Low Carbon in Poland

13/01/2014 at 2:51 pm | Posted in uncategorised | Leave a comment

This summer I travelled from balsall Heath to Poland on a placement with the EU’s “Low Carbon Pioneers” programme. This exchanges people involved in building a low carbon society in their own region with others across Europe. First was a placement about renewable energy in Birmingham, then five weeks abroad.

Poland struggled with rebuilding after World War 2, and then moving on from Communism. An independent environmental movement has only begun to emerge, so the downsides of development are not much discussed. I was shocked to see a Tesco superstore in Wroclaw on what had been allotments. Much coal is burned for winter heat and electricity generation so carbon reduction seems a big ask. However, travelling through Germany I saw wind turbines and solar arrays everywhere, waiting to spread when a feed in tariff for clean power comes to Poland. The project we worked on was an Ecopark. I showed slides of green space in Birmingham, and the Bee Garden idea was picked up.

Eastern Europe can benefit from the experience of our environmental movement. They can also look to their own land and traditions for the future.

Pioneers into Practice is recruiting for 2014 see www.innovationbham.com

20 is Plenty

19/11/2013 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Cycling | Leave a comment

Birmingham City Council is consulting now about whether 20mph should be the norm on residential streets in Birmingham. This is the case in many European and increasingly in British cities. It is simple for everyone to understand, reduces road casualties, reduces noise and pollution and encourages people to walk and cycle. The responses are apparently going against this change at present; anyone wanting to support 20mph should fill in the short questionnaire at www.birmingham.gov.uk/20mph‎

The house that generates its own energy

08/08/2013 at 2:32 pm | Posted in Home Energy saving, Solar power | Leave a comment

Balsall Heath has its own demonstration SuperHome. Open to the public Saturday 14th September from 11am-4pm.

This is a house so energy effcient that it actually generates more energy that it uses over the course of a year. This is a really inspiring example and the open day is your ideal chance to see how it works and meet the architect John Christphers who lives there with his partner Jo and young son Theo. As well as adult tours there will be a special children’s presentation at 2pm.
Advanced booking is required. For more information see www.superhomes.org.uk/41

Meadow Transplanted

12/07/2013 at 10:28 am | Posted in Wildlife | Leave a comment


A team of volunteers has transplanted a meadow from Worcestershirer to Balsall Heath. This was one of seven such done on 10th July by the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country. Thanks everyone!


Make Hay while the Sun Shines

02/07/2013 at 10:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Volunteers wanted for one afternoon Wednesday 10th July – 2pm start
Community Hay Strewing
The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust aim to create a wildflower meadow in Balsall Heath
The idea is to bring a lorry load of hay from a meadow elsewhere with the right seeds in it,
To appear next spring as a beautiful wildflower meadow! A Bee Heaven

The meadow is between Clevedon Road and the River Rea (B12 9HD ). Beside 35 bus route and Rea Valley Cycle route.
Car parking in adjoining side streets.
If you can help at all please reply to me, as many hands will make light work… bhiop@jericho.org.uk
Your phone number in case of cancellation will be useful.
Note – it is bedside a road and we cannot be responsible for young children.
Thank you very much.
John Newson

Let’s Grow Some Healthy Food

31/05/2013 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Gardens | Leave a comment

Great to see the new intitiative called ‘One Plot’ in Balsall Heath. They are beginning to cultivate the ground and prepare courses, to teach people to grow, prepare and preserve their own crops. Most people are not getting the fresh fruit and vegetables they need for health. One way to ensure you do is to have it growing nearby. i must pick my spinach before it bolts!
Certainly I’ll be going to One Plot’s open session at their new garden. More details are at One Plot

Happy People, Happy Bees

22/05/2013 at 11:54 am | Posted in Gardens, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Bees now have a refulleing station in Balslal Heath. The Opening of the Bee Garden on 18 May was great success. Many thanks to all who made it happen. Freinds of the Earth have a picture and report on the day here

Grand Opening of the Bee Garden

30/04/2013 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Gardens, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Everyone is invited to the

Grand Opening of the Bee Garden in Balsall Heath

On Saturday 18th May at 2.30pm


 Location; corner of Balsall Heath Road and Longmore Street

 (by the cycle route, near Percy Shurmer Academy, bus 35)

Opening of the Jubilee Bee garden, MP Roger Godsiff expected

Planted by Balsall Heath Forum. Funded by Birmingham Friends of the Earth

Go on a Bee Walk and hear about plans to make a wildflower corridor

As part of The Bee Cause – save Britain’s declining bees

All welcome. Please spread the word (in the event of heavy rain on the day assume it is cancelled)

Chance for millions to provide for city cyclists

18/04/2013 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Cycling | Leave a comment

A Cycle City Ambition competition is being held to see who gets £millions to upgrade cycling.

If you wish to support Birmingham City Council’s bid for national funds to improve conditions for cyclists, please do this soon by visiting here   

Some points about this;

  1. Inner city streets are congested and cannot accommodate more cars. Cycling is cheap, accessible and offers a real alternative for daily journeys to work, school etc. City Centre and other destinations are within range for 15,000 residents in this neighbourhood alone.
  2. People are afraid to cycle because of lack of protection from motor traffic. Traffic speeds are actually increasing, as volumes fall. Cyclist casualties are rising.
  3.  The Rea Valley cycleway, opened 1991, has proved that when given a safer route people will cycle in growing numbers. Please learn from this experience and duplicate it.
  4.   Young people should feel safe to cycle to school or college. This will do much to address problems of the school run and traffic around schools.
  5. Many people have nowhere to store a bike and would like to join a cycle rental scheme as in London and Paris.

Cutting Bills by Collective Switching

25/02/2013 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Home Energy saving | Leave a comment

Birmingham & Solihull Together has been launched, aiming to cut people’s energy bills by collective switching. People join together to negotiate a lower price from energy suppliers.

Opens February 18th, closes March 17th 2013. Well worth checking out their website

Of course the only permanent way to cut your bills is to use less fuel, through energy saving measures such as those installed by Birmingham Energy Savers

« Previous PageNext Page »

Blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.