Protect Birmingham Cyclists

03/12/2017 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Cycling | Leave a comment

People from Balsall Heath joined a column of riders (3rd December) to deliver their petition to Andy Street, elected Mayor of the West Midlands. We rode from the Custard Factory to Millennium Point,  with the Mayor riding along with us, where he received the petition. It was signed by more than 5,000 people and asked him to speed up on providing safe cycling space,  following the recent death of a young doctor near the cricket ground

The first, and the last, cycle route into Birmingham city centre was opened in 1990, coming through Cannon Hill Park: it is very well used. We are still waiting for the second one, despite many millions having been made available for a Birmingham Cycle Revolution since 2013, as the petition says. The Highways Department did plan cycle lanes up both sides of the Moseley Road and Alcester Road, but they were abandoned, as being impractical. Then they signed some routes along back streets, but again abandoned them, so the markings are now wearing away.

Mayor Andy Street told assembled cyclists that he “got it” and he would back a segregated cycle way across the city. This would start to Protect Birmingham Cyclists

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Children of the Trees

22/11/2017 at 4:41 pm | Posted in Trees | Leave a comment

People of all ages turned out to help plant a new generation of trees in Calthorpe Park on Wednesday 22nd November. The trees were paid for by Birmingham Trees for Life, who fund this work in parks. Children from Percy Shurmer Academy wielded their small spades with enthusiasm. Still younger children from St Paul’s Nursery got involved and got excited. Councillor Tony Kennedy came and lent a hand to the Council’s Woodlands Team, as did a number of other adult-sized people – thanks to them for coming. Confirmation of the park’s history was provided when some fragments of Victorian pot were dug up.


In a morning, 11 trees were put in. When one hole filled up with water, we put in a weeping willow; it should enjoy having wet feet. The trees were suggested by Balsall Heath is Our Planet, following our Tree Survey in the summer, and they included a mulberry, a magnolia and a witch hazel, with the aim of providing flowers and fruit around the year. Thumbs up from passing dog walkers!

Many thanks to Birmingham Trees for Life Their lovely pictures

Community Tree Planting in Calthorpe Park

06/11/2017 at 3:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Community Tree Planting in Calthorpe Park

To be held on Wednesday 22 November – we start at 10.30am at Calthorpe Well Being Hub, Edward Road corner with Cheddar Road B12 9LF

You can help, or just watch and learn more about trees!

Following a Tree Survey last summer, we are supporting a morning of tree planting in Calthorpe Park by’ Birmingham Trees for Life’. The aim is to add some younger and more interesting trees, as well as some fruit trees.

All ages welcome See Trees for Life 

Map of Calthorpe Existing

 

Cyclists Sad, but also Angry

16/10/2017 at 7:23 pm | Posted in Cycling | 1 Comment

A long column of cyclists rode out of Birmingham University on 16 October and we continued up Pershore Road, to pay tribute near the site where a few days earlier a young doctor from the Children’s Hospital was killed by a lorry . Her partner and colleagues from the hospital spoke very movingly, as people lit candles, about how unsafe Birmingham’s roads are for cyclists and they pledged themselves to keep up the pressure for more be done to protect cyclists on the roads.

The government has funded a “Birmingham Cycle Revolution” but there is little sign of it at many dangerous junctions, such as the one at Pershore Road/Edgbaston Road where Dr Suzanna Bull was killed. A petition has been started to West Midlands major Andy Street called Protect Birmingham Cyclists, and more than 2,000 have already signed it 

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Free bike, if you need one

26/09/2017 at 1:09 pm | Posted in Cycling | Leave a comment

Birmingham City Council is again giving FREE orange-coloured Raleigh bikes to people who need them to get around.

Big Birmingham Bikes aims to encourage cycling by giving free bikes with priority given to families who will cycle together, or to apprentices or refugees. Cyclists will be asked to enter a partnership to increase their cycling every week. If you know of an orange bike not being used, then do report it.

Birmingham has only about 1% of people cycling to work at present which makes it one of the lowest levels of any city in Britain. Most car journeys are quite short and we have some of the highest bus fares in the country –  so more cycling is definitely possible. Safe cycling lessons are on offer.

