Check out our twitter and facebook updates
View this email in your browser

BOSF October Newsletter

BOSF Social

Come and join us for this month's online tea time social, where you can meet and talk with other parks and open spaces volunteer groups in Birmingham.

The next BOSF Tea Time will be on Thursday 21st October, 4.00pm - 5.00pm
Join by clicking this Zoom link:


Cotteridge Park's short film about The Shed

Watch Cotteridge Park's new short film about their community cafe, The Shed - by Duncan Baird

Take a look at this wonderful short film about Cotteridge Park's new community cafe, lovingly named - The Shed!

The film has been created by Duncan Baird and hi-lights what a fantastic asset The Shed is to the park and the local community. It is the base for so many great activities that take place on a weekly basis in the park, such as Misfits Music, Zumba, Swing Fit, and more. We have also had some lovely outdoors BOSF coffee morning socials hosted there this year.

If you would like to learn more or help by volunteering at The Shed, please contact:

Logged volunteer hours, July - September 2021

Here is another huge thank you to all of our member groups!  

The figures for July - September 2021 are in, and a massive total of 19,511 volunteer hours have been logged - with a financial value of £185,350.

Keep up the great work everyone and please continue recording and sending us in your groups' volunteer hours, this data is extremely useful in showing how valuable a contribution you all make to Birmingham! 

Fruit and Nut Village - Stirchley

Thank you to Rob from the Fruit & Nut Village, for hosting our social morning last month. The sun was shining as we explored their various community orchard sites in Stirchley! 

The Fruit & Nut team are doing wonderful work for the local community. We were given a tour of the Kingdom Forest Garden, Hazelwell Nut Grove, the Stirchley Park orchard and the Stirchley Baths Forest Garden.

We had a great turnout and there were lots of interesting conversations and growing advice shared.

Take a look at the two videos below, that give an insight into some of the recent work by Fruit & Nut village at the edible flower pollinator garden in Pebble Mill Playing Fields.


One of the Fruit & Nut volunteers flew a drone over some the group activities at Pebble Mill Playing Fields Forest Garden earlier this summer. It is great to see the garden layout from above.
Have a look at this video where a few Fruit & Nut Village volunteers were asked what they liked most about the edible flower pollinator garden in Pebble Mill Playing Fields. The film was taken close to the peak of the flowering period.

An inspirational new read, recommended by The Friends of Queens Park

During our last online team time social, Judith from The Friends of Queens Park shared some news about a book that she had recently read, written by a member of the Friends of Ellington Park in Ramsgate. Although Ellington Park is not in Birmingham, Judith was impressed that a Friends Group had created it and thought it may provide inspiration for others as it did for her. Below is a brief description about the book by Judith:

Title: Ellington Park Ramsgate – a short celebratory history
by local resident Catriona Blaker, published 2021
"Ellington Park is a 12 acre site, purchased in 1892 by the Ramsgate Corporation and opened as a public park in 1893. It included features such as a bandstand, fountain, an artificial lake with Pulhamesque rockery and rustic bridge, elegantly balustraded terraces, plus a children’s corner and a park keeper’s lodge.
Over recent decades, as with many other municipal parks, it had been neglected and vandalism was rife. In 2010 the Friends group was set up and enthusiastically set to work, recruiting more members and engaging with the public to get wider support, holding a variety of social and fundraising events. Funding bids were sent off and, with local Council support, finally hit the jackpot in 2019 with an HLF award of £1.64 million, for a 5-year project. Restoration work was started and a café block with toilets was included in the project.
This A5-sized book of 52 pages covers a brief history of the site with details of the restoration work. It includes lots of colour photos as well as old maps and archival materials. This inspiring book has been written to celebrate the park but more importantly (for me) to celebrate the work of the Friends who, only 11 year ago, started this magnificent campaign and have brought it to fruition. The author, a historian, carried out her research with some difficulty during the pandemic, and has written and published this book as her contribution."

Future Proof Park - Youth Participation and Safe Guarding webinar

Earlier this month Groundwork Youth West Midlands hosted an online workshop for BOSF Friends Groups, to help groups work with young people – building the next generation of green space volunteers! 

Led by Sami Shaw as part of the Future Proof Parks project, the session looked at the principles and practicalities of young people’s participation in green space volunteering, as well as Safeguarding training to help Friends Groups put their own policies in place. 

The slides from the workshop are now available to be viewed here!

Another useful resource that has been developed by Future Proof Park's partners, Fields in Trust, is this series of “How to” guides specifically related to working with young people. Click here to view them! 

Thanks again to Sami, Groundwork Youth, Future Proof Parks and the National Youth Agency.

Naturally Birmingham: FPA September Newsletter

Have a read of the latest newsletter by Naturally Birmingham - Future Parks Accelerator, here!

Reed bed project - Westley Vale Millennium Green

Part of the newly formed reed bed, with three Westley Vale Millennium Green Trustees and Project Manager - Rob Martyr. This photo was taken before the seeding had started. 

