necessary – don’t forget waterproofs and a brolly!



Made in Smethwick is an exciting season of events and activities taking place in and around Smethwick, highlighting the rich global history of local area.

Focusing on stories relating to two former industrial sites – Chance Brothers Glassworks and Soho Foundry and Mint – the events are a chance for people to explore the town’s industrial heritage, discover the history of their neighbourhood, and share their own ideas about what it’s like to live, work, and grow up in the area.


This isn’t the only event! Check out the full programme here.


This project has been funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.



Chance Heritage Trust is on a mission to raise the cultural profile of Smethwick’s industrial heritage, and bring former industrial buildings – like the iconic Chance Glassworks – back into use within the community.

Now, with help from the Community Renewal Fund, Chance Heritage Trust is starting to develop plans for the Chance Glassworks site.

This survey is part of a wider programme of community consultation, which will help to shape these plans.

How would you like to see these buildings used? And, apart from living and working spaces, what kind of opportunities and facilities should they contain for community use?

Fill out this short survey to have your say.