Birmingham on Sea
I was pleased to find a copy of the Birmingham Post dated November 23rd 2006 the front page of which is dominated by a picture of the city surrounded by sea. The headline says BIRMINGHAM, NOVEMBER 2080 and says this could be the consequences "if we don't do something about it NOW". 
The sobering thought is - how much have we done about it in the 13 years that have followed? The answer according to dire messages from the UN COP meeting in Poland in December, is not enough - by a long way.


Funding For Energy Study
Mission Possible at Uplands (MP@U),has won backing from the Urban Community Energy Fund administered by the Centre for Sustainable Energy, to undertake a feasibility and viability study for the generation of energy from solar panels. The project is centred on the Uplands Allotments, the largest allotments in the UK and the project’s catalyst from which it plans to create a ripple effect throughout the adjacent community. This funding success comes only two weeks after MP@U won grant support from the Birmingham charity, LoveBrum.

Councillor Lisa Trickett, Birmingham Council Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment, said: “The generation of more sustainable forms of energy is something that organisations of all sizes should explore wherever possible.

“That is why it is great to see a grassroots organisation take a lead in one of our communities in this way. If solar power can be proven at the Uplands Allotments, it will act as a great inspiration to others in the area to look at what they can do to make their part of Birmingham cleaner and greener.”

See Press Release: MPU_energy_press_release_V4.pdf

We Win Support From LoveBrum

Mission Possible at Uplands won the March round of competitive bids to the Birmingham charity, LoveBrum. Against stiff opposition, our project was the monthly winner, receiving £2,800 to enable the clay oven to be built in the developing new community space on the huge allotments.




The Birmingham charity, "LoveBrum", visited the Mission Possible at Uplands project to undertake a video interview as part of the project's bid for funds. Andy Hilton is seen explaining how the money would be used to build a clay oven near The Shack (see behind him) as part of community development on the site.


I view with interest the responses to COP21 in Paris. The biggest question to me is - what does "legally binding truly mean?" Peter Bakker of the WBCSD says: "This is an historic day. The Paris Agreement has been adopted, and it will change everything.

The news from Paris is a major step forward by all governments of the world to safeguard the future of life on our planet. After many years of discussions and negotiations, there is now no question: a low-carbon economy is inevitable.

Not only does the agreement support holding the increase in global temperatures to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, it includes a stretch goal to limit that increase to just 1.5 °C.

The agreement takes account of the many commitments from governments, business, cities and citizens; all of whom joined their voices in the call to action. In hearing those voices, the Paris Agreement heralds a new relationship between governments, business and other non-state actors to work together to accelerate the transition to a thriving, clean economy with equitable access to sustainable development for all."  

Local housing groups leading on development of low carbon, sustainable communities.

Staged in Birmingham on Novem,ber 24th 2015, this event showcased innovative & progressive Local Housing Groups. See full report via Projects.


Architect students from Birmingham City University have delivered three projects in less than six weeks and with no budget at Mission Possible, the low carbon, sustainable community project centred on Uplands Allotments in Birmingham. The picture shows the rediscovered and rejuvenated Shack plus fire pit, outside meeting space and prototype rainwater gathering system. See latest Uplands Update at - Uplands_Update_No_4_Nov_2015_v2.pdf


Drone Checks Renewables


Firefly Aerial Innovation tested drone capabilities for inspecting renewable energy installations such as wind turbines and a pv array in Leicestershire. Location was Becon Energy, the business of leading renewable energy advocator, Tony Marmont.

Drone Flies At Uplands

As part of its pre company launch, Firefly undertook fully authorised tests of their smallest drone at Uplands allotments at Handsworth, Birmingham. We hope outputs will be used in the feasibility and scoping of the low carbon sustainable community project. The small craft was surprisingly stable on a blustery day and the clarity of the visuals quite outstanding.Seen top left are Malcolm Currie, Uplands Project Joint Project Leader and Stuart Taylor and Paul Trainor of Firefly. See article on drones and sustainable development on Projects page.   

Brazilian Students Visit Uplands


A group of five Brazilian students currently involved with environmental engineering courses at Wolverhampton University visited the Uplands Allotments in Handsworth, Birmingham, where the project to establish a low carbon sustainable community is centred. See Projects - "Mission Not Impossible". Picture left: Glenn Barrowman from Wolverhampton University (left)and far right Mavis Powell (Chairman of the Allotments Association); Malcolm Currie (joint project leader); Andy Hilton (Urban Synthesis) with the five students.

Centre picture: Andy  Hilton and Malcolm Currie with me. Right picture: ((left) Bevil Williams, Managing Director of IT recycling specialist, RePc with Malcolm and students. 

New DMC Event Explores How Local Housing Groups Are Leading On Development Of Low Carbon Sustainable Communities.

See Projects page for this November 24th event to be staged at the MAC, Birmingham.

On the Market As A Public Speaker

Entitled "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Saving The Planet", I now have a presentation available to clubs, associations, etc which is a mix of anecdotes and videos. Contact me via or 0121 444 2683.

Austin Macauley to publish 2nd Novel

Three publishers expressed interest in publishing my second novel, The Acionna Projects, sequel to the Final Shah Mat. After meeting members of their team in Canary Wharf, London, a contract has been signed with Austin Macauley. They have also asked for first option to publish book three. The publishing process will now take some months to complete. 

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