Outdoor Ed Skills Share 2 Nov October 24, 2013

Martineau Gardens is hosting the next Outdoor Education Skills Share on Saturday 2 November 2013, organised by Birmingham Forest OAKS. The day is aimed at anyone who has an interest in outdoor education, whether you have bags of experience or are new to the subject, this will be an opportunity to brush-up on skills, network with likeminded people and share tips and advice, plus biscuits!

Birmingham Forest OAKS runs skills shares quarterly and our November event is entitled Film making, firelighting and friendship. This will be an exciting opportunity to look at how you can capture the amazing stuff that you do using video and photography.  Depending on the weather, we’ll be firelighting, cooking and /or pond dipping, and of course, taking inspiration from the beautiful surroundings of Martineau Gardens.

We’re delighted that Rachel Gillies, Community Film Maker, is going to be running the film-making workshop for us. Rachel has worked with a wide range of organisations including youth groups, community projects, schools, residents’ groups and lobby groups. She’ll be teaching film and photography skills that are universal, but essential, whether you’re an occaisonal film maker or a Hollywood director!

Bring any equipment you have (though note this is an outdoor event) mobile phones with cameras are fine. It’s not a pre-requisite to have a camera, we may well have some additional equipment to work with, thanks to Rachel. 

The Skills Share will be preceded by the AGM, from 10am until 10.30am.

The Skills Share runs from 11am until 3pm.

How to Book for the Skills Share

Places are limited, booking is essential. Registration is £5, per participant, please book direct withBirmingham Forest OAKS (not Martineau Gardens). Contact Sharon on 0121 323 5388 or [email protected]

Getting to the Skills Share

Martineau Gardens is at 27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B5 7UG

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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.

About Birmingham Forest OAKS

The skills share is organised by members of Birmingham Forest OAKS (Outdoor Activities and Knowledge Sharing), a voluntary group, formally know as the Birmingham FEI Group. November Skill Sharing and AGM. The group aims to:

  • Provide safe opportunities to learn and play in a stimulating natural environment
  • Develop understanding of and care for the environment
  • Provide training, skill sharing and the promotion of outdoor learning to facilitate this
  • Members support  these aims by volunteering time, space and resources



Winners of Recycling Award October 3, 2013

It’s official – Martineau Gardens is one of Birmingham’s recycling champions! At the Birmingham Recycling Awards Ceremony (Tuesday 1 October 2013), Martineau Gardens was awarded Winner in the best community & neighborhood project category.

If you’d like to find out more about how we recycle at Martineau Gardens, click here.

Peter has run again – please donate October 2, 2013

News Update (26 November 2013) – A big thank you to Peter and a big thank you to all of you who sponsored him, the grand total is £2,130.

News Update (23 October 2013) – a whopping £1, 465 raised so far – help Peter get to his target of £2,000 by 20 November, 2013.

News Update (21 October 2013): He did it! And without too many blisters we hear … it’s not too late to sponsor Peter – at the bottom of this page are details of how you can contribute.

Peter Arnold, Chair of Trustees ran for Martineau Gardens in the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday 20 October, 2013. This is the third time that Peter has donned his running shoes for us. This is no mean feat, Peter is 64, works full time as a barrister and … has an allotment to maintain (and we all know how demanding that can be). There is a huge commitment of time, effort and mental determination for anyone who decides to participate in a long-distance run, such as the Great Run.

Peter Arnold Sept 2013

Pictured here, Peter explains why he is doing this for Martineau Gardens:

” So why am I doing this? Martineau Gardens is a vital resource for our community – I live nearby. It’s close to the city and yet it provides a place where you can go to get a breath of fresh air and forget about the hussle and bustle of life’s demands.

When I’ve had a busy day, I like to unwind at my allotment, dig up a potato or two or pick an apple but for many of the volunteers who take part in the Therapautic Horticulture project at Martineau Gardens, gardening is much more than a hobby, in fact gardening at Martineau Gardens gives them a reason not to give up, when the going gets tough. The Gardens are a place where vulnerable people feel valued. So please dig deep, and give generously.”


 How You Can Sponsor Peter:

1) By donating online through MyDonate which is totally secure. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to Martineau Gardens and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. To donate on-line, please go to my fundraising page: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/peterrunsagain

2) By posting a cheque to Martineau Gardens, 27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B5 7UG

(Please make cheques payable to ‘Martineau Gardens’)

If you would like to know more about how Martineau Gardens helps vulnerable people and others, watch our film: https://www.martineau-gardens.org.uk/about-us/what-is-a-community-garden/

 Your support would make such a difference

7 October 2013 October 1, 2013

Wildife Report just in: Brian has just returned from his weekly survey of the Gardens.

Red-Green Carpet Moth, identified on a Moth Trapping Survey

Red-Green Carpet Moth, identified on a Moth Trapping Survey

Weather: Mild, still some insects around including tree bumble bee, common carder bee and dock bug

Some plants still in flower like the Deptford pink (this is scarce), hemp agrimony, borage, sedum and the brightly orange fox and cubs plant. In the pond, watermint is in flower.

Fungi – looking out, not yet

Birds: buzzard soaring overhead, heard bullfinch, nuthatch and longtail tits.

When you’re next at the Gardens, why not pick up a Nature Trail leaflet or pop into the bird hide to see our weekly record and you can always borrow binoculars from the office or browse our wildlife library in the Visitor Room.


Honey Show – Great Success September 24, 2013

Thank you to everyone who came to visit Martineau Gardens at the Birmingham Honey Show, plus of course the Birmingham and Distrcit Bee Keepers who organised the Show. In case you missed it, here’s a review of the Show, by Phil Brown at Edgbaston and Harborne News:

Honey Show - Review

Autumn Event Sun 29 Sept September 18, 2013

Autumn Event Pictures

Live music from local musicians, the launch of Gallery in the Trees, wildlife activities for children, a herbal walk, apple pressing and story fun are some of the treats in store for visitors to Martineau Gardens’ annual Autumn Event on Sunday 29 September 2013 from 11am – 3pm. Our family friendly ‘green’ fete will celebrate the Autumn harvest and provide an  afternoon of family fun.  Admission fee for the Autumn Event is non-members £3, concessions £1, families £6 and free to members.For more details of what’s planned, click here.

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


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: