Plot holders dig deep

12/11/2018 at 2:41 pm | Posted in Gardens, Water | Leave a comment

Our nearest allotments garden site is behind Cannon Hill Park. Congratulations to the plot holders there for raising the money to sink a borehole this year, so as to access underground water. The storage tank (as pictured) is at a high point, so it will water the plots by gravity. Next summer, a huge amount of tap water will be saved in growing the fruit and veg. – and for many years to come. We all have to plan for longer droughts, due to climate change, and this is a great demonstration of planning ahead.

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Solar energy opportunity

25/10/2018 at 11:54 am | Posted in Community energy | Leave a comment

Community Energy Birmingham is launching a new ethical share offer

Solar energy has rather stalled recently, but our friends at CEB are bravely going forward with another project and  are launching their new share offer on Tuesday 30th October.

They already have solar roofs on community buildings in Moseley and Sparkbrook and they now have one lined up in Castle Vale. Existing investors have just received a 4% return on their shares, so ethical investment can pay.

There will be a presentation to learn more and decide if you want to be an investor. Two launch events planned, where to find out more, meet the team, and ask questions:

Event 1 :  Tuesday 30th October. 6.00 pm at Birmingham Friends of the Earth, The Warehouse, 54-57  Allison Street Birmingham B5 5TH

Event 2 : Thursday 1st November, 7.00 pm at the Moseley Exchange, 145 Alcester Road, Moseley B13 8JP

Further details are available on CEB website                      BOOK EVENTS HERE

 

Autumn planting

17/10/2018 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Gardens, Green Spaces, Streets | Leave a comment

Nice work by Edward Road Baptist Church’s volunteers who have cleared some derelict planters beside the church and brightened up their corner.

Edward Rd Baptist

Long ago, the council put in three concrete boxes, which are 6 sided, hexagons, like a honey comb, but long ago they stopped planting them. and they became completely overgrown.

BHIOP was happy to lend a hand with digging and plants, some brought from the BEE Garden at the Old Print Works , which is looking very splendid, thanks to Jeremy’s care and pride.

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Energy saving quick wins

09/10/2018 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Home Energy saving | Leave a comment
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Colder weather is here and people are remembering all the things they meant to do to save energy last winter – but didn’t get around to.! . Balsall Heath has many older houses and a lot of scope to save energy at home. The Energy Savings Trust offers free advice, including their top ten energy saving tips

Heat loss house

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

 

 

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

 

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