Bat Box Checks September 12, 2013

Surveying the bat boxes at Martineau Gardens copyright Morgan Bowers

Surveying the bat boxes at Martineau Gardens
copyright Morgan Bowers

On a bright September morning, BrumBats came in to survey the bat boxes of Martineau Gardens. They were looking for evidence of bats roosting and collecting data about age and species. In woodland that’s carefully managed, as Martineau Gardens is, there are of course plenty of natural places for bats to roost, so there was a certain amount of excitement and trepidation as to whether they would actually find a bat roosting.

Morgan Bowers (our former Biodiversity Officer) put the bat boxes up  seven years ago: the boxes have remained undisturbed since then. Bats are protected by law – you need to hold a license (as Morgan does) to inspect a bat box and handle bats. Morgan was accompanied by two trainee Bat Surveyors, Rachel and Sam. Morgan and the team examined 20 bat boxes but it was not until the final three were inspected that they found what they were looking for. To our joy and surprise, four bats were found in the most surprising of places. Seven years ago, three bat boxes were located high up on the mast of the ‘shipwreck’, more as a talking to raise awareness with visitors rather than a place for bats to roost. Bats prefer shaded, protected areas.  One sleeping bat was carefully lifted from the box, inspected, weighed and its species identified. Morgan has been able to confirm that this is a female, Soprano pipistrelle bat, that has raised a baby bat (pup) this year. Though one of the UK’s most common bats, they are a protected species and their population is in decline. We’re very glad that the bats continue to find a home at Martineau Gardens, just 2 miles from the city centre.

Surveying a Sporano pipistrelle bat at Martineau Gardens

Surveying a Sporano pipistrelle bat at Martineau Gardens. Copyright Morgan Bowers

Do you have a bat box?

Enjoy watching the bats fly in and out in the summer months, look for droppings below, but, you mustn’t disturb them unless you hold a license (and that includes a shining a torch at them). Join BrumBats for bat walks, talks and to find out about training opportunities. http://brumbats.wordpress.com/

Bat Facts:

Did you know: a single pipsitrelle can eat up to 3,000 insects per night!

Baby bats are called “pups”.

The females usually give birth to just one baby a year (occasionally twins).

Soprano pipistrelles are so called because they echolocate higher than common pipistrelles.

Echolation – A sensory system in certain animals, such as bats and dolphins, in which usually high-pitched sounds are emitted and their echoes interpreted to determine the direction and distance of objects.

 Evening Guided Bat Walk – Wed 16 April, 2014 – click here for details



Birmingham Honey Show Sat 14 & 15 Sept September 11, 2013

 

snip of honey banner of pics
 Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September, 10am until 4pm

Organised by Birmingham & District Beekeepers Association

FREE ENTRY

The marquees are going up for the Birmingham Honey Show, which returns to Martineau Gardens this weekend, for its third year. We’re looking forward to a great event, in the company of those friendly folk at the Birmingham and District Beekeepers Association. Find out what’s planned for the event and how to get to Martineau Gardens, by clicking here.  



Cricket Parking – Wed 11 Sept September 9, 2013

One Day International Cricket (NatWest Series: England v Australia) is taking place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, close to Martineau Gardens on Wednesday 11 September 2013. Martineau Gardens will be running our car park as a cricket car park on this day. Cricket fans attending the match will be able to park the car in our car park (subject to availability) for £10, we have space for 24 cars.

Thank you for choosing to park here.

  • Your fee is helping to support a great cause  and local charity.
  • Martineau Gardens is a registered charity and  community garden. We run education and therapeutic horticulture projects      in the Gardens. The Gardens are here for the people of Birmingham to enjoy peace and tranquillity.
  • To find out more about what happens here, visit this page

Your car is parked at your own risk. The gates will be locked or staffed, and staff will be on site throughout the match. If you wish to collect your car, before the end of the match, please phone 0121 440 7430 when you are outside the Gardens and we’ll unlock the gates.

At the end of play, the gates will be open for half an hour. Our staff will need to go home, so if you arrive later than this, you risk your car being locked in until 9.30am tomorrow morning, or an additional £15 charge.

Enjoy the cricket!

