Sun Shines on Pocket Park

07/11/2016 at 1:42 pm | Posted in Gardens, Trees, Walking, Wildlife | Leave a comment
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The Pocket Park in the centre of Balsall Heath is providing a place to sit and enjoy the last autumn sunshine. The benches were made from recycled timber by Jericho Foundation. The design aims to make a better environment for pedestrians and was opened by Councillor Tony Kennedy on 20 October.
Previous posts about this project are here

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Free Energy Advice event

24/10/2016 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Community energy, Home Energy saving, Solar power | Leave a comment
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Balsall Heath is our Planet, a local charity, is offering free energy advice.
What changes can you make at home to save heating, electricity and water? Generate your own? Switch to a green supplier?
We shall have a stall on Sunday 30th October at the Moseley Road Baths Watch Day from 10am to 5pm.
See also the historic Baths in the centre of Balsall Heath and learn about their past and future. A good time to discover the ORT café opposite and the new Pocket Park on Moseley Road – a good day out in Balsall Heath!
‘Making a Change’ with lottery funding. See you on Sunday John Newson
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Thanks for Pocket Park

24/10/2016 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Trees, Walking, Wildlife | Leave a comment
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Balsall Heath’s new Pocket Park was officially declared open on Thursday 20 October in a ceremony which had Councillor Tony Kennedy cut the ribbon. Jericho Landscape’s team rushed to finish the work and welcome us all in. Abdullah Rehman representing Balsall Heath Forum said it was an example of people working together from across the community. It was nice to see 40 people gathered, including pupils from Redstone Academy and staff from the Little Care Bearz nursery, who are neighbours and supporters. A grant was received by Balsall Heath Forum for the work by the government’s Department of Communities and Local Government. Birmingham Highways Department is the landholder and will continue to maintain the site.
Let’s look after our Pocket Park!
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Pocket Park Opening Event 20th October

12/10/2016 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Gardens, Walking, Wildlife | Leave a comment
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You are invited to come help and the local community to celebrate the
Pocket Park Opening Event
Where? in the centre of Balsall Heath at the junction of Moseley Road A435 and Haden Way, next to Little Care Bearz nursery – B12 9BX
When ? Thursday 20th October start 1.30
Councillor Tony Kennedy (Sparkbrook) will speak and cut the ribbon
This location was identified by the BH Neighbourhood Plan as the place for a Town Square and the Pocket Park begins the process. A grant from central government has allowed Balsall Heath Forum to undertake the work.
Tell us how you would like to see the pocket park develop and how you could be involved.
Notice that there is no car parking, but some spaces in nearby streets. 50 bus.
Please reply if you intend to come – for numbers bhiop@jericho.org.uk
0121 647 1960 John Newson ‘Making a Change’
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Previous story of Pocket Park is here

Finding out where to recycle

03/10/2016 at 8:57 am | Posted in Recycling | Leave a comment
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BHIOP is glad to see that a new Recycling Locator has been created, to help people in Birmingham find out where to give their unwanted items to be re-used or recycled. You can type in your address to the website http://www.cleanerbrum.org.uk and it comes up with a list of places nearby that will accept the item, or says whether you can put it into the doorstep recycling collection. Many local authorities offer this kind of information, so it is good that Birmingham is catching up. Here is the link
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House with no Fuel Bills

30/08/2016 at 10:04 am | Posted in Home Energy saving, Solar power | Leave a comment
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Once again it is time for Open Day at the Zero Carbon House in Balsall Heath. On Saturday 10th September people are invited to see how the house works to produce its own heat, electricity, water and food. We can’t all live in such a house, but we shall be inspired and Balsall Heath Is Our Planet will be there to help people Making a Change in their own life with practical lessons about how to move to a Low Energy and Low Carbon.
Details of the event which starts 11am and finishes 4pm are at the website
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Faiths Support a Low Carbon Future

05/08/2016 at 12:40 pm | Posted in Community energy, Solar power, Walking | Leave a comment
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People from a variety of local faith groups will be walking through Balsall Heath and Moseley on Sunday 14th August 2016 to see what has been done to cut carbon emissions and conserve the atmosphere. They will start at 2pm at the Birmingham Buddhist Centre, and visit Balsall Heath Church Centre, the KSIMC mosque Clifton Road, then the Zero Carbon House.
A greta opportunity to see what has been done and hear what inspired people to make these buldings into examples for the wider community. Details of the walk are at Footsteps (Faiths for a Low Carbon Future) faith groups in Birmingham respond to the challenge of a low carbon future. Details at Footsteps site
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A Pocket Park for Balsall Heath

16/06/2016 at 9:56 am | Posted in Cycling, Gardens, Walking | Leave a comment
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This summer we shall see a new Pocket Park appear, and work has begun. The location is right in the centre of Balsall Heath, where Moseley Road and Haden Way join together. This was where the Highways Department wanted to start a huge south Birmingham expressway, but were fought off by combined residents’ groups 20 years ago.
The BH Neighbourhood Plan identified this as the natural centre, which could become something like a Town Square. The Pocket Park is the first step.
Now Balsall Heath Forum has a grant from the Department of Communities and Local Government to re-model it. The work is being done by Jericho Foundation, a social enterprise. Features of the design by local architect Joe Holyoak retains all the trees on the site and adds a coloured paving design, flowers and herbs in planters and seats. Yes, pedestrians will be able to sit down! Cyclists will be separated as part of a new cycle route.
The overgrown shrubbery has already been cleared away (along with the rubbish and the rats). The children’s nursery Little Care Bearz behind is now much more visible and will have a better setting.
Various artists are interested in contributing to the project. An Opening Ceremony/ Event will be held later in the summer. Let’s love and protect our Pocket Park.

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Let’s Enjoy our Front Gardens

05/05/2016 at 11:05 am | Posted in Gardens, Trees, Water, Wildlife | Leave a comment

In spring and summer the front gardens of Balsall Heath offer beautiful colour to our streets. So, a big thank you to all the gardeners. Sadly many houses have tarmacked or slabbed entirely, to park cars on. This adds to drainage problems because the drains cannot cope with sudden rain that no longer sinks into the ground. Without any shade the streets will get very hot, and we still remember the damage of the Birmingham Tornado which was triggered in July 2005 by the high temperatures.
Fortunately there are alternative surfaces that allow people to park their cars, but still have a surface that drains and also looks good. The Moseley Society website has provided some good advice
“The law now requires you to seek planning permission if you wish to lay impermeable driveways of more than five square metres that do not provide for the water to run to a permeable area. However you will not need planning permission if a new or replacement driveway of any size uses permeable (or porous) gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally. The Government has produced an excellent Guide on the Permeable Surfacing of Front Gardens explaining how this can be done link here
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Inner Birmingham Walk

24/03/2016 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment
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It’s the Inner Birmingham Walk ! We have the chance to join others in walking part of the route for the proposed Inner Birmingham Walk, that will join Balsall Heath to neighbouring areas. Saturday 2nd April Start time: 9.00 am for 9.15 depart. Meeting point: Junction of Ladypool Road and Highgate Road B12 8DP .
Distance: Approx 1.5 miles, 3 for return walk, but we can continue with Edgbaston walkers who will end 1pm at Hagley Road. bus return
Contact John Newson on 0121 647 1960 office hours
Inner Birmingham Walk

John Newson

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