Veronica Treadwell from the Friends of Westley Vale Millennium Green shares the news about an exciting new project in her local open space: 

 "After fourteen months from our first application, we were fortunate to secure funding from Severn Trent to create a reed bed on our Millennium Green. With wetland plants along the length of the stream between the two bridges, and wild flower mix to the surrounding area, the reed bed will not only provide a filter system for the heavily polluted Westley Brook, but will also attract a wide variety of wild life to the area.

The work took five days to complete, with a digger and dumper truck on site for two and a half days, then general tiding up until day five when we were all able to get involved in the best bit of sewing the seeds!

Two weeks on and the green shoots are beginning to show - how exciting is that! Although the work on the site was quite startling, the end result will be well worth the wait. What started as an area of disused scrubland, has opened up the stream where the water quality has already improved and we will have a wonderful reed bed which is already attracting a variety of wildlife.

With thanks to Severn Trent, Robert Martyr Project Manager, Lee Copplestone from WatersideCare and Rosemary Pettigrew, Trustee, who was successful in the fundraising." -

Six months after the seeding took place, with a heavy rain fall to help fill the stream up!

New community funding scheme, Sustainability Fund

£65,000 up for grabs as Veolia unveils new Sustainability Fund

Veolia, the UK’s leading resource management company, has launched its new community funding scheme to help support people across the country to transform their local communities and environments.
After a challenging year where many communal spaces and services have suffered, Veolia is looking to back projects that make a positive, sustainable difference to local areas and deliver long-term social and environmental benefits. With over £65,000 worth of funding as well as in-kind resources and volunteers available, Veolia aims to empower people to take positive action in their local area.
The Sustainability Fund will replace the community funding scheme known as the EnviroGrant scheme in Birmingham. £15,000 of the Sustainability Fund’s pot will be allocated to Birmingham groups to support projects encouraging biodiversity conservation, reduction in single-use plastics, and generally improving the community and environments.
Veolia has a long standing commitment to community funding and is looking for projects like those previously supported across the UK below:
·       Running on sunshine; Solar panels have been purchased and installed to make the running of community centres more environmentally friendly.
·       Caulibox; The UK’s first reusable lunchbox scheme, Caulibox tackled plastic waste and the throwaway culture of takeaway foods, by working with local vendors to swap disposable packaging to reusable boxes.
·       EnergyGarden; This organisation transforms disused land around transport networks into communal gardens. This enhances biodiversity, brings together local communities and teaches residents about growing their own food and plants and eating seasonally.
·       Paddleboard recyclers; Bringing together exercise and litter picking, Veolia supported paddleboarders to protect the cleanliness of rivers and waterways.
·       EcoTots; Educational talks, lessons and activity clubs for young people to learn about sustainability and how to best preserve resources and protect the environment.
Applications are now open. Keep an eye out on @VeoliaUK to discover projects you could replicate, get involved with or inspire you to create your own.
Veolia’s Sustainability Fund is open to not-for-profit organisations across the country, however, they are particularly interested in areas where the company partners with the local authority to deliver waste and cleansing services for the community.
Find out more about the fund and how you can apply at:  
All applications will be considered, but projects should aim to fulfil at least one of the following criteria; enhancing biodiversity, promoting sustainable behaviours (reduce, reuse and/or recycle), protecting or preserving resources and the environment and using recycled, reused or reclaimed materials.
Applications can be made via Veolia’s website or via Spacehive, Veolia’s crowdfunding partner. Spacehive is the most successful crowdfunding platform in the UK, with the previous 30 Veolia backed projects going on to raise £1million worth of funding. Hurry, the deadline for applications is 31 October 2021.
Mark Powell, General Manager, Veolia in Birmingham said: 
“At Veolia, we are always looking at ways to give back to the communities we serve. The Sustainability Fund will help to transform local communities and environments into places that support a sustainable future for everyone. I look forward to seeing all the fantastic projects that pitch to the Fund and supporting successful applicants.” 
Misha Dhanak, Chief Executive Officer, Spacehive said:
“Spacehive is proud to be Veolia’s crowdfunding partner and we can’t wait to see the projects people put forward to help their local area. Veolia-backed campaigns on the platform have raised over £1 million for their communities so far. Gaining support from Veolia alongside the crowd will help even more ambitious ideas take off."

Get Grants Workshops

Get Grants Gets Together is a free event which is perfect for West Midlands based fundraisers. By attending the event you will have the opportunity to connect with other like-minded local fundraisers, get advice from and chat with the Get Grants team, and meet with regional Funders & Experts. Across two sessions, Get Grants will be joined by the Eveson Charitable Trust, Heart of England Community Foundation, easyfundraising, and Severn Trent Community Foundation - who will all be delivering an informal presentation on the day.

To enable as many people as possible to safely attend this event Get Grants are delivering a morning and afternoon session, and they kindly ask that people only book onto one as these as they are repeats. The event information as follows:
When: Tuesday 26th October
  • Morning Session: 9:30am – 12:30pm – Book your free place Via Eventbrite
  • Afternoon Session: 1pm – 4pm – Book your free place Via Eventbrite
Copyright © 2021 Birmingham Open Spaces Forum, All rights reserved.