Colors: Blue Color

Birmingham Airport has seen another month of record breaking growth this year. Figures for June have revealed the Midlands gateway saw over 1.3 million passengers travel through the terminal – giving 16.4 percent growth when compared to the same month last year.

In total 1,301,962 passengers flew through Birmingham – over 183,000 more than the same month in 2016.

Short haul saw a very significant rate of growth at 17.8% whereas long haul services saw a smaller 2.7% increase.

David Winstanley, Chief Operating Officer at Birmingham Airport, said: “June was our twenty eighth consecutive month of record breaking growth, it’s also the third month this year in which we have seen over a million passengers. These are both fantastic achievements and show how Birmingham Airport’s popularity is rapidly growing.

“We are now fully into the busy summer season and so we expect figures for the next few months to remain very healthy.”

Scheduled traffic accounted for 88 per cent of the total, with charter passengers making up the remaining 12 per cent.

New parents and mothers-to-be can get information and support about feeding their baby at a free event taking place to mark World Breastfeeding Week.

Pregnant women, new parents and families with young children can find out more about feeding their baby as well as other issues including reflexology, slings, hypnobirthing, baby massage and baby yoga at the event at Low Hill Strengthening Families Hub on Thursday 3 August.

Experts from the City of Wolverhampton Council's Public Health Team, the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust's Infant Feeding Team, the Healthy Lifestyles Team and Health Visitors will be on hand to offer advice and guidance, while families will be able to meet other parents, share experiences and learn new skills. Refreshments will be available, along with activities to keep babies and toddlers occupied.

Lisa Raghunanan, Strengthening Families Partnership Manager, said: "The aim of the event is to support mothers and families to get the information they need to make a fully informed choice on feeding their baby, to support and develop their parent-infant relationships, and also to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.”

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, added: "This event is part of the ongoing work of Public Health, Early Years and Wolverhampton’s Infant Feeding Team to encourage more new mums in Wolverhampton to breastfeed.

“Research shows that babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop illnesses such as gastroenteritis and respiratory and ear infections. They are also less likely to be obese or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels – all risk factors for heart disease.

“New mothers, mums-to-be and families with young children can find out more about feeding their baby at this free event, as well as getting information and advice about a range of other issues which will benefit themselves and their new arrival."

More than 20 people went over the edge in a 170ft abseil to raise money for Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice.

Descending 17 floors from the roof of the city’s Park Regis Hotel, the abseilers have raised thousands of pounds to support local families.

It was the first abseil organised by the hospice which has cared for people with a terminal illness and their families for more than 100 years.

For many of the participants the event was the fulfilment of a lifetime ambition – but all agreed they were happy to put their feet back on solid ground.

Carl Oldacres, of Walsall, was taking part in memory of his dad Raymond who was cared for at John Taylor Hospice five years ago.

“They did such a good job at the hospice, they couldn’t have done any more for my dad and this is a way of saying thank you,” said 41-year-old Carl, who was cheered on by friends and family. “When my dad was at John Taylor Hospice they organised an 80th birthday party for him. It was his last wish to have that 80th birthday party and they did it all for him, they paid for it and everything. That is something you don’t forget.”

Abseiling in memory of her gran Enid Seeley was 27-year-old Kiran Seeley of Erdington. Enid was supported at home by the hospice teams after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2009.

“The abseil was brilliant,” Kiran said. “When I went over the edge I looked down and my legs just went to jelly but I just kept going and then you get over that.”

Teams from fashion store Fat Face in Birmingham’s Grand Central and electrical parts retailer eSpares also took part in the event. Both companies are long-term supporters of John Taylor.

Dan Mavr, a 24-year-old production data assistant at Small Heath based eSpares, said: “I wanted to abseil today to help John Taylor Hospice – and for the thrill of it. It was really good.”

Staff members from John Taylor Hospice also joined the team including Head of Fundraising Katie Mitchell, PR and Media Officer Louise Allen and Community Fundraising Manager Darren Dudley.

Katie said: “A huge well done to all of our abseilers and thank you to the Park Regis Hotel for being such fantastic hosts. It was a great day and it was lovely to meet so many people for whom John Taylor Hospice is a special place which has made a massive difference by caring for their loved ones.

“There are lots of other ways for people to support the hospice’s valuable work. There’s still time to join our Great Birmingham Run team, there are places at our Masquerade Ball and all our other events are on our website.”

Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS) have announced an Introduction to Directing course for West Midlands based new and emerging D/deaf and disabled directors in autumn 2017. The course will offer an amazing opportunity for anyone that has considered a career in directing or already has some experience but has faced barriers from pursuing it further.

The course, which is free to attend, will include weekly workshops with professional theatre directors and practitioners from both The REP and beyond focussing on the skills and resources individuals need to take work from the page to the stage and to continue to develop their craft.

The first workshop will begin on the evening of Wednesday 13 September 2017 and will run every week for 10 weeks culminating in a sharing of participants work to an invited audience.

Tessa Walker, Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre said:

“I am delighted that The REP and RTYDS are able to offer this unique opportunity to D/deaf and disabled directors from the region. To be able to welcome new directors into The REP and nurture and support them in the early stages of their directing life is a privilege and further strengthens our commitment to representing the diversity of our region in our theatre, in our stories and on our stages”.

Sue Emmas, Artistic Director, Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme said:

“Theatre needs to change.  We need to create an artistic democracy where the society around us is represented both on and off stage.  Directors can have the biggest impact.  They choose the stories to tell and the collaborators they work with to tell those stories. This is the first time the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme has run an Introduction to Directing for D/deaf and disabled new directors.  Be one of the artists who changes UK theatre.”

Priya Dosanjh, a previous participant on an RTYDS Introduction to Directing scheme at The REP also said:

“The Introduction to Directing course was a fantastic springboard for a career in theatre. Beyond the provision of a practical foundation in directing, it led to the ongoing support and mentorship of industry professionals. Within a year after concluding the course, I was assisting on a main house production - an opportunity that I was afforded as a direct consequence of my participation on the course. It’s an invaluable program for anybody in the foundling stages of their career.”

The Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS) is a professional artist development programme for new and emerging theatre directors in the UK. The scheme seeks out and nurtures the most talented theatre directors at the early stage of their careers; developing their skills and experience by placing them in the UK’s leading regional theatres and providing unique training and professional development opportunities.


A sea of colourful wildflowers is springing up at open spaces and grass verges across Sandwell.

Five sites have been sown with a mix of wildflowers, creating a stunning multi-coloured display – brightening up the area and attracting bees and butterflies.

The flowers not only look beautiful and benefit local wildlife, they reduce the need for strimming, mowing and pesticides – saving time and money.

Three of the sites – Ashes Road open space in Oldbury, Sandy Lane open space in Friar Park and Balls Hill park in West Bromwich – have had new bollards recently installed following unauthorised encampments.

The flowers have been grown around the base of the bollards to add a splash of colour, encouraging bees and butterflies and reducing the need for strimming.

The verges on Brandon Way in West Bromwich have also been seeded, as has the Owen Street island in Tipton where a large conifer tree came down in high winds earlier this year.

Just last week, The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country named the A41 in West Bromwich the best for bees thanks to rare bee orchids and other plants growing there. This is down to the council changing when the mowing is done to allow the rare flowers to grow.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for highways Councillor David Hosell said: “We have had so much feedback from residents about the wildflowers – they have gone down incredibly well.

“They really are stunning to look at and they are attracting all sorts of bees, butterflies and insects.

“We’re now looking at other places we can use the wildflowers – and the beauty of them is, they will now re-seed for years to come.”

The Bell Inn, New Forest, has been shortlisted for one of the categories in the CLA and New Forest National Park Authority Awards 2017.

The awards seek to recognise those who live and work within the New Forest boundary who make an outstanding contribution to conserving the unique landscape and traditions of the New Forest. Consequently, The Bell Inn has been shortlisted for Best Supporter of Local Produce.

Owner, Robert Crosthwaite Eyre said, “We're delighted to have been shortlisted as it's a fantastic recognition of all the hard work the team do here at the Inn to support the locals. We're passionate about them! With the Inn having been part of our family for over 200 years, we're naturally, very committed to using local produce from the Forest, not only within our seasonal menus, but also in other ways, including offering New Forest Spring Water and New Forest Chocolates for staying guests. Our recent May Fair and Christmas shopping events attended by exhibiting New Forest Marque producers also proved to be hugely popular. Irrespective of the outcome of the awards, we will continue to find new and innovate ways to demonstrate our obvious commitment to and demonstrating passion for supporting the locals.”

