Special Guest takeover piece: ‘Grow with Joe’ Community Garden


The development of the Green Heart has allowed space for a Community Garden in the centre of the University campus. Currently under construction, the ‘Grow with Joe’ garden promises to be an inclusive space for relaxation, exercise and education. Part funded by the Alumni Impact Fund and Willmott Dixon, the area should be finished and planted up in time for the Green Heart Festival on the 8th June 2019.

The plans for the garden include 4 raised beds for allotment style veg plots, as well as rich flowering species for pollinators. Another feature is the heritage apple espalier, which will be planted with local Worcestershire apple varieties such as ‘William Crump’, ‘Pershore Yellow’ and ‘Pitmaston Pine Apple’.


The aim of the all organic project is to encourage students and members of the community to become interested in local food production, in a relaxed and friendly environment. Production of this type not only cuts down on the plastic packaging, air miles and pesticides involved with big agriculture, but also encourages people to eat healthy, fresh fruit and vegetables for free!

The site will be looked after by the Birmingham University Conservation Volunteers, with regular events to keep the garden maintained and productive. The plot is up by the North Gate, close to the pedestrian crossing on Pritchatts Road.

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Keep your eyes peeled for progress over the coming weeks!

Anyone interested in getting involved can email: bucv@guild.bham.ac.uk , or see the Conservation Volunteers Facebook group for details of events: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bucv.guild/

Blog post credit to: Lawrence Weston- Co-chair of conservation volunteers at University of Birmingham

Hedgehog Awareness week at UoB

The Greenheart was built with the protection of animals, such as hedgehogs, as one of the top priorities. It is a hedgehog sanctuary and supports a number of other animals such as bats and swallows.

Swift tower

Today is the final day of hedgehog awareness week, and we wanted to share with you some of the best ways to help hedgehogs in your everyday life. In recent years there has been a decline in the number of hedgehogs in rural and urban areas, so we want to do everything we can to change that.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) helps care for sick and injured hedgehogs and rehabilitated them into the wild. They have some great ideas on how to help hedgehogs, so if you want to know more, check out their website here.

If you want to help more hedgehogs – and you have a garden – one way is to offer them food. The best food to offer them is dog or cat food that is meaty, or complete cat biscuits. You should not let them drink anything other than water.

If you see a hedgehog out in the daylight, have a closer look. Hedgehogs are naturally nocturnal, and often when healthy do not come out at night. If you see a hedgehog looking like it is sunbathing, the BHPS advises that the hedgehog is in need of urgent help. To help the hedgehog, pick it up (while wearing gloves) and put it into a high sided box with a blanket at the bottom and keep it warm. You can feed it, too. Call 01584 890 801 if you ever see a hedgehog that you think might be in need of help.

There are other simple ways to help hedgehogs too, such as putting gaps in your fences (about the size of a CD case) to let the hedgehog pass through easily and covering any deep holes that might be in the garden. If you’re ever mowing the grass, always check that there are no hedgehogs before you begin.

Additionally, you can build a hedgehog home in your garden. This is especially good for spaces that do not have a lot of greenery. There are instructions here. Overbury, the construction company working on the Medical School right now have done exactly that, and have installed a hedgehog home on the site!

Image: Overbury Twitter


The Conservation Society have also been doing a lot for this week. You might have seen them around campus raising money for hedgehogs with their bake sales. Their hedgehog cupcakes are adorable!

Image: University of Birmingham Conservation Society Twitter.