Non-cricket fans …visiting the Gardens

If you’re planning to visit Martineau Gardens on Wednesday 11 September, the car park will be full – we’d love you to come and visit but please leave the car at home, (or arrange to be dropped off) and use public transport. Martineau Gardens is well served by buses. The nearest bus routes are 1, 45, 47, 61, 63, X64. To plan your journey by public transport, visit TransportDirect and use the postcode search – Martineau Gardens postcode is B5 7UG. Alternatively, arrive by bike and bring your bike down to our bike rack, close to the Pavilion.

When you arrive, the gates will be locked, please phone the office on 0121 440 7430 and we will unlock the gates for you.



Urban Harvest Crowd Funding July 30, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe sustainable use of resources, healthy eating and home grown crops are all matters close to our hearts, here at Martineau Gardens. Urban Harvest is a project we’ve become involved with, and now is the time to share the latest news with you:

Update: October 2013 …Northfield Eco Centre was successful in the crowdfunding bid to raise money to deliver and develop Urban Harvest. Thank you to everyone who supported this project.

Urban Harvest is a project managed by Northfield Ecocentre, working with Martineau Gardens, Urban Veg and Growing Birmingham to pick the fruit already growing in Birmingham, making sure it is available to those who really need nutritious fresh fruit through children’s centres and food banks, and increase the number of locally produced products available. There is another way!

Here Georgia Stokes, from Northfield Eco Centre explains more about Urban Harvest:

Urban Harvest was set up as a business a couple of years ago by two motivated individuals who identified a real need in our community and felt compelled to take action. They picked five tonnes of fruit in one harvest season but due to personal commitments were unable to take the business forwards.

It seems crazy to us that so much local fruit rots where it grows when we pay to transport enormous quantities of fruit to us through supermarkets. Especially as obesity is on the increase just as family finances are reducing. There is another way!

In 2012 Northfield Ecocentre worked with Urban Harvest to continue the project. Despite the weather causing a poor harvest we were able to pick enough fruit to give to local children’s centres and local residents to promote healthy eating.

We are now working to develop this project to become financially self-sustaining. For six months a year there is a lot of coordination needed to find and organise volunteer fruit pickers,  find picking locations and agree permissions with land owners, organise fruit sale,distribution and preserving, and run courses to share skills and knowledge. For the project to be a success we need a paid coordinator. In future years this person will be paid through the income from the previous year. We need to raise funds to get this started.

We are looking for 2000 people willing to invest £5 (or more) in Urban Harvest and we need your help. We are offering lots of exciting rewards including workshops on pruning and juicing, fruit trees for your own gardens and invitations to special events. We will be offering other rewards throughout the eight weeks of crowd funding including a special business offer of planting an orchard in your grounds.

Northfield Eco Centre was successful in the crowdfunding bid to raise money to deliver and develop Urban Harvest. Thank you to everyone who supported this project.

Martineau Gardens, Urban Harvest and You:

Martineau Gardens will be selling the apple juice – sales of juice will create additional income for the Gardens

Volunteering: If you have some spare time to give, become  a fruit picker for the project, find out more at:  http://www.northfieldecocentre.org/food-projects/urban-harvest

If you have a fruit tree (especially apples) and don’t have time to pick, you can donate your fruit to the project and the Urban Harvest team will pick it for you.

If you spot a laden fruit tree going to waste, get in touch with Urban Harvest!

Get in Touch:

https://www.facebook.com/events/542785669104673/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/urban-harvest

 



Martineau Wins a Green Flag July 30, 2013

IMG_2343Martineau Gardens Wins Best Green Space Award

Martineau Gardens has been recognised as one of the best community run green spaces in the country by winning a prestigious Green Flag Community Award, for the fourth year in a row. To celebrate the good news, visitors and volunteers dropped in for a cuppa on Tuesday 30 July at 12.30noon, to watch the official flag unfurled beside the vegetable beds. We were joined by photographers from the Post & Mail and EHN News – to see the set of photos – click here for a link through to our flickr page.

Martineau Gardens is among a record-breaking 1,447 parks and green spaces that are receiving the award. The Green Flag Community Awards (part of the Green Flag Award scheme) is a national award handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. Martineau Gardens stood out after impressing the inspector. The Gardens were judged against eight criteria: a welcoming place; healthy safe and secure; clean and well maintained; sustainability; conservation and heritage; community involvement; marketing and management.