The winners of the 2017 awards will be announced at the New Forest Show on Wednesday 26 July 2017.

On Thursday, 13th July the Birmingham Commonwealth Association met at Birmingham's Council House. The group which is formed up of over thirty companies from various parts of the Commonwealth meets to discuss issues of importance to the companies and the Commonwealth in Birmingham as a whole, and how they can do more to ensure that the Commonwealth is promoted within the city.

Thursday’s meeting was held to discuss the upcoming arrival of the Jamaican Athletic Team on 28th July and Jamaica In The Square, which is being held to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Jamaican independence from 4th to 6th August, as well as to discuss what can be done to help Birmingham’s bid for the 2022 Commonwealth games.

The first item of discussion was the arrival of the Jamaican Athletic team to Birmingham on 28th July. Their arrival promises to be just as big if not bigger than the team’s arrival in 2012 before the Olympics. Consequently, the discussion mainly focused on preparing for their arrival, where they would stay and the dinner that would be held in the evening for them, and ensuring that they were properly protected throughout the event. A gala dinner is to be held to celebrate their arrival and their achievements, with tickets currently on sale, so if you want to sit next to a world class athlete be sure to book your tickets as soon as possible!

Next came discussions about the Jamaica In the Square event being held from 4th to 6th August in Victoria Square to celebrate Jamaican independence. The discussion centred around how many people were expected, and what sort of things could be expected. If you’re attending this year, expect a lot of high quality music and food, and company.

Finally, on the matter of backing Birmingham’s bid to become the host of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, all those in attendance agreed that they would do what they could to encourage their communities and friends and families to support the bid and speak positively of Birmingham to make the bid as successful as possible.

All in all it was an interesting meeting and one that shows that there is a lot of promise and potential in Birmingham and the wider Commonwealth, just waiting to be tapped into.

The average Brit laughs out loud 5,110 times every year, according to a new study. Researchers took an in-depth look into what makes the nation crack up – and discovered Sheffield is the banter capital of the UK, with people from the steel city chortling 16 times a day on average - that’s 5,840 times a year.

Bristol came second in the laughter stakes, chuckling on average 5,694 times every year and Leeds came third with 5,511 laughs.

In fact, 83 percent of those polled claim Britain has the best sense of humour in the world, with 58 percent saying being able to laugh at ourselves was a valued national trait.

According to the research of 2,000 Brits by Ronseal – which commissioned the study - 90 percent say that when the chips are down, they live by the saying “if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry.”

The poll revealed 73 percent of Brits say they use humour to make someone feel better, 52 percent say they laugh to diffuse an argument, while 46 percent deploy a well-timed wise crack to change the subject.

The data also revealed the majority of those polled (27 percent) say they have the most laughs and banter with their other half, while 15 percent said their children were a constant source of amusement.

When it comes to the people we take the mickey out of most - our best friends are most likely to be the butt of our gags, while 15 percent claimed a work colleague is the person they are most likely to verbally spar with.

A further 18 percent claimed that they are more likely to take the mickey out of themselves rather than anyone else.

According to the poll, we’re most likely to laugh at a friend’s DIY skills (38 percent) – or lack of them – with 16 percent admitting they have botched so many jobs their friends can’t resist a joke at their expense, while 19 percent have the mickey taken out of them because they put DIY jobs off for so long.

A spokesperson for Ronseal, which commissioned the study said: “Banter is a part of British culture and whether we are making fun of situations, our friends or our own predicaments no-one does it quite like we do. DIY featured highly in the research, with us self-deprecating Brits often using our own delays and disasters as fodder for friends looking for a laugh.”

Nearly half of the men polled (48 percent) insist they are funnier that their other half compared to 29 percent of women who think they are more humorous.

Almost four in ten (37 percent) said they joke with a friend or family member about how tight they are with money and 27 percent take the mickey out of friends’ dress sense.

Nearly two in ten (18 percent) joke about a mate’s haircut - while a brave 8 percent admitted they often banter about a friend’s partner.

People send on average four funny text or WhatsApp messages to their mates every day, while 73 percent said the rise of technology and social media platforms have led to more banter and laughs.

And almost nine in ten people felt that our national love of laughs brought us closer together with friends and family.

Teenagers aged between 14 and 19 are invited to a careers event in Oldbury to help them decide what they want to do after school and college.

