Our Five Favourite Hidden Gems on Campus

Have you ever wondered what might be hiding on the Edgbaston campus of the university? It’s awful when you know that there must be some interesting events happening but you’re just not sure when or where they are. Luckily we’re here to provide you with a neat little overview of our five favourite spots on campus and our favourite upcoming event for them. Read on to find out what’ll keep you busy this Christmas.


Lapworth Museum

R4 on Campus Map,

Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm

Saturday and Sunday: 12 noon – 5pm

Free Entry


Our Geology museum in the heart of campus is one of the oldest specialised museums in the UK with some of the UK’s most outstanding collections of geology. If you want to see fossils that are 420 million years old, then this is the place for you.

Best Upcoming Event: Rock Choir

Lapworth Museum, Sunday 9th December 2:30 – 3:00pm –  free entry

Lapworth Museum is welcoming the UK’s largest contemporary choir – Rock Choir – into the museum to sing some fun, festive music, with festive refreshments provided! The Rock Choir is a group of fun, friendship and community spirit, combining a love of music with an active and social community. Pop down if you’re feeling like an uplifting, warming afternoon of entertainment!

Find out more about the event here

Find out more about the Rock Choir here



The Bramall

R12 on Campus Map


The Bramall’s main auditorium seats 450 people, providing a very intimate space for audience and performer. The acoustics of the hall are world-class, being designed by the same team who were involved in developing the acoustics for the Royal Opera House Muscat. They have so many events it was hard for us to just pick one, so you should really check out their website and see what your favourite is.

Best Upcoming Event: Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra Concert

The Bramall, Sunday 16th December 3:00pmtickets from £6 to £16

With music from Tchaikovsky, Khatchaturian and Shostakovich, the Philharmonic Orchestra is providing us with a very Russian, very historical set that we’re super excited to hear! While Tchaikovsky’s work reflects upon a Russian triumph over Napoleon, Shostakovich’s commemorates the early stages of the Russian Revolution. This is a powerful, historical and thought-provoking set of music.

Find out more about the event here

Find out more about the Philharmonic Orchestra here



The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

R14 on Campus Map

Monday to Friday: 10am – 5pm

Saturday & Sunday:11am – 5pm

Free Entry


The Barber Institute was founded ‘for the Study and encouragement of art and music’ by Lady Barber in 1932. They continue to live up to her vision today, and we think they’re doing a very good job of it. With many events that are open to all it makes Fine Art – a notoriously exclusive form – available to all. With regular gallery tours, events for children, workshops, talks and drawing sessions, the Barber has created an inclusive space for everyone in the community that’s interested in art.

Best Upcoming Event: Sunday Gallery Tours

The Barber, every second and fourth Sunday of the month 2:30pm – free entry

If you want to find out more about the collections in the Barber, then this is the event for you. Maybe you’re confused about where to start with Fine Art, or you have some specific questions, whatever your thoughts these tours will answer all the questions you have and more. Have an hour being taken around the gallery with experts, their wealth of knowledge at your disposal. Each tour starts at 14:30 and the meeting place is below the portrait of Lady Barber in the foyer.

Find out more about the event here



Winterbourne House and Gardens

58 Edgbaston Park Rd, Birmingham B15 2RT

November-March 10.30am – 4pm Daily

£6 Entry


If the built-up city centre is getting you down then maybe a quick escape to Winterbourne Garden is exactly what you need. This quaint Edwardian house tucked away with a 7-achre botanical garden is a little oasis of green in the centre of built-up-Birmingham. Escape into history and into nature with a relaxing day in the gardens.

Best Upcoming Event: Christmas Private Dining in the Old Kitchen

Winterbourne House, 12:00 – 2:00pm – Festive Afternoon Tea £17.95 p.p., Christmas Lunch £19.95 p.p.

The Old Kitchen in the Edwardian House at Winterbourne is open for you and whoever you wish to bring to lunch. The room will be covered with traditional Christmas decorations, and you’ll have the choice of either a wintery Afternoon Tea, or a full Christmas Lunch. There is nowhere cosier to have a Christmas meal this season. Make sure you book soon though, because we all know everyone’s pining for that lunch as close to Christmas as you can get it!