Applications for a bike can be made on a form from a WellBeing Centre, such as that on Edward Road, or online here  Their email is here

Walking route into city centre

11/09/2017 at 12:31 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment

Walkers set out from Balsall Heath Library on 9th September with the idea of discovering a safe and quiet walking route into Birmingham city centre. We strode through green spaces down to the River Rea, where we saw some public art and lovely flowers among the grass. Then crossed the Middleway, turning left through more green spaces in Highgate to reach the zebra crossing of Sherlock Street, so into Hope Street, after which we used a new pedestrian crossing of Bristol Road. Following Rickman Drive we entered Moonlit Park, then Sunset Park, exited onto Langley Walk, which took us to the bombed out St Thomas’s church with its Peace Garden. From there on up Washington Street, then beside The Cube to join the canal towpath all the way to the back of the Convention Centre (toilets!). We finished behind the Library of Birmingham in the City Centre Gardens. Here we met the other walkers and cyclists who had come in by other green routes and we all received the praise of the Lord Mayor.

We agreed that our route was surprisingly peaceful and traffic free, and these green spaces should be signed and made better known. Birmingham isn’t just roads and traffic ! 

John Newson, development officer, Balsall Heath Is Our Planet

 

Walk to the City Centre

30/08/2017 at 12:19 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment
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Walk to the City Centre on Sunday 10th September

Let’s discover a safe walking route into Birmingham city centre that goes through green spaces. We want to show that they should be protected and linked up for walking and cycling routes. Please join this community walk and picnic, organised by the Greener Birmingham Coalition. One of the walks will be led by Balsall Heath Forum on Sunday 10th September meeting at 12.00 from Balsall Heath Library, next to Moseley Road Baths. Finish at the picnic at City Centre Gardens, behind the Library of Birmingham. It’s free, no booking, just turn up. Please have your walking shoes, rainwear and a picnic. About 2 miles or 1 hour, take a bus back or walk. More information at Greener West Midlands

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Cycle facilities for Balsall Heath

13/07/2017 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Cycling | Leave a comment

Cyclists gathered at The Old Print Works, Moseley Road on Saturday July 8th for the launch of its new cycle facilities.Councillor Tony Kennedy began by cutting the ribbon and a short speech, explaining how the facilities had been paid from the City Council’s Cycling Revolution budget. OPW is a Top Cycle Location.
The new facilities include cycle parking in front of the Ort Café and GAP Arts, with additional parking in the courtyard to the rear of the Old Print Works. In addition, we have a repair station, which includes a bike work stand with a range of tools, and a cycle pump, so useful for all those odd jobs and repairs and punctures while you are out and about.
The Old Print Works is run by a charity and these facilities are helping them to be much more sustainable.

‘Stand and Deliver’. We then went on a guided cycle ride around Balsall Heath. This was led by John Newson from Balsall Heath is our Planet and looked at locations where improved cycle facilities are wanted. Views about this will be fed back to the Council.
Cyclists get going!

Opening of the Bee Garden

13/07/2017 at 12:39 pm | Posted in Gardens, Wildlife | Leave a comment

Myrtle Cottage stands in front of The Old Print Works on Moseley Road, opposite to Edward Road. It was built in the 1790s and it had a lovely garden, we can imagine. However, more recently, it was concreted over, like a lot of gardens. Jeremy Hunt, who lives in the cottage, teamed up with John Newson to lead volunteers on making planting boxes from scrap wood and planting them up as a Bee Garden. Bees need places to feed that are not doused in chemical pesticides. The environmental charity Balsall Heath Is Our Planet was happy to pay for materials. There are also edible plants and herbs.
On Saturday 8th July all was finished so an opening was held with a tea and cake celebration and poems about bees and other subjects. The garden is at 506 Moseley Road and visible through the gate at any time, with more if you enter the courtyard of the Old Print Works.

Bee Garden in July

Living on the Sun

11/07/2017 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Community energy, Solar power | Leave a comment
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At the roasting start of July, John Newson led a walk to visit some community buildings that benefit from solar panels. The walk took place during Community Energy Fortnight and the Moseley Festival. We were greeted at the Old Post Office building by Fiona Adams of Moseley Exchange, who explained how they benefit by the cheap electricity from the two solar arrays there, which belong to Community Energy Birmingham. The next stop was St Mary’s parish church, where John Dowell who is a former churchwarden, showed us the display inside the church of all the power produced over 6 years, since the panels were installed by British Gas. That was part of their Green Streets programme, which had been won by Sustainable Moseley and it also paid for panels at the Hamza Mosque, where we arrived to be shown around by Saifer Rehman. He had a most interesting story to tell about solar generation, with LED lights to cut consumption, and a range of water saving methods, as well as cycle stands put by the main entrance.
We agreed that there is one sun for everyone and all can benefit from using renewable energy !
To learn more about Community Energy Birmingham visit their website

Hamza Mosque

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