The Connexions Sandwell Careers Show comes to Sandwell Council House in Freeth Street on Saturday 15 July between 11am and 2pm.

It’s for young people who are thinking about apprenticeships, jobs, Higher Education, alternatives to university or who just want some help to decide on their next steps.

The free event brings together up to 27 organisations including major employers such as BMW, Severn Trent Water, Halfords and Aldi, all offering apprenticeships and training. Local colleges and universities will be on hand to discuss courses.

Connexions Sandwell careers advisers will also be available for impartial careers information, advice and guidance, so young people can discuss their options in details.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for children’s services Councillor Simon Hackett said: “These events are really valuable for young people to find out what options are open to them.

“It’s a chance to meet potential employers, find out about what training opportunities and apprenticeships are available and to get some careers advice from our experts.”

Parents and carers are also welcome.  For more information call Connexions Sandwell on 0121 569 2955.

The event is funded through Black Country Impact. Black Country Impact is about helping young adults break down the barriers that may be holding them back from finding work, improving their skills or gaining qualifications.

Black Country Impact involves Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and City of Wolverhampton Councils and Black Country Talent Match, a project led by Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council and funded through the Big Lottery Fund.

The money for the project has come from the European Social Fund (£17million), from the government's Youth Employment Initiative  (£17million) plus potential match funding of up to £8million from the Big Lottery Fund and other partners.

A £2.2 million Care and Support Specialist Housing (CASSH) Scheme to deliver ten bespoke council houses for families with an adult wheelchair user has been completed.

The council is eager to ensure people in the City of Wolverhampton live independent lives in their own homes.

Four two-and-three-bedroom homes were finished at Lawnside Green, Stowlawn, in July last year, followed by two three-bedroom bungalows at Fifth Avenue, Low Hill, in September.

The final phase has seen four three-bedroom homes recently completed at Dale Street/Russell Street, Graisley, with the tenants now moving in.

The former Heantun Housing Association (HHA), now part of Accord, has a successful track record of designing and delivering family-sized wheelchair housing in the city, and managed the builds on behalf of the council.

The units are part funded by £450,000 of a £900,000 Government Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) grant.

The remainder of the grant has been used by HHA in addition to its own funding to develop a further ten wheelchair accessible homes, which it owns and manages.

Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Housing and Assets, said: "This is good news for our residents and is the first house building project of this kind for the city council.

“It is enabling people to lead independent and fulfilling lives at home with their families.

“It is vital we are responsive to the range of needs represented on our housing register, and we are determined to do more.”

The properties are fully wheelchair accessible, have height-adjustable hob and sink sections in the kitchen, shower areas in bathrooms suitable for wheelchair users or adults with other disabilities, and allow for the fitting of a hoist if required, as well as any other adjustments suggested by the client’s Occupation Therapist.

Sara Woodall, Accord’s Executive Director of Communities, said: “We were delighted to be part of bringing these self-contained houses and bungalows to Wolverhampton, and it is heartening to see that they have been situated within established residential communities, and have been supported by local Tenant and Resident Associations.”

According to data collected by card seller, Clintons, sales of cards for those in their seventies and above increased by 116% last year. To add onto this, it is expected that more than 100,000 cards will be sold to those celebrating landmark 90th, 95th and 100th birthdays in 2017 as well. This news comes after a family in Norfolk were the first family in the whole of Britain to celebrate the lives of six generations in one year.

With there being half a million people in the UK aged 90 and above, and 14,570 centenarians (a 65% increase in the last decade) these figures should come as no surprise. It is believed that an estimated 1,000 of these 14,570 are aged 105 or over, double the figure in 2005.  It is believed that there are currently 14 million grandparents in the UK, 1.5 million of whom are under 50, with a large proportion of this group believed to become great-grandparents within the next few years.  The increase in the number of people aged over 105, means that the Queen who sends out a card and a letter to each person over this age, has quite the task before her.

Tim Fairs, VP of marketing at Clintons said: “Most people of my generation have no memory of their great-grandparents, yet today many play an active role in family life.  It’s great that younger generations have access to the love, experience and history of their elderly relatives and it’s fascinating that demographics are shifting so rapidly.  The Queen already has quite a task signing all those letters and cards each year.”

