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2011 2011

December Newsletter

This Month… -Pilot Green Deal Project -Eco Teams on Film -Mosaic course reviewed! -Adopt a tree at our Christmas family event

Welcome to Northfield Ecocentre’s December newsletter. As the year comes to a close, we are launching a new Green Deal pilot project, and have started planting new fruit and nut orchards in Northfield and more. Join us to celebrate the successes of 2011 and welcome in the new year at our Christmas event on Saturday 3 December. Seasons Greetings!

Tweet us at @northfieldeco

Diary Dates Weekly groups Gardening:


Time 12noon 3pm

Ecocentre Christmas wreaths, edible treats , dress Christmas Event the Christmas tree , kids craft activities , adopt a tree, course vouchers and more... See page 4 for more information.

Sun 4 Dec


Friends of Victoria Common Meeting Friends of Victoria Common Event

Sewing & Crafts:

Ecocentre Services · · · · · · · · ·

Loans Library Fact sheets Home energy audits Free advice service Tours of the building Free items Seed swap Internet access Interactive displays

Public Opening Times We are open 10am - 5pm Tuesday to Thursday Call ahead to book a visit 0121 448 0119


Sat 3 Dec

Thurs 10 - 12 noon

Fri 10 - 12 noon


Weds 14 Dec 7pm 8.30pm 19 Dec to 2 Jan 2012

Every day Ecocentre Closed to the Public

Event: Bulb Planting in Victoria Common. All welcome. Meet at the Ecocentre.

Meeting: Come and have a look at the new designs for the park before work starts in earnest Northfield Ecocentre will be closed to the public over the Christmas period. Seasons Greetings!

School of Green Living - A taste of courses to come in 2012 Saturday 25 February - DIY Bicycle Trailer Making (£40) Saturday 31st March – Willow Basket Making (£40) Tuesday 10 April - Wild Food Foraging (£29) Plus new courses on solar power, kitchen gardening, pruning trees and more... *Gift Vouchers available at our Christmas event on Sat 3 December* or call 0121 448 0119

New Eco Kids! Join us on Saturday 3 December for lots of Christmas craft activities for children and families. £1 donation. All children to be accompanied by an adult. See page 4 for details.

Pilot Project for Green Deal


Northfield Ecocentre is very excited about working on a pilot project of a scheme called the Green Deal. The aim of the Green Deal is to improve the energy efficiency of around 14 million homes across the UK. The work will be financed with a low interest loan which the household will pay back from the savings made from reduced energy bills. There will be, therefore, no upfront costs to the homeowner. The work will follow the Green Deal Golden Rule; the amount paid back each year will be lower than the amount saved from lower energy bills. Partnership - Northfield Ecocentre is working with the Energy Saving Cooperative to deliver this pilot project. Beginning in January 2012, Northfield Ecocentre will aim to find 200 homes that will receive energy efficiency improvements. As the organisation carrying out the work is a co-operative, the homeowners that are included in the pilot project become members. They will therefore receive voting rights on how the cooperative is run, and will receive a share of any profits. Get Involved - Northfield Ecocentre is now looking for homeowners who would like to be involved in this pilot project. We currently have a fast growing waiting list of individuals who are interested in being contacted in the new year. If you are finding that your home is hard to keep warm and you are worried about rising energy prices, then this may be the project for you. Please contact Stuart Bowles or Luke Olly for more information and we will be able to advise on the benefits that you could receive. 0121 448 0119

Eco Teams on Film! Northfield Ecocentre has been running an Ecoteams and Energy Advice Service at Optima Community Housing. The aim of the project is to raise awareness about the easiest ways to save energy, reduce water usage, recycle and use public transport. Optima Community Housing set up a young person’s media group for the October Half Term and they made a video featuring Northfield Ecocentre in action. It is called ‘Reports for You’, and the young people involved covered a wide range of issues in their local community, including an ‘Eco Special’. They filmed Stuart, Northfield Ecocentre’s Energy Advisor, giving energy advice to a resident of Optima Community Housing, as well as leading an Ecoteams session. He said “It was great to be able to give advice with the thought that it was part of a wider community project”. You can find the film on our blog: Optima Community Youtube Channel:

For energy advice go to :

Successful party for final Family Hour


We held a successful party in November to mark the last Family Hour. We were joined by children and their families who got stuck in with fun activities such as decorating delicious cupcakes and playing games. The party was to say thank you to Family Hour supporters who have attended during the last two years. It was lovely to see you all and hopefully we will see at the New Eco Kids events which starts on 3 December.

