Love Food Hate Waste

26/02/2016 at 10:29 am | Posted in Recycling, uncategorised | Leave a comment

Love Food Hate Waste – A Quiz night will be held on Monday 29th February 7pm start at Balsall Heath Church Centre, Mary Street corner of Edward Road ALL Welcome.
Healthy food will be served. Learn 5 key ways to waste less food – you could save up to £700 a year.

An event of Balsall Heath Forum supported by BHIOP and Big Lottery

Keeping Everyone Together

26/01/2016 at 2:43 pm | Posted in uncategorised | 1 Comment

Balsall Heath’s great record in working together to improve the area could be threatened by proposals from the Boundary Commission to cut us into two wards for local authority purposes along the Moseley Road. Many people are very concerned that we do not have to go to two sets of meetings and relate to councillors whose wards include other neighbourhoods. The Neighbourhood Plan will be much better implemented if the whole area sits within one ward. These are the arguments that Balsall Heath Forum say they will be making to the Boundary Commission Many other neighbourhoods would be broken into small wards dividing established neighbourhoods of Birmingham. There is a petition to sign that asks for them to halt and give time for community organisations to make their case Please see the link
To see the proposals and make your own comments by 6 February go to Boundary Commission

The Future of Waste

21/12/2015 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Recycling | Leave a comment

Residents of Birmingham can have their say on the way that our City Council collects, recycles or disposes of their waste. But hurry, since it ends on 4th January 2016. The survey is quite long, but you do not have to answer every question. The results will feed into the new Future Waste strategy which they have to produce to replace the 25 year contract under which all our waste has belonged to Veolia, a large multinational corporation. What should we do with it in future?
Take the survey HERE

Save on winter heating

26/11/2015 at 4:15 pm | Posted in Home Energy saving | Leave a comment

The best way to save on heating is to only heat the space you need, as much as you need and when you need it. So that means insulation to slow heat loss from your home and getting control over your heating system. I have updated the Energy Advice page of this website with some useful links Go to page

Using fallen leaves

04/11/2015 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Gardens, Trees | Leave a comment

Following on from the recent composting demonstration at Digbeth Community Garden, I was asked to help Balsall Heath Church Centre to do something useful with their many bags of fallen leaves that they were unable to transport to the council tip. We agreed that leaves are mostly air and water and are best broken down on site. A composting system is being planned that should be able to deal with all the garden waste they have in future.
Now that Birmingham City Council no longer collects garden waste free I have read that 11,000 tonnes less is being given to them, so gardeners do seem to be remembering how to compost waste themselves. It is cheaper to buy a compost bin than to pay the council to collect for a year and compost bins for £20 area available from GetComposting
Balsall Heath 006

Ready, Steady, Compost

21/10/2015 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Gardens, Recycling | Leave a comment

I will be showing how to compost your garden waste on Saturday 31 October at the Halloween Harvest Festival at Digbeth Community Garden. We shall be looking at methods of composting waste from the garden and kitchen scraps, so making compost for the seeds in spring. A leaf bin will be built for fallen leaves to break down and make leaf mould instead of peat. The Garden has a number of beds growing vegetables and herbs. There will also be healthy vegetarian food, face-painting and a parade of weirdly-shaped vegetables (bring your entries). It is Halloween, so some will be wearing spooky costumes I expect… The event starts at 12 noon on Saturday 31st Oct and the Garden is on the corner of Allison Street and Shaw’s Passage (right at Digbeth police station) next to Birmingham Friends of the Earth’s building and the Warehouse café. More details are at Friends of the Earth website
Farm Compost

Shares still on offer for Solar Roofs

22/09/2015 at 12:52 pm | Posted in Community energy, Solar power | Leave a comment
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People are still applying for shares in Community Energy Birmingham’s solar roofs. This is a local society for the benefit of the community, of which i am an unpaid director, and they have 3 solar roofs on community buildings, with another 3 in Moseley and Sparkbrook ready to install. CEB is only £15,000 short of its target to install all the roofs and wants to reach that total soon, in order to beat the government’s threatening review of the Feed in Tariff payments which may make such projects far more difficult. The message is read the prospectus quickly and get in touch with CEB if you are thinking of joining those investing £250 to £10,000. The estimated return is 4% per annum. See B’ham Post



Is time running out for solar?

17/09/2015 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Community energy, Home Energy saving, Solar power | Leave a comment

Many people who have been thinking about putting solar panels on their roof in Balsall Heath may not be aware that time could be running out. The government has announced a review of the rates of feed in tariff payable to people who give their roofs for the purpose. Rates are announced until 31 December but are proposed to drop to a very low level from 1st January. This means that all the installers are being rung and filling their diaries with orders, as homeowners try to beat the degression. If you do get it done in 2015, then the income is guaranteed for 20 years and the review underlines that.
I have written an information sheet which I hope is impartial about solar costs and benefits. email bhiop[at] if you want to be sent a copy John Newson
If you do not have a suitable roof, you may consider investing in Community Energy Birmingham which is putting panels onto community buildings in this area website

A House with no Fuel Bills

04/09/2015 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Home Energy saving, Solar power | Leave a comment

IMG_6352One of the most energy efficient houses in Britain is opening its doors on Saturday 12th September. Everyone welcome. Free admission and tours with John Christophers its architect and owner from 11am -4pm. A wonderful and inspiring story, following the family’s experience with the Birmingham Tornado 2005- what a positive response! While some people worry about the changing atmosphere these people have shown how to live Zero Carbon, on renewable energy. This will be a chance to learn more about you can do at home to save energy, and to use solar energy. Event for children at 2pm. There is a super new website for the house
See you all there!

A Wildlife Walk in the Park

25/08/2015 at 1:47 pm | Posted in Trees, Walking, Wildlife | Leave a comment

On Thursday 27th August 2015 we shall be having a Wildlife Walk in Cannon Hill Park, led by the park rangers. This is in partnership with the Bright Future Association, which has many members in the Balsall Heath area, so we meet at 12.00 at Calthorpe Park Centre and walk to the park. We hope to explore some wilder or more natural areas, as an alternative to the fair and ice creams. What plants and animals can we find living in the park? A Treasure Hunt to search for objects from nature will be organised after a picnic lunch, then walk back together.. All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Meeting place Calthorpe

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