Get on your bike!

With Christmas in the rear view mirror, and spring (somewhere) on the horizon, perhaps now is the time to consider changing how you travel to work?  Lots of New Year’s resolutions revolve around getting fit and healthy, saving money or living more environmentally friendly.  Cycling to work ticks all the boxes and the Universities Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator Peter Edwards is here to help you get started.

The Sustainable Travel team operate a staff bike loan scheme that enables you to borrow a hybrid bike for a minimum of 4 weeks complete with lights, a lock and even a helmet.  We can even help you plan a route using quieter roads, off-road routes and shared use paths if you want to avoid busy roads. We have 7 bikes in total with a wide range of sizes suitable for men and women.

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Join the team

In the last year more than 30 members of staff have loaned bikes and lots have gone on to buy their own bike via our salary sacrifice Cyclescheme.

‘Never before would I have considered cycling as a viable and enjoyable means of commuting to and from work’ Andrew (Business School)

‘I think the scheme is fantastic.  I’ve gone from a really nervous cyclist to really loving it and have now bought my own bike to ride to work’ Hannah (DARO)

The University is well placed to cycle to with the canal (although closed from next week for improvements), shared use paths all along Bristol Road and not far from the scenic Rea Valley and Bournbrook routes.  Cycling to work will help you live healthily, arrive refreshed and ready for work, live longer and save money (especially if you’ve got a free loan bike) so why not give it a try?  You’ll even be able to park right outside your office! To find out more, get in touch with the team today.

What a year!

As 2017 draws to a close, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the huge progress that the Green Heart has made this year!

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their patience and support during this time of huge change on the University’s campus.

From July, we took the first steps to creating a stunning 12 acre parkland at the heart of our historic campus; hoping to restore a 100 year old vision, as well as provide facilities for the 21st Century. After our students completed their summer exams, work began to demolish the former library (which was completed in November) and soon the east side of University Square was cordoned off to begin landscaping. Aside from the beginning of the creation of the parkland, you have also helped shape your space by partaking in our paving poll, consultations and getting involved on social media! We have also been out and about meeting staff, students and local residents to show off our plans in 360 VR and creating a host of resources for everyone to use including the Green Heart animation.

The team will be back in 2018, when we can look forward to the completion of University Square!

Meet the Green Heart team…

Hi everyone!

We would like to introduce you to the team behind the scenes at Willmott Dixon making the Green Heart a reality. Willmott Dixon are one of the UK’s leading construction contractor specialists and are using their expertise to ensure that the creation of our new parkland goes smoothly. As well as making sure that progress on site continues as planned, the team have also joined University Green Heart colleagues at Open Days and other public events to answer all your questions. They are also coordinating some fantastic work experience schemes and school’s projects to inspire the next generation of constructors.

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A tree-umph on campus

On 28 November, the Green Heart Project team held a ceremony to celebrate the first of 160 new trees arriving on campus. To ensure that the parkland is in keeping with the campus’ more established greenery, trees of different growth rates, from semi-mature to mature, were selected to be planted. Therefore, University Square now has a new selection of trees between 5-7 metres to compliment the scenery.

Aside from 160 new trees, and protecting 144 existing trees, the Green Heart will bring an array of wild flowers and lush grass areas to campus. These have been carefully selected to encourage local species, and we will be incorporating nesting sites to attract wildlife including bats, swifts and hedgehogs. Water features will also provide a relaxing audio backdrop, be a natural source of drainage management and further attract wildlife. All this means that the Green Heart will be a serene area for both wildlife and people.

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What a tree-tastic event!

A new beginning…

Last week the demolition of the former library came to a close. We would firstly like to thank everyone for their patience during this time. Now that the demolition is complete, landscaping can begin on the site behind the current hoardings. Towards the end of the month, we will start excavation of the Green Heart’s amphitheatre which will sit on the former North Car Park site.

Some of you have also been in contact to ask why part of the former library has not been demolished. We can reassure you that we have not forgotten a bit, the raised platform which remains at the centre of campus is in fact an electrical substation. The substation provides power to a number of buildings in the area and would have been incredibly expensive to relocate as part of the Green Heart project. Therefore, the Project team asked the landscape architects to incorporate it into their design for the new parkland. If you watch our Green Heart animation, from 20 seconds, you will see a raised platform on the right-hand side with the University Crests attached; this is part of the incorporated substation.

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A new beginning…

Did you get your copy?

We recently delivered the University’s community magazine to over 40,000 households in the local area. Did you get your copy of Community Buzz through the letterbox if you live nearby? If you didn’t, don’t worry, you can download your copy of Community Buzz Autumn 2017 now!

The magazine is teeming with the latest University news, events, and research and educational highlights. Make sure you save the date for the 2018 Art & Science Festival and why not book onto one of our exciting cultural tours. Also find out how our students are making a difference in the local community and transforming lives; it’s all in the magazine and much more. Our very own Green Heart project also features, discussing how we will restore a 100 year old vision by 2019.

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Download your free copy today!

Let’s get bikes on campus!

The University of Birmingham has launched an ambitious crowdfunding campaign to bring a free cycle hire scheme to campus. Think ‘Boris Bikes’: As part of a national competition, the University has been shortlisted along with four others to compete for the scheme which will transform the way students, staff and the local community travel across campus.

The University needs to raise at least £47,000 through crowdfunding in order to win an investment of £100,000 from Santander to get the scheme up and running. This would establish 8 bike stations at locations across campus and 50 bikes from the outset.

Since launching yesterday, the campaign has already gained 41 supporters and raised 33% of its target!

Can you help the University bring bikes to campus? You can access the crowdfunding campaign online and make a contribution. A contribution as little as £5 can get you a reward to mark your involvement with the programme. You have until 8 December to make this ambitious scheme a reality! Show your support by using #bikesforbrum.

#bikesforbrum from The University of Birmingham on Vimeo.