The Community Garden though only two miles from Birmingham city centre is a green oasis that is teeming with wildlife. There’s plenty for visitors to explore including woodland, glass houses, a formal garden, an orchard, vegetable plots, a wildflower meadow, a pond, a wildlife area with SLINC status and a ‘Shipwreck’ children’s play area. The Gardens also run an annual events programme and sell plants, produce and jams.

Caroline Hutton, Director, Martineau Gardens said:

Martineau Gardens are a community-run garden that’s open for free to the public. This award is a tribute to the dedication of our volunteers who work hard to keep the gardens a beautiful and tranquil spot for Birmingham people to come and relax in.”

Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Scheme Manager, said:

“Quality green spaces are absolutely essential to happy, healthy communities. They are fundamental to our quality of life.”

Martineau Gardens are open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 4pm and are free entry. The Gardens are at 27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B5 7UG. Located five minutes from the MAC and opposite the Priory Hospital. Information at www.martineau-gardens.org.uk or by calling 0121 440 7430.

IMG_2346

                            



Our Big Gig Sun 14 July June 28, 2013

About Our Big Gig

Our Big Gig is a community music celebration which takes place across the UK from the 11th to the 14th July 2013. This annual event aims to bring communities together to celebrate their local musical talents and get more people involved in music making.

On The Edge Fusion Youth Orchestra are organising ‘Our Big Gig’ here at Martineau Gardens on Sunday 14 July, 2pm – 6pm – to find out about all the amazing things they’ve got planned, click here.



Midsummer Poetry Picnic May 29, 2013

Sunday 16 June, 2pm – 6pm

‘Screen of Brightness’ is a poetic collaboration by our own Volunteer Meredith Andrea, and Fiona Owen, published by Cinnamon Press. It will be launched on Sunday 16 June at Martineau Gardens at A Midsummer Poetry Picnic.

The event starts at 2pm, with poetry readings from 3pm. Cakes and drinks provided – bring a picnic and listen to Fiona & Meredith supported by guest readings from:

Garrie Fletcher

Joan Poulson

Jacqui Rowe

Charles Wilkinson

All welcome –  please send an RSVP to  [email protected] to let Cinnamon Press know you are coming.

To read about ‘Screen of Brightness’, visit the Cinnamon Press’ website.



Midsummer Poetry Picnic May 29, 2013

Sunday 16 June, 2pm – 6pm

‘Screen of Brightness’ is a poetic collaboration by our own Volunteer Meredith Andrea, and Fiona Owen, published by Cinnamon Press. It will be launched on Sunday 16 June at Martineau Gardens at A Midsummer Poetry Picnic.

The event starts at 2pm, with poetry readings from 3pm. Cakes and drinks provided – bring a picnic and listen to Fiona & Meredith supported by guest readings from:

Garrie Fletcher

Joan Poulson

Jacqui Rowe

Charles Wilkinson

All welcome –  please send an RSVP to  [email protected] to let Cinnamon Press know you are coming.

To read about ‘Screen of Brightness’, visit the Cinnamon Press’ website.



Midsummer Poetry Picnic May 29, 2013

Sunday 16 June, 2pm – 6pm

‘Screen of Brightness’ is a poetic collaboration by our own Volunteer Meredith Andrea, and Fiona Owen, published by Cinnamon Press. It will be launched on Sunday 16 June at Martineau Gardens at A Midsummer Poetry Picnic.

The event starts at 2pm, with poetry readings from 3pm. Cakes and drinks provided – bring a picnic and listen to Fiona & Meredith supported by guest readings from:

Garrie Fletcher

Joan Poulson

Jacqui Rowe

Charles Wilkinson

All welcome –  please send an RSVP to  [email protected] to let Cinnamon Press know you are coming.

To read about ‘Screen of Brightness’, visit the Cinnamon Press’ website.



Spring Event Sun 12 May April 25, 2013

IMG_1520 OAt work in Martineau Gardens Pottery Studio

 

 

 

 

Enjoy live music, delicious homebaked food and family friendly activities at the Martineau Gardens annual Spring Event on Sunday 12 May 2013, from 11am – 3pm, in partnership with Local Food Global Food. We’re holding a family friendly fete all afternoon, perfect for relaxing in the Gardens in the height of Spring and having fun. For full details visit the Spring Event page, here.