Images from last weeks party

Eco Kids is for children aged 3-8 years and for this activity we will be aiming to create a welcoming space where children can learn to be green, have fun, make new friends, take part in eco crafts, games, quizzes and nature trails. £1 donation per child, adults to accompany. Call 0121 448 0119 for more information. Eco Kids dates coming up soon: Spruce up your Christmas on Sat 3 Dec, 12noon - 3pm Valentine's Fun Day on Tues 14 Feb, 2pm-4pm groups/ecokids

Northfield’s Orchards project update Trees have been planted! We have had a really busy couple of weeks ordering, collecting and planting our trees. It was a soggy, wet and wintry day but it didn’t deter our team of amazing volunteers who braved the weather to plant our first community orchards at Allens Cross Community Centre. Muddy and soaking the team carried on to St Bartholomew’s Church to plant the second orchard in the same day and were rewarded with a steaming cuppa and the sight of a beautiful rainbow. During the week the orchards have also been planted at Cofton Park and Turves Green Boys School. We are expecting trees to be in the ground at the Black Horse and St Laurence this week. Well done and a huge thank you to all our wonderful volunteers. We look forward to seeing these orchards flourish in the next few years. If you know of somewhere that an orchard would benefit the community get in touch! For information on future children’s activities visit: For more details on the Orchard project visit:

Join us for a special Christmas event... On Saturday 3 December from 12noon – 3pm Come along for fun, festive activities. Eco Kids can make 3 dimensional mobile cards, paper chain trees, apple garlands and pasta angels. There will be lots of hand crafted Christmas gifts available to buy and you can help us to decorate our tree. We will be serving hot spiced apple juice, mince pies & other edible treats. You can buy vouchers for our exciting programme of environmental and sustainable living courses for 2012 as part of the School of Green Living. If you want to leave a lasting legacy this Christmas you can adopt one of the trees planted as part of the Northfield Orchard’s Project. Georgia Stokes explained: “Trees are so vital to all of us, they absorb harmful gases to help prevent dangerous climate change, increase biodiversity, provide habitats for wildlife and reduce food miles. They also really improve the look of our local area yet we usually only recognise the importance of trees at Christmas. “Give a gift that leaves a legacy for Northfield by adopting a tree planted in the area. With an adoption certificate and map showing where your tree is planted this would make a lovely gift for anyone this Christmas.” Find out more on the day, on the website or give us a call! A tree is for Life, not just for Christmas!

Mosaics for Beginners Our new Mosaics for Beginners course at the end of November was a real success! Led by local Visual Artist Caroline Jariwala, the group learnt the basics of mosaic making using kitchen & bathroom tiles and recycled materials such as crockery, & glass beads. Working from their own imaginary and unique designs , Caroline taught the group techniques for cutting tiles to transform their plain marine ply boards in to hand-made masterpieces. The groups designs ranged from house door numbers, to iguanas and floral pictures. Caroline also demonstrated the technique for grouting, to complete and perfect the dried mosaic. There was a real creative buzz on the day and feedback from the group was unanimously positive. One participant said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed today and feel I’ve really accomplished something. I will definitely be hunting through skips for suitable mosaic materials in the future!”. For event information visit: Address: 53 Church Road, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 2LB (behind Oulsnams) Phone: 0121 448 0119 Email: Website: Twitter: @northfieldeco Central England Area Quaker Meeting Charities Registered Charity No. 224571

S E A S O N S G R E E T I N G S ! Support our work: Become a Friend of Northfield Ecocentre. Go to www.northfieldecocentre. org/join-us/support-us

December 2011 Newsletter  

Northfield Ecocentre 2011 Newsletter