Find out more about the event here



The Greenheart

Though it’s not quite ready yet, of course we think that one of our favourite (upcoming) hidden gems on campus is of course the Greenheart. It’s a space that will be open to all, for relaxing, studying, picnicking, light jogs – whatever you see fit.

Best Upcoming Event: The Greenheart Festival

June 2019 – May 2020

For nearly a whole year we will be celebrating the opening of the Greenheart with a festival full of events so that there will be something for everyone. We want everyone to be involved, staff, students, partners and the local community, because the Greenheart really is for everyone.

Celebrations start on the weekend of the 7th June 2019, so mark it down in your calendars! All activities will be free and open to all, with a prom, performances, activities and demonstrations to name only a few. We can’t wait!

Find out more about the event here

The Green Heart Festival- We want to hear from you!


Green heart Festival

What is happening?

As many of you may notice, the Green Heart area on campus is near to completion. To celebrate this next year we will be holding a year-long festival starting from June 2019-May 2020.

The Green heart Festival will be split into four themes, aligned with the seasons:

  • Summer 2019       June, July, August                                 Celebration
  • Autumn 2019        September, October, November       Change
  • Winter 2019/20    December, January, February           Illumination
  • Spring 2020           March, April, May                                Hope

Celebrations will be kick-started with the launch weekend from 7th to 9th June 2019, with free activities, open to all. There will be a prom, performances, activities demonstrations and much more.

Why are we doing this?

We want to celebrate this new space in the form of an ambitious year-long festival which will involve students, staff, partners and the local community. With a strong link to the University’s research and education, the Festival will develop a creative and innovative experience to develop a legacy that will live beyond 2020.

The 12 acres of parkland will be a communal space for all members of the community to enjoy and will provide a unique space for entertainment, socialising and study.

How do I get involved?

We want students, academic research groups, staff and partners from across the University to put forward their proposals to deliver an event as part of this festival. It might be a one-off event, or a series.

Your bid will need to demonstrate:

  • A connection to the chosen theme; celebration, change, illumination or hope
  • How the event will be delivered in the Green Heart
  • What the objectives are
  • Who the audience is
  • How funding, if appropriate, will be sourced.

What you choose is up to you, it can be anything from a wildlife walk to a totally immersive experience. The more imaginative and creative, the better!

Tell us all the information of your event and we will work with you to make it happen as part of the Green Heart Festival. You can do this by completing the form on the intranet

How do I find out more?

You can find out more about the Green heart project through our website here: www.birmingham.ac.uk/greenheart

Or on the Intranet through searching ‘Green Heart Festival’

We also have twitter page: @uobgreenheart


Got an idea you would like to run by us first? Drop us an email at: greenheart@contacts.bham.ac.uk


World Mental Health Day 2018

Wednesday 10th October was World Mental Health Day 2018, an important date that helps raise awareness and reduce stigma for the vast amount of people that struggle with mental health issues. This can boost the confidence of those struggling and allow them to access the knowledge they need to know in order to get the help they need in a non-judgmental environment.

Professional help for those struggling with mental health issues can be a vital part of recovery. Additionally, studies are finding more lifestyle habits that tend to help or hinder someone struggling with mental illness in a more passive way. One example of this is the positive impact that green spaces can have on a person’s mental health.

With the Green Heart coming to completion in early 2019, soon the campus will have a vast, widely accessible green-space. The results of research suggest that spaces like these have a positive effect on the mental health of those living and working locally to it. These benefits include reduced stress, apathy depression and anger, which in the longer term leads to less depression and anxiety and greater well-being. Green spaces also have a therapeutic benefit to mental health, enhancing self-esteem, self-image and self-confidence.

Even just the presence of green spaces has shown a positive effect on people’s mental health. This is a real benefit of the Green Heart. It is an easy-to-access study space due to the WiFi coverage where finding a seat isn’t a problem, and even when choosing to study in the Library, Murihead Tower or Arts building, the Green Heart will still be visible to many students. Because the Green Heart will be a convenient place to be, and a central point of campus, being at the heart of campus it is almost unavoidable when travelling through the university. All frequenters of the Edgbaston campus will experience a positive effect on their mental health because of this.

