House with no winter

19/09/2018 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Community energy, Home Energy saving | Leave a comment
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There is a “pop up” Open Afternoon at the Zero Carbon House in Balsall Heath this Sunday. An amazing house that stores solar energy and hardly requires traditional heating. Feel that free energy! Big Six energy companies are furious, we hear.

Well worth a visit, if you have not been. All welcome, but only at this time please, because it is a family house.

Sunday 23 September at 2 pm at 103 Tindal Street, opposite Tindal Academy B12 9QU

more info at website

 

 

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Meet the Trees in Cannon Hill Park

03/09/2018 at 12:27 pm | Posted in Green Spaces, Trees | Leave a comment
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A Guided Walk with John Newson on Sunday 9th September.

We shall find out what common and more unusual trees are growing in the park, and what they are doing at the start of September. You do not have to be a botanical expert (I know I am not!) .  Free. Suits all ages. Lasts about 1 hour

Meet on the rear terrace of MAC Midlands Arts Centre at 12.30 repeated 3.30

One day only for Ecofest Sunday 9th Sept  

Ecofest in the MAC 12 noon – 5pm There will be a great range of stalls where you can learn more about making a difference locally, plus plenty of eco-friendly family activities, an inspiring film to watch, theatre performances to see and fun workshops to join. MORE HERE

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Too much summer

27/07/2018 at 9:58 am | Posted in Gardens, Green Spaces, Water | Leave a comment
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People are asking if the drought of 7 weeks and the hot temperatures of 30 C (and more) have something to do with Climate Change. The Mediterranean-style summer in Balsall Heath has made the grass parched (see pic below) and even trees are starting to droop. The truth is that all weather is now in the context of a changed atmosphere and a warming world. This is not a theory, but a matter of measurement, so the Central England Temperature series shows  it getting warmer since the mid 20th century.

Balsall Heath is Our Planet wants the neighbourhood to adapt to the hotter summers which we must expect. BHIOP asked for and got 160 trees planted,  some now big enough to cast a useful shade, with another round of planting  expected in  the coming winter. You can propose new  trees on streets here

We are encouraging rain butts to be installed in community gardens to store water (when it falls), also talking to the Moseley Road Baths and the Old Print Works about using the rain from their roofs in the building, rather than sending it down the drains.

What ideas do people have for adapting to more frequent extreme weather ? Do let me know John Newson bhiop[at]jericho.org.uk

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More green cars to share

18/07/2018 at 3:33 pm | Posted in Air pollution, Streets | Leave a comment
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The local car club is offering more cars to drive and most of them are now hybrid or electric. They say that “they own the cars, so you don’t have to” . I have read that private cars are parked 97% of the time., so our streets are full up. In a car club 12 people can share one car.  Co-Wheels car club has a Toyota Aygoone in St Pauls Road, Balsall Heath and a 7-seater Toyota Verso at the bottom of Park Hill. (£7.25 per hour). More at Co-Wheels site

This is surely going to become a more attractive option as the city council moves to charging older diesel cars £10 a time to drive into the city centre. Birmingham has to implement a Clean Air Zone in the next few years and charging seems certain to be part of the plan. You can find out about this and have your say at public consultation is open

 

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Heat and Drought

10/07/2018 at 8:15 am | Posted in Gardens, Home Energy saving | Leave a comment
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It is really hot and dry in Balsall Heath in July, so I am adapting to the conditions as follows.

Close all the windows and doors at home during the day, to prevent warm air from the street entering. Keep curtains and blinds closed on the sunny side of the house, to shade the rooms. When the sun has gone down, purge the house of heat by opening the highest windows and the back door – being aware of security, as the police always remind us.

My water from showering and washing up has gone on the plants in their containers, now that the rain butt is empty. Lawns do not need watering and will come back when it rains. Severn Trent offer more water saving tips and gadgets on their website. I save £80 a year by being metered and only paying for what I use details

Thanks to those who are working  to install rain butts in community gardens in Balsall Heath, this summer, which will help in future droughts.

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We have a Plan

02/07/2018 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Green Spaces, Streets, Walking | Leave a comment
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Visitors to Balsall Heath Carnival on Saturday 7th July will be able to learn about some cunning plans to get our streets moving and to re-open the local rail station. A stall and display by BHIOP and the Forum will be there to explain how the Neighbourhood Plan can take these matters forward, and to take your comments, so we can feed them to the planners. Remember, if we don’t ask, we won’t get….

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Fun and Games The day will also be a lot of fun for all ages, from 12.00 to 4pm, with schoolchildren in costumes and flags , to represent the many countries of the Commonwealth .  There will be our own Games to watch , well ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. This Carnival  will not be as noisy as some previous ones, I am advised and there will be tea and cake also a lineup of stalls and activities.

Venue; St Paul’s Road will be blocked off for the event ,which is in Pickwick Park opposite Clifton School B12 8LS

.Carnival flyer 2018

 

Free Cycle Check

28/06/2018 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Cycling, Streets | Leave a comment
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Cyclists have been gathering on Moseley Road in Balsall Heath to have an on-street bike check. People do not always understand their bike or how keep it well maintained and this is one factor that puts people off cycling, even when the weather is fine and the evenings light. Fabio is the new cycle mechanic at the Old Print Works, opposite the swimming baths, and he offers to diagnose faults for free, and do minor adjustments of gears and brakes . Fabio is there every Tuesday 2pm to 6pm and the café if open as well, so you can have a cuppa while the bike gets some attention. At other times contact Fabio

More Good News – Council secures further £1.3m boost for cycle and pedestrian improvements. It will be used to implement new safety measures at the junction of Pershore Road and Priory Road, where a cyclist was killed by a lorry  in 2017.  More here 

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Brightening the street

24/06/2018 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Gardens, Streets, Wildlife | 1 Comment
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A wonderful pop up garden has appeared in front of the Wesleyan Holiness Church on Cromer Road, Balsall Heath this year, thanks to voluntary effort, led by Tessa Lowe.  Passers by comment on how much better the site looks, having only been grass before. The amount of litter dropped has dropped off as well, since people see the church offering an attractive sight and someone obviously taking care of it. This shows the importance of corner sites in gardening the neighbourhood and in encouraging people to walk..

Flowers include lupins and foxgloves, which are great for feeding the bees, as well as for summer colour, so we could call it another Bee Garden.

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More Cyclists Take to the Roads

16/06/2018 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sunday 24th June will see more cyclists taking over the roads. This time it is the Greener Birmingham Day Out.

From Balsall Heath we can join the ride coming through Calthorpe Park at 10.30 and go on  in safety along the Rea Valley cycleway, down to the city boundary at Cofton Park. This is a lovely space if you do not know it. There you can enjoy a Big Healthy Lunch so no need even to take a snack. It is all free and open to all, so come along and see some green places in mid summer.

More details are at Greener Birmingham

 

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Cyclists Take Over (for a day)

12/06/2018 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Cycling, Streets | Leave a comment

Who says that no one cycles in Birmingham? Cyclists are not just young, or white, or male, or especially fit. When it is safe to do it, everyone cycles!!

Let’s Ride Birmingham was a fun cycling festival  organised by British Cycling. They blocked the Pershore Road last Sunday 10th June for a free ride of 5 kilometres from the city centre to Calthorpe Park and the Cricket Ground, then the return. It seems that there is a lot of spare road space on a Sunday, and a lot of people wanting to ride, if general traffic is shut out. Making safe cycle routes and getting people to cycle may be a lot easier than we have thought…  More about the event

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