Could you become a confident cyclist?

20/02/2017 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Cycling | Leave a comment
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Spring is around the corner and many local residents would like to cycle, but feel very unsure in traffic – even on back streets. Cycle Active may be able to help. They lead free introductory led rides from their base at Calthorpe Well Being hub, Edward Road in Balsall Heath. You can practice off road, then venture out down the Cycle Route number 5 to Cannon Hill Park, and even beyond.
Mondays 12.30pm – 1.30pm
Do not delay, as their funding is under threat, I believe. Places can be booked at the Ride Active website

John Newson, BHIOP development officer
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Launch of Car Club

26/01/2017 at 4:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Most cars are parked, most of the time – unless they belong to a Car Club, when people are booking and using them. Twelve people can use one car. This reduces the need for car parking, the cost to the driver and the environmental impact. People can use a car when they need, but other means of transport as well. Now a car club is coming to Balsall Heath, Moseley and Kings Heath.
Local residents are invited to meet the Co-Wheels Car Club team and have their questions asked at 2pm on Sunday 5th Feb. at All Saints Centre, Kings Heath

If you cannot attend but are interested do let them know. http://www.carclubbrum.org.uk/ Please help to circulate to anyone you know who may be interested. I shall certainly be there…John Newson, BHIOP development officer

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Five energy saving tips this winter

13/12/2016 at 4:12 pm | Posted in Home Energy saving | Leave a comment

Here are ‘five heating myths’, which many people believe, according to Age UK, but which are wrong and will actually waste energy and cost you money;

  1. Don’t turn up the heating controls when it gets cold outside  -because your heating will heat to its set temperature anyway. If you make it hotter indoors, then the extra heat just tries even harder to escape. Also, the warmer it feels indoors, the colder it will feel outdoors.
  2. Don’t turn up the heating to make the room warm up more quickly. This won’t work  and will only stop the heating from shutting down when a comfortable temperature is reached.
  3. Don’t leave your heating on all the time. There is no point in heating space when no one is there. You want heat only when you need it, and as much as you need it.
  4. Don’t heat water all the time, for the same reasons.
  5. Do not keep electric storage heaters on all the time. They are designed to input at night when electricity is cheaper and then output at set times. Most people do not understand them but there are online videos to explain,  like this one by British Gas

Bulb Planting at Pocket Park

22/11/2016 at 1:48 pm | Posted in Gardens, Trees, Walking, Wildlife | Leave a comment
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Thanks very much to everyone who turned out to help with community bulb planting at the Pocket Park in Balsall Heath on 17th November. I would say that 15 people contributed at some point. Volunteers were there from Balsall Heath Forum, St Paul’s Trust and school, also the Jericho Foundation. One man even saw us out of his house and came over to help. We got 150 bulbs of daffodil, crocus, snowdrop, iris, tulip planted, and these should make a colourful display next spring and summer, and for years to come. I notice that either no-one seems to drop litter there, or others are picking it up and putting in the bin..

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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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