If you are feeling you are suffering with mental health problems, there are plenty of methods of getting the help you need from the University. There is a Mental Health and Wellbeing drop in service from Mon-Fri in the Aston Webb, or for more personalised help please complete their online self-referral form. You can always talk to your GP about mental health too.

For urgent help, the Samaritans helpline is available 24/7 – call 116 123.

Welcome back to the Green Heart for another academic year!

As many of you know we had a gloriously hot summer which was wonderful, but here at Green Heart we had a real struggle on our hands to keep the newly planted trees alive! As a result, we had a constant rotation of watering carried out by three members of our team, each tree receiving a good 25 minute soaking both into the root and top of the soil. This was six days a week for over 12 weeks. Fortunately, all of the trees have survived and the brown canopies are at last starting to disappear.

Here’s what was happening over the summer:

  1. The café and its embankments were 90% completed and clad. This has formed the link from the North of the site to our new bridge. Works are now ongoing to handrails and final walkway finishes.
  2. We have started to install additional Wi-Fi and information totems which will enhance the experience and use of Green Heart for the students. This will mean that students can study freely on the Green Heart as Wi-Fi will be easy and accessible for all.
  3. In addition to this, off-site we have been working hard to acquire the planting for the autumn. Specialist plants have been sourced from Europe and are currently in greenhouses either in Holland or South Wales.
  4. We have repaved the area outside Muirhead Tower and Arts, bringing it together with the Green Heart.
  5. The rill water feature next to the new Teaching and Learning building site has all been cast and the infrastructure of the pump room constructed. Once completed it will provide a link between the new building and Green Heart. https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/university/building/teaching-and-learning-building.aspx

Now term has started, the amphitheatre has been carved in its raw state which can be viewed from Muirhead Tower. This shows how the site will be shaped to accommodate the exciting live shows on library square when the lawn is completed!

Here from Green Heart, we hope you have had a lovely summer and we hope you stay tuned for more exciting updates this upcoming year!


New landscaping phase to begin

Progress on the Green Heart is advancing fast. University Square is now complete and looks glorious in the sun; have you enjoyed your lunch yet on one of our swanky new benches?

The next vital piece of work to commence will focus around the Art Buildings to enable the team to repave the pathways and former car park in this area.

From Saturday 14 July to Friday 21 September, pathways between Muirhead Tower (R21) and the Arts Building (R16) will close. There will be no public access along these pathways and as a result, building access from these pathways will also be closed. Alternative routes will be clearly signposted throughout the works. This construction has been programmed to commence after degree congregations in July 2018 and be completed before Welcome Week in September 2018.

The map below outlines the alternative routes during these works and further details can be found here. If you want to get in touch with any questions or concerns that you may have, please email us at greenheart@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

PF2770 Green Heart - Muirhead - Alternative Route - 3D

All alternative routes will be clearly signposted 

Celebrate good times!

To celebrate reaching 1,000 followers on the University of Birmingham’s Green Heart Twitter account, the team are offering our followers the chance to get behind the scenes at the University of Birmingham’s most ambitious estates project.

Join us from next week for a free, exclusive tour, behind the hoardings of the University’s 12-acre parkland. Find out how we’re building a new space centred around you through innovative landscaping and architecture before we open at the end of this year.

There are four tour slots to choose from but, you’ll need to book up fast before spaces go!


Get behind the scenes

Developing the library terrace

With the opening of University Square in May, work to complete the Green Heart by late 2018 – early 2019 is progressing quickly. Over the next few weeks work will commence adjacent to the library terrace to connect the Square and library to the rest of the Green Heart. We hope these works will take a few weeks to complete over the summer. During this time we will be:

  1. Removing the bamboo area and creating a compound so works can take place safely.
  2. Laying new paving around the steps but, one side of the steps will always be accessible and the ramp will remain open during these works.
  3. Replacing the ramp (once step 2 is completed) with an accessible pathway that connects to the Green Heart.

Once we’re done, this new area will provide additional terrace space alongside a connected and fully accessible pathway. If you have any questions, or comments during these works, please contact us on greenheart@contacts.bham.ac.uk.


Improving your library terrace