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

 

Free Cycle Check

28/06/2018 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Cycling, Streets | Leave a comment
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Cyclists have been gathering on Moseley Road in Balsall Heath to have an on-street bike check. People do not always understand their bike or how keep it well maintained and this is one factor that puts people off cycling, even when the weather is fine and the evenings light. Fabio is the new cycle mechanic at the Old Print Works, opposite the swimming baths, and he offers to diagnose faults for free, and do minor adjustments of gears and brakes . Fabio is there every Tuesday 2pm to 6pm and the café if open as well, so you can have a cuppa while the bike gets some attention. At other times contact Fabio

More Good News – Council secures further £1.3m boost for cycle and pedestrian improvements. It will be used to implement new safety measures at the junction of Pershore Road and Priory Road, where a cyclist was killed by a lorry  in 2017.  More here 

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Brightening the street

24/06/2018 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Gardens, Streets, Wildlife | 1 Comment
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A wonderful pop up garden has appeared in front of the Wesleyan Holiness Church on Cromer Road, Balsall Heath this year, thanks to voluntary effort, led by Tessa Lowe.  Passers by comment on how much better the site looks, having only been grass before. The amount of litter dropped has dropped off as well, since people see the church offering an attractive sight and someone obviously taking care of it. This shows the importance of corner sites in gardening the neighbourhood and in encouraging people to walk..

Flowers include lupins and foxgloves, which are great for feeding the bees, as well as for summer colour, so we could call it another Bee Garden.

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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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Walk to the City Centre

30/08/2017 at 12:19 pm | Posted in Walking | Leave a comment
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Walk to the City Centre on Sunday 10th September

Let’s discover a safe walking route into Birmingham city centre that goes through green spaces. We want to show that they should be protected and linked up for walking and cycling routes. Please join this community walk and picnic, organised by the Greener Birmingham Coalition. One of the walks will be led by Balsall Heath Forum on Sunday 10th September meeting at 12.00 from Balsall Heath Library, next to Moseley Road Baths. Finish at the picnic at City Centre Gardens, behind the Library of Birmingham. It’s free, no booking, just turn up. Please have your walking shoes, rainwear and a picnic. About 2 miles or 1 hour, take a bus back or walk. More information at Greener West Midlands

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Opportunity to become a confident cyclist

12/05/2017 at 2:27 pm | Posted in Cycling | Leave a comment
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Cycle Active introductory rides are continuing for adults now on Fridays at 1.30 Calthorpe Well Being hub, Edward Road in Balsall Heath. You can practice off road, then venture out with them to Cannon Hill Park.
Places can be booked at the Ride Active website

John Newson, BHIOP development officer
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Oranges and Lemons

02/05/2017 at 2:19 pm | Posted in Food, Gardens, Trees | Leave a comment
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People were delighted to see citrus fruit growing on bushes for sale at the Community Garden Centre in Balsall Heath at a Grow It weekend, which took place over 29th and 30th April. The event was supported by Balsall Heath Is Our Planet and 175 people attended.

“We are trying to stock some more unusual fruit and vegetables, as well as flowers”. Said Sanjay who works there. “Gardeners may like to try them out, given that they have already been given a flying start”.

The community garden centre supports the work of Balsall Heath Forum. It is open every day, being located at 82 St Pauls Road, close to Ladypool Road, tel 0121 446 6183. They offer local delivery.

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Pledge for Nature

10/04/2017 at 10:28 am | Posted in Wildlife | Leave a comment
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Many local people and organisations are pledging to protect nature. I pledge to;
* Do everything I can at home and at work to create space for nature,
* Support and protect my local green spaces
* Take action to encourage my local political and community leaders to protect the natural environment
* Encourage my employer to do more for the environment.
This has come from the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, who want to build a coalition of people who will work together to preserve nature in the city. Well worth signing up, and there are more details of the pledge on their website

Cyclists of Balsall Heath

14/03/2017 at 1:45 pm | Posted in Cycling | Leave a comment
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Cyclists of Balsall Heath have an opportunity to learn about and influence Birmingham City Council’s plans for cyclists at a one-off meeting on Tuesday 21 March at 6pm start.
The venue is the Old Print Works, on Moseley Road; enter the courtyard, where new cycle stands are being installed. NB No car parking.
I will be leading the discussion on…
• What cycle routes and provision have been dropped from the City Council’s programme ?
• What do we think of the proposed route down Bristol Road?
• Where are more cycle stands required?
BHIOP will ensure that your ideas are fed forward to the council’s cycling team which is planning future expenditure.
Do circulate this message to any other cyclists in Balsall Heath
Please let me know if you can come along… John Newson BHIOP[at]jericho.org.uk
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