The pools, which consist of Grove Pool, Middle Pool and Fens Pool, were constructed as reservoirs by the Stourbridge Canal Company. The Stourbridge canal links Buckpool Dingle and the Fens Pools.
The Stourbridge canal opened in 1779 and the reservoirs fed into a navigable branch which joined the canal's main line at Leys Junction, close to the top of the Stourbridge Flight. This is a series of 16 locks through which the level of the canal falls by 145 feet, down to Wordsley Junction, where the Stourbridge Town branch joins the main line.
The reservoirs formed the main source of water supply for these locks, until it was supplemented by water leaving the Dudley Canal with which the Stourbridge Canal made an end-on junction in 1792.
The pools are the focus of the site, being the largest area of open water in Dudley. The pools are an important site for migrating and over-wintering waterfowl. Ducks, Shoveler and Gadwall are also attracted to the watery site. Rare visitors include some breeding birds, like the Mute Swan and Great Crested Glebe, utilising the bushy forestry areas that line the edges of the pools for nesting.
The smaller ponds north of the pools are also home to an abundance of wildlife, toads, frogs, insects and newts. The pools house the largest numbers of the Great Crested Newt in the U.K, although sadly on the decline in recent years.
The land is surrounded by shrubbery, mosaic scrub and pioneer vegetation. This great richness has been developed upon the abandoned wastelands left from the coal and iron industries. The areas have some tarmac and un-managed paths (gravel/dirt tracks) with a selection of seating benches. The pools are the focus of outstanding scenery, they have water based bird resting platforms and raised land based feeder platforms. So the area is idea for bird watching.
The hilly contours, off setting remarkable views than set panoramic photography and artist opportunities, as well as, for pure enjoyment purposes. There are areas of many unusual plants, such as Ploughman's Spike, Blue Fleabane and Musk Thistle. There are shaded and un-shaded grasslands, these are a hub of environmental activity, much of which may be based upon marsh lands.
Areas of shaded and un-shaded grass/pathways
Car Parking/ close to road side access points
Fens Pool Centre
High bird feeding stations
Water based resting platforms