Lots happening in our parks

I have just been to the Edgbaston Reservoir open day, to supporting our friends Art on the Edge (Edgbaston Constituency Art Forum), and Ladywood Constituency Arts Forum, as the reservoir purchases on the boundary between the two. Although it wasn’t the best weather, it was inspiring to see another example of how arts can be integrated with nature and open spaces – similar to the work of Friends of Cotteridge Park.

Of course, there are many Friends of Parks groups covering the parks in our patch – so here a few events arranged either by them, or the Council’s Ranger Service, or in collaboration:

Saturday 3rd March – Walkers Heath Park – a few things happening

They’ll be the usual football and Saturday antics, but with an extra twist – Write Down Speak Up, the Brum poet collective, will provide the sound-scape with #BigBrumPoem – the Love Where You Live poem project. They have been touring around Birmingham to find out why people love their home area – so this will be a great chance to see some of Birmingham’s past poet laureates perform, and to get some tips on writing. This has been organised with Leanne from Friends of Walkers Heath Park – who are holding some park consultation days in May, and want to see more things happening and more people using their park!

Sat 24th March/ Sat 22nd April – Billesley Common – Coppicing and caring for the Common… With support of Jan, our area Ranger, the Valley Riverside Project organise monthly sessions with local residents to help maintain and care for the common. On Saturday 24th March, there will also be an environmental artist working alongside the group, making art using or inspired by natural materials. More info will be coming soon, but this will be part of the Forum’s Art Action day!

Thursday 5th April – 2pm – 4pm – Brandwood Pool – Bugs and Boatmen

Join the Ranger for a bug hunt and pond dip to help monitor the frogs, toads and other invertebrates at this site. Wellies recommended. Children to be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the pool entrance on Whittington Close, B14 6JW.

Saturday 30th June – Selly Oak Park Festival / Bournville Village Festival / Happy Valley Festival

Go on a festival crawl to all of these! And in the evening, it will be the Olympic Torch Relay coming through Birmingham, so there’s that too! All these festivals are looking for acts and artists, so get in touch with them! Friends of Selly Oak Park are currently organising this festival, where there will be stalls, music, and a fun fair… Bournville Village Festival have opportunities to be part of the Maypole dancing, and for crafters and artists who would like to sell their work in their craft market – there will also be Bird of Prey and The Shipston Town Band. And Happy Valley Festival takes place in Daisy Farm Park,Warstock, B14. If you would like a stall or more info contact kerry@hvf.co.uk.

Saturday 7th July – CoCoMad – Cotteridge Park B30

Organised by the Friends of Cotteridge Park, CoCoMad is the annual music arts and dance fest for cotteridge. There’ll be a parade into the park, involving local schools and the community, and should be great fun!

Saturday 28th July – 2.30pm – 3.30pm – Nature Centre – Reptile Talk

The reptile keeper will answer all your questions about this fascinating and diverse group of animals. Discover about snakes, lizards, tortoises and crocodiles, how they live, avoid being seen and catch food. 10 places available – not suitable for under 6’s. Booking essential, contact 0121 472 7775 or visit their webpage to see their opening times as there is always something exciting to see there!

Thursday 30th August 11am – 1pm – Muntz Park – Down in the Dell

Art in the Park, use natural resources to explore colour, shape and texture. Make pictures, sculptures and have fun. This is a family activity, all children need to be accompanied by an adult. This will be outdoor messy play, Meet by the Play Area, Gristhorpe Road, Selly Oak, B29 7TD. This event has been organised in collaboration with Friends of Muntz Park.

Thursday 25th October 1pm – 3pm – Hazelwell Park – Colourful Kites

Join the Ranger to learn how to make a basic kite, decorate it and fly it in the Park. There will be a small cost for materials. Limited places so please book in advance – suitable for children 5+. Children need to be accompanied by an adult. Meet by the play area off Cartland Road, Stirchley, B30 2RD. Phone 0121 454 7810 to book. The Friends of Hazelwell Park meet regularly too, so it’s worthwhile checking out what they are up to!

Other general things

Hazelwell Fun Day and Masefield Fun Day will be happening later on this year – more information to come soon!

Stirchley Park, back of Co-op, B30

There might be one of two things happening in Stirchley Park – after an event there last Sunday, there are a group of committed residents who are interested in starting a Friends of group. Local Graffiti artist Title has created an impressive art piece, making a visual a start for the creative regeneration of the park… (permission was given by the co-op, and photo was taken by Place Prospectors).

Title's creation, photo taken by Place Prospectors

I am sure I have missed off a few things here – let me know if I have and I can add details of your event/ activity – artsforumsellyoak@gmail.com, or send in some pics from your event.

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