The River Cole is one of three rivers which flows through Birmingham proper. After flowing through Birmingham, it passes Coleshill - to which it gave its name - and it then joins the River Blythe, of which it is a tributary.
The Cole is not a big river, it is only 27 miles long, but eleven kilometres of the river in the Cole Valley is protected by the Kingfisher Country Park.
The Coldbath Brook, a tributary of the Cole, drives Sarehole Mill, now a museum, which was one of the inspirations for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
The river has the potential to flood during heavy rain and as a result, Babbs Mill Lake was created to balance the effect.
Not so many years ago, the Cole was a very dirty river, more or less devoid of life. But now, apart from junk which people insist on throwing into it still (why do they do that?) it is much cleaner and even has fish in it.
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