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


Day Out



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




Clean Up Day

08/06/2018 at 10:26 am | Posted in Green Spaces, Recycling, Wildlife | Leave a comment
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We have recovered  5 bags of plastic bottles and 3 of mixed rubbish from the banks of the River Rea, alongside Calthorpe Park, on 5th June World Environment Day,  in our Plastic Pickup in Balsall Heath. The cans and bottles have all gone to be recycled.

A local resident said “I am happy to help, because I am fed up with all the mess, but there should be a way to prevent all this plastic being dumped and polluting our neighbourhood”. We have discovered that no-one owns the land along the river bank, so no-one is responsible for cleaning it.

John Newson went on to a “Beat Plastic Pollution” meeting of the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, where they were discussing their plastic pledge, which encourages individuals to cut their own use of plastic packaging. The meeting was at Birmingham Friends of the Earth, who are asking for a national deposit return scheme to get all bottles and cans returned to shops. A shop is opening this month in Digbeth, which says it will have no plastic packaging.

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Plastic Pick Up

31/05/2018 at 1:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Think Global, Act Local…  Tuesday 5th June is World Environment Day, to call attention to plastic waste. What goes into our rivers comes out into the sea and accumulates there. We would like to have a Plastic Pick Up session by the River Rea, to see how much we can find and bag up.

Start time is now 3 pm. We shall meet up at Edward Road corner with Cheddar Road at entrance to Calthorpe Well Being hub, and then work along both banks of the River Rea. Wear stout shoes and trousers, gloves, if you have them, in case of  nettles!

Let’s show we care about turning the tide on plastic rubbish

John Newson, Development Officer, Balsall Heath Is Our Planet


Plastic Free meals

24/05/2018 at 2:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It is the month of Ramadan when Moslems generally fast during the hours of daylight and then meet to share food when the sun goes down Iftar.  EcoIslam is trying to spread the idea of having plastic -free Iftar, which can otherwise generate a lot of waste HERE  . They suggest doing this so as to coincide with World Environment Day Tuesday 5th June 2018, whose theme is plastic pollution. . In Balsall Heath, I hear that this will be tried at the Sultan Bahu Mosque on Ombersley Road.  There is also to be a pop up Iftar on Moseley Road, following the recent success of the Street Festival  They will try to recycle the plastic waste.

Time to Plant

14/05/2018 at 1:17 pm | Posted in Food, Gardens | Leave a comment

Mid May is a wonderful time to plant fruit and vegetables in your Balsall Heath garden. In fact, I have a concrete back yard, but am still able to grow in containers. Down at the BH Garden centre, which is run by BH Forum in St Pauls Road, I saw  a lot of plants on sale at reasonable prices today. Fruit trees including apples, figs, peaches, even oranges (worth a try). Young tomato plants, squash, sweet corn, cucumber and courgette. Even if only one or two fruits make it to harvest, then you have got your money back, and they taste much better than something in plastic from the supermarket. It is good to make use of the patches of ground we do have and encourage any neighbours whose garden is neglected.

Balsall Heath Garden Centre is open most days including weekends at 82 St Pauls Road, near Ladypool Road, tel 0121 446 6183. They can offer local delivery.

Garden Centre

People in the Road

25/04/2018 at 4:15 pm | Posted in Streets, Walking | Leave a comment

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People take over Moseley Road

23/04/2018 at 9:57 am | Posted in Streets, Walking | Leave a comment

All motor traffic  was shut out of the Moseley Road through Balsall Heath on Sunday 23 April. The sun shone and stalls lined the road. The “We Are Balsall Heath” event had people of all ages and backgrounds meeting and enjoying games, dance, art, food and learning about local projects and the future of the many interesting old buildings that make up the centre of Balsall Heath.

Balsall Heath Is our Planet and Balsall Heath Forum ran a stall and display, asking for views about some of the proposed changes in the Neighbourhood Plan, including a town square, railway station and making the river more natural and accessible. People also gave views about about housing and transport. The daring experiment on the day got everyone thinking about how our lives are dominated by road traffic and what can be done about this. More about Neighbourhood Plan

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Street Market to Close the Moseley Road

20/03/2018 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Cycling, Streets, Walking | Leave a comment

On Sunday 22 April 2018 permission has been given to MELA enterprises to close the Moseley Road through Balsall Heath for a We Are Balsall Heath  intercultural street market . Thousands of people are expected to attend 11am to 4pm and they will see what we can do when the neighbourhood is not being cut in half by a river of traffic. and parked vehicles. It will mean some diversion of buses and drivers, but traffic is light anyway on a Sunday.

Local people and organisations are being invited to book stalls and come to display their goods or services . Inquiries can be made online here 

Balsall Heath is our Planet and Balsall Heath Forum will be asking people at the market what they think about the way the street operates, what they want from their streets and how to implement the Neighbourhood Plan for the area. Give us your ideas!!

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Note that local people are also supporting a Balsall Heath Carnival in July, so if you want to look ahead and support it see the details here


Big Clean Switch to Renewable Energy

09/03/2018 at 2:01 pm | Posted in Community energy, Solar power | Leave a comment

This is a simple way to switch your home or business to a supplier who only buys renewable energy, so people in Balsall Heath may want to consider it. The latest figures from the government show that 30% of electricity is now being generated from renewable sources; wind, sun, water etc – YES they do work! Why would you want to pay for dirty fuels? Climate Action West Midlands will use any money it makes from the switching to fund small community carbon saving projects. Clean Energy Switch can be accessed via the site


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