Have you found our bears yet?

If you go down to University of Birmingham’s campus this summer, you’re in for a bear-illiant surprise!

This summer the University of Birmingham is delighted to be supporting Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, in collaboration with Wild in Art, to host The Big Sleuth. We are sponsoring three bear sculptures to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

On 10 July, three paw-some bears arrived on campus, but have you found them yet? Use your bear-y good detective skills by following our interactive trail to complete your mission and become a super-sleuth. We even have a watchful bear overseeing the creation of the Green Heart throughout the summer! As well as a trail, we will be hosting an array of family events to keep little cubs entertained this holiday and lots of Twitter competitions! All our events are free, so why not come and discover all the University has to offer including some of Birmingham’s finest cultural assets.

Head to our website now and follow our bears on Twitter @beekind_thebear, @buzz_thebear and @rosie_the_bear.

One of the UK’s best green spaces

Our Edgbaston campus has been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as one of the very best green spaces in the world!

The University is among a record-breaking 1,797 UK parks and green spaces that will today receive a prestigious Green Flag Award; the mark of a quality park or green space. This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Our stunning grounds are maintained by a 38 strong team of dedicated Grounds staff. They’re the first team on campus at 06:00am and are responsible for managing, beautifying and improving every inch of our 250 acre campus. One of their greatest achievements is developing a huge recycling and waste initiative.

Their next challenge will be helping to create the Green Heart, adding another 12 acres to our Green Flag campus. After a busy summer, the Grounds team will be planting over 100 new trees in the space including apple, cherry, beech, oak and maple.

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UoB’s Grounds and Gardens Team

Are you ready for landscaping?

As you may have noticed, the first steps towards creating the Green Heart are fully underway in University Square. The former library is quickly coming down and on track to be completed before Welcome Week in September. This will be one of the major stages of phase one of development from July – November 2017.

But, are you prepared and clued up on the next stage of landscaping?

In early August, the section of University Square closest to the Arts Building and the former library will be cordoned off by mesh hoardings until November. Accessibility around this site will be maintained throughout the works with the installation of temporary ramps and new pathways. This will ensure that everyone can navigate the new routes easily and safely.

To help you navigate the changes, look out for directional signage in University Square, the Arts Building and Muirhead Tower. Make sure you follow us on Twitter for the latest updates and, check out our new landscaping webpage for weekly building reports.

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Be prepared… phase 1 begins this August

A sustainable Green Heart

What’s that mound of earth behind the new Library? We can reassure you that we are not building our own sand dunes on campus, nor is it a modern art installation. It is actually yet another way in which the Green Heart is living up to its green credentials.

As we begin to landscape the Green Heart this July, we will lay 12,750m2 of grass area including turf, wild flower meadow and seeding before completion in 2019. To that end, the earth mound behind the Library is specifically a large pile of topsoil. This has come from the old sports fields which are currently being redeveloped into new 4G sports pitches.

Rather than waste the soil from those pitches, we have moved it to behind the Library for storage, until it can be re-purposed under the Green Heart’s new lawns. Through cross project team collaboration, we’ve boosted both project’s sustainability and saved money by not sending the soil away and, when the time was right, bringing it all back again. In numbers, we’re saved around 4,300m3, that’s about 500 lorry loads, going off-site only to come back  again later at a price. Pretty clever.

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Bit difficult to take an ‘interesting’ photo of a construction site… so here’s a digger at the sport pitches

Revamp your commute

Let’s be honest, before the recent hit show starring Peter Kay, had you ever thought about car sharing?  Probably not, but our guest blog from the Universities Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator Peter Edwards is here to change that.

The University is growing fast, with new buildings and projects popping up all over the place to improve the learning, teaching and leisure experience on campus. With perhaps the most exciting, of course, being the Green Heart. With this growth comes disruption to car parking, such as the closure of North Car Park after 13 July.  One potential solution to ease the pressure on car parking is to reduce the number of cars on campus.

Did you know our travel survey showed that there are loads of us living round the corner from each other driving on our own; maybe it’s time to get a travel buddy?

The University has a car sharing platform called Liftshare which acts as a car matching service for staff. Simply sign up, enter your location and working hours, and we will try to match you to other drivers in your area. Once you have a team, you’re eligible for a special permit which gives you access to 20 priority car parking spaces around campus.

Car sharing may not be suitable for everyone, and Liftshare may not be as sexy as Tinder but, we promise that you will probably have more success! It’ll save you money, time and stress, so why not sign up today? You never know, you might even make a friend!

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High five friends for car sharing

Ready, steady… landscape!

The first steps towards creating the Green Heart that will transform the centre of campus pick up pace next month. You may have already noticed lots more activity around the former library, this is because we are now taking down two buildings that comprise the structure. Demolition work will be carried out between 08:00 and 17:00 on weekdays, however there is a chance that some work may take place on weekends. The entire building will be taken down and completed before Welcome Week in September.

When it comes to making the space a green oasis, the first two phases of landscaping will take place from July 2017 – November 2017, and then November 2017 – March 2018, in University Square. The section of University Square closest to the Arts Building and the former library will be transformed from July, with the section closest to Staff House focused on from November. As a result, areas of University Square will be cordoned off at different times, and mesh hoardings will be erected in early August.

Accessibility around the landscaping site will be maintained throughout the works with the installation of temporary ramp systems and new pathways. This will ensure that everyone can navigate the new routes easily and safely.

To help you navigate the changes, look out for directional signage in University Square, Arts Building and Muirhead Tower. Make sure you follow us on Twitter for the latest updates and, check out our new landscaping webpage for weekly building reports.

The Big Sleuth at UoB

If you go down to University of Birmingham’s campus this summer, you’re in for a bear-illiant surprise!

This summer the University of Birmingham is delighted to be supporting Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, in collaboration with Wild in Art, to host The Big Sleuth. We are sponsoring three bear sculptures to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

From 10 July – 17 September, three paw-some bears will be hidden across our campus, but will you be able to find them? Use your bear-y good detective skills by following our interactive trail to complete your mission and become a super-sleuth. We even have a watchful bear overseeing the creation of the Green Heart throughout the summer! As well as an interactive trail, we will be hosting an array of family events to keep little cubs entertained this holiday! All our events are free, so why not come and discover all the University has to offer including some of Birmingham’s finest cultural assets.

Head to our website now to get ready!

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Come and find me this summer at UoB