• Events,  Walks

    Spring Foraging

    Sunday’s foraging walk went very nicely. Alys Fowler led a group of 18 people through various parts of the park, collecting nettle, sorrel, and other herbs whilst also noting the edibility of bulrush, knotweed, dandelion and other plants. At walk’s end, we sampled a tasty nettle risotto made by Birgit Kehrer, whilst enjoying some sunshine and the newly-exposed brick floor of the old Chamberlain barn.

  • Community,  Conservation,  Consultations,  Highbury Trust

    Highbury restoration update

    The Birmingham Conservation Trust website has a news item and three-minute interview about their options appraisal for the entire Highbury estate. An options appraisal is often a financial analysis, as was done by KPMG some years ago when BCC were thinking of selling the buildings. But in this case, the BCT are taking a broader look at what it would take to make Highbury work as a charitable resource, which necessarily means developing adequate income, but is also about making it available for the benefit of Brummies, such as through a sensitive heritage restoration, through charitable care projects like Four Seasons, or as a venue for educational and community activities.…

  • Events,  History

    Advance Notice: Chamberlain Family Letters – ‘from Empire to Appeasement’

    A date for your diary: Wednesday 26th January, 7pm Chamberlain Family Letters – ‘from Empire to Appeasement’ The Kitchen Garden Cafe, 17 York Road, Kings Heath, B14 7SA Highbury Park Friends present a fascinating talk by Peter Marsh, Honorary Professor of History at Birmingham University, based on his new book – ‘The Chamberlain Litany’ – which is an extraordinary analysis of over 10,000 letters between Chamberlain family members, over a 65 year period, including family discussions of major nineteenth and twentieth century events. This is as close as you can get to observing the lives of this famous local family, who produced three leading statesmen in two generations, an unrivalled…

  • Consultations,  Events

    Tree Dressing Festivities

    Yesterday’s sunny, warm-ish tree-dressing, tree-planting, and woodland walking event was both lots of fun and enjoyed by many. Parks Ranger Penny Marriott and a small crew of energetic volunteers cleared the ground and planted some 25 hawthorn whips alongside the allotments fence, then came over to the festivities tent and helped celebrate! Caroline Jariwala set up a flag-and-bunting stall, where young and old made decorative drawings on coloured fabrics, then hung them from branches and lines. One person, Naima, went so far as to knit purple flowers as well (very speedily, considering the size of them)! These decorations will remain through the holidays. When they are taken down, we are…

  • Events,  Imagery,  Nature,  work party

    Biodiversity Work Party

    Last Saturday’s work party was notable for two things: the amount of work that got done, and the number of people that didn’t turn up. Six parks workers, the council ecologist, and (briefly) one HPF volunteer were in attendance, and did a dramatic amount of work on the east end of the big pond, plus strimming around the Henburys pond. Part of the idea is to change the pH of both pools by clearing laurel and rhododendron from the banks. An extra benefit is that both ponds are now easier to walk around, and have somewhat more light falling on them. The result

  • Events,  Henbury,  Meeting,  News

    Henburys Garden Talk, Phillada Ballard, 12 Nov

    If you’ve seen the November issue of B13 Magazine, you may have read the piece about Highbury Community Partnerships. You may also have seen the clearing and coppicing at a couple of places in the park. Those are two strands of community-based HCP landscape projects happening in the park. The third strand of HCP projects is getting underway with a jointly-sponsored public lecture about the Henburys, which is the first in a series of gardening seminars aimed at getting a group of people to research and develop a restoration garden on the site. The lecture will be by the eminent Highbury landscape historian Phillada Ballard, next Friday, 12 November, from…

  • Events

    Tree Dressing 2

    We’ve invited Barry Patterson to run a tree dressing workshop on the afternoon of 5 December. He has many ideas about the kinds of things we can do. Some are listed below. We will provide some simple materials – such as things gathered from the park, decorative papers and string. We would like bits of coloured fabric, and would be pleased to have you bring pieces along from your own collections. You might also consider making decorations at home and bringing them to the park on the day. Tree Dressing Themes a. Celebration of trees in general with respect to their practical benefits, place in the ecosystem & their beauty…

  • Events

    Tree Dressing 1

    The following is the first of three posts collated to provide some information and ideas about tree dressing events.  We’re organising one for Sunday 5 December. The first two posts will provide backgrounds and ideas. The third post will provide details of the event. Tree Dressing Day falls on the first weekend of December each year. In 2010, that’s the 4th/5th. Although initiated only a few years ago by the charity Common Ground, the celebration draws on traditions from all round the world. Each tradition revolves around decorating significant and special local trees with a variety of materials. Tree Dressing Day is also an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness…