On Thursday 17 April, Tyseley Energy Park (TEP) worked with a group of 40 volunteers to clear up the Lost World along the River Cole, which lies between Heybarnes Circus and Veolia, as part of a community litter-pick.

Councillor Zafar Iqbal, representatives from; TEP; the University of Birmingham; Veolia; the Environment Agency; Engie; Birmingham City University; Webster and Horsfall; Severn Trent; Keep Britain Tidy and the local community collectively gave up their time to make this green space cleaner and safer.

The volunteers

The suggestion for a litter pick stemmed from the most recent TEP Community Engagement event, which brought over 200 members of the local area together to discuss the needs of the local community. More green space was found to be a recurring recommendation.

To support the litter pick, Webster and Horsfall provided a lunch for all volunteers, and Keep Britain Tidy supplied the litter picks, gloves and bags to collect 136 bags of rubbish, of which 30% were recycled.

During the day, community members were asked to give their ideas for how the Lost World area along the river should be developed and improved.  Working with local artists, schools and organisations to create information points, sculptures, and install bird boxes, beehives and bat boxes were among the popular suggestions.

The volunteers discussed the benefits offered by nature and art trails, agreeing that improved signage and lighting was needed in to improve security and access for both walkers and cyclists. The group also agreed that frequent litter picks and more bins in the area are required to improve the aesthetics of the area.Example of areas cleared

Overall, the consultation identified the importance of co-designing changes to the area to empower the local community and allow them to have ownership of the improvement process and any resources installed.

Speaking about the event, David Horsfall, Director for TEP said: “It has been excellent to see so many people join in the litter pick to help clean up our local area. We want Tyseley to become a destination, a place recognised for its clean energy, green space and deep rooted history of manufacturing”.

The area once it had been cleared

Over the coming months, Tyseley Energy Park will be working with Councillor Zafar Iqbal, key stakeholders and members of the community to establish a community group that will help to address local issues and deliver the opportunities identified. The next meeting will be held on 23 May.

If you would like to get involved, please contact [email protected].