Tesco Bags of Help #BagsofHelp

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme,
which sees grants of up to £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores – being awarded to local community projects.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects across the UK a share of
revenue generated from carrier bag sales in Tesco store. The public will now vote in store during November and December on who should receive the awards!

Our project will focus on installing bee friendly Warre hives in north birmingham allotments as community managed hives. These special types of hive allow for minimal bee disruption and maintenance allowing them to do their thing while still producing honey and wax for the community allotment they are installed in. 

We will help the local bee population, pollinate some allotment produce, produce local honey and wax and teach volunteers how to manage these hives for themselves and look after their bees.

If you think this sounds like a good idea, remember to vote for us in Tesco stores throughout November and December!


A while ago Sustainable Life provided us with a bunch of UK tree seeds from the Woodland Trust. Our volunteer Cathy planted them and these lovely tree saplings are the result! These trees are destined for SCHOOLS including HE groups. It will be FIRST COME FIRST SERVED for the lot in Birmingham. SO if you are interested in making your own play forest get in touch!



Highbury Orchard FREE Cob Oven

On Sunday course leader Alan Bale visited Highbury Orchard and ran a course for FREE with the end result of Highbury Orchard receiving a Cob Oven at materials cost only. This was a completely unfunded donation of personal time and skills by Alan Bale to the good people at Highbury Orchard. It was a long day extending well into the evening but with the plucky help of a variety of Highbury Orchard volunteers the Orchard ended up with a pretty fab oven! Now we just need to wait for the oven to properly dry out and they can then begin test fires to condition the oven.


Good job to all involved!

View pictures of the event here: Facebook pictures post

Seed Donation to Water Orton Primary

Parent Tina Champion has reached out to us and obtained a free bundle of seeds for Water Orton Primary School from our community seed bank (donated by Wyevale Garden Centre).




Big Seed Giveaway

We are excited to be working with Forest Schools Birmingham CIC this year to deliver an exciting new project called “The Big Seed Giveaway”.

We are in the process of creating a wonderful learning resource portal online. Here you will find information on this project, how to sign up, discuss your project or milestones with other teachers, parents or carers, and download worksheets and resources to help make your growing project a success.

Best of all. IT’S TOTALLY FREE.

No catch.

Find out more: Veg Champions Project 2017

Sign up: Get a free seed pack

Download Worksheets: Totally FREE


Can you help our project? We are looking for help with plant pot donations (3 1/2 inch plastic pots). If you can donate any please let the Big Seed Giveaway Team know!

Raddlebarn Big Harvest Winners Update!

The school have now announced the winners of the Raddlebarn Big Harvest 2016 photo competition!




Congratulations to the Shpanin, Forcer, Hunt and Pickering families of Raddlebarn! We have handed over the main prize and the runner up prize to the school. The school have added an extra two winners to the mix because they were so impressed with the entries they found it very difficult to choose! These winners will be getting additional mystery prizes from the school – we don’t knwo what the school picked out for them so do get in touch and let us know!


Happy Growing and see you in 2017 Raddlebarn 😀

Special Award from Kingstanding Food Community

We were pleased to announce at the KFC leaving party, our course leader Stephanie Adelaar was given a special award for her contributions to the project by the director of Forest Schools Birmingham, Afric Crossan.


The event was primarily a celebration of the volunteers and staff (one of whom is our main course leader Alan Bale) who worked on the project over the last three years. The project is now sadly closing, but the volunteers are determined to continue on with the community spirit and work they have developed to date. If you wish to show your support for this project you can do so by simply visiting the aviva community page for Kingstanding Food Community and registering your vote for thier project. Any and all votes would be much appreciated and help to continue the project onwards into the future.


Big Harvest Photo Competition

Sustainable Life organised the Big Harvest 2016 this year at Raddlebarn Primary School with funding from Forest Schools Birmingham and seed donation courtesy of Wyevale Garden Centre.

We were pleased to also run a Facebook Competition for the event in which a variety of parents got stuck in with some amazing photographs!

The teachers at Raddlebarn Primary School have been gracious enough to judge the competition entries and have now decided on thier winners. We are awaiting to hear the results of this in the next Raddlebarn Newsletter and will let you all know ASAP!

In the meantime we were very pleased to see our Course Leader Stephanie Adelaar mentioned in the newsletter who organised the event and invested so much of her time into the project and the growing club.



We’ve gathered together the prizes for the competition and they are now in the hands of the Raddlebarn teachers who are arranging the winner announcements. Here is the sneak preview of what is up for grabs!


Willow Donation for Sarehole Mill Museum

Sarehole Mill Museum were recently looking to restore and expand thier Wattle and Daub wall structure for thier learning team experiences with schools. We had a look at the project together and decided to donate our leftover Willow wands and Calendula rods to build a “wigwam” type structure. This will be covered in the daub mixture by participating children later on.

We visited last week and had a fun time with learning officer Louise building an exciting enclosure for kids to play with and in! We will keep you updated on how it looks when the kids start adding clay to the weave.


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