With people living longer due to better living standards and improved quality of healthcare, the growing number of people living into their nineties and beyond should not come as a surprise. And with many people living to such ages, the chances for greater family connection and bonding is greater than it has ever been. Clintons plays a huge part in establishing family connection through the sales of their birthday cards, and also helps play a role in showing off some of the societal trends that are beginning to emerge.

Recent data has shown that more cards are bought for senior mums than dads but twice the number of cards are sold to Husband than Wife over the age of 70.  And Clintons continues to lead the way in catering to this trend selling a range of cards for Mums, Dads, same-sex families and one child families.


School children in Wolverhampton have been caught up in the wolf mania sweeping the city. Pupils from 35 primary schools, community groups and artists have designed 70 mini wolves as a spin-off from the Wolves in Wolves public art project.

The colourful mini wolves will form part of an exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery from Saturday, July 8 to Sunday, September 17.

The Lichfield Street gallery is also the starting point for the Wolves in Wolves trail, which has been organised by the council in partnership with disability arts charity Outside Centre and Enjoy Wolverhampton.

The Mini Wolves project has been funded by the Big Lottery programme ‘#BigCelebration’.

Dr Paul Darke of Outside Centre said: “The Mini Wolves project is about celebrating Wolverhampton, its sculpture, arts, heritage, community and people. Outside Centre is grateful to the Big Lottery for enabling us to stage this exhibition.

“Each mini wolf is unique and reflective of the school or group they are from, or the artistic vision of the individual artist.

“Schools were also able to create their own map trail around their school - some of which will be on display as part of the exhibition.

“We are grateful to all those who have participated from the city’s schools, as well as the groups and artists.”

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, added: “The Mini Wolves exhibition is a wonderful extension of the Wolves in Wolves project.

“It is brilliant to see so many schools getting involved, as well as the organisations and artists.

“Overall, it is an exciting project that will help put the city on the map as a cultural centre and I would urge families to get along to the art gallery to see the mini wolves pack.

“From there they can take to the Wolves in Wolves trail, get active, discover the city and what it has to offer.”

The schools involved are Berrybrook Primary School, Braybrook Centre, Bushbury Hill Primary School, Christ Church Junior School, Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, Dunstall Hill Primary School, Edward The Elder Primary School, Elston Hall Primary School, Graiseley Primary School, Green Park School, Hill Avenue Primary School, Lanesfield Primary School, Long Knowle Primary School, Loxdale Primary School, Northern House School, Oak Meadow Primary School, Palmers Cross Primary School, Parkfield Primary Schools, Penn Fields School, Penn Hall School, Perry Hall Primary School, Spring Vale Primary School, St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School, St Anthony's Catholic Primary School, St Luke's Church of England Aided Primary School, St Michael's Catholic Primary School, St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, St Stephens Church of England Primary School, Uplands Junior School, Villiers Primary School, Warstones Primary School, West Park Primary School, Windsor Nursery School, Woden Primary School, Wodensfield Primary School.

Community groups like the The Way, Beacon Centre, City of Sanctuary, Howling Wolves Choir, Wolverhampton Homes, The Haven and Suicide Prevention Stakeholders Forum have also contributed.

The artists involved have long standing links to the city – they live here, trained here or work here.

They include Jasyn Lucas, Nigel James Kilworth, Bhinder Chopra, Harriet and Wilfred Davies, Alex Vann, Claire Rollerson, Helen Brown, Simone Kilworth, Ann Whitehurst, Aimee Millward, Charlie Kelly, Luke Westward, Laura Hickman, Natalie Hawkins, Roy Grew, Julie Fletcher, Pam Fletcher, Rebecca Broomhall, Marie Sewell, Kesia Pennington-Yates, Jo Burgess, Luke Westward, Katie Keith, Jo Burgess, Jemima Mantle, Danielle Robotham, Ricki Hall, Kate Penman, Jade Secker, Ryan Taylor, Carrick Siddell and Meg Gregory.

The RSPCA is poised for a huge increase in the number of calls to its emergency hotline as more hot weather arrives this July - the worst month for incidents of dogs being left in hot cars.

The animal welfare charity - which works alongside 11 other animal charities and organisations to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars - is predicting a peak in reports of animals suffering in the heat during the month of July - after receiving a huge 2,065 calls in June.

Each year, the RSPCA receives thousands of calls from concerned members of the public reporting animals in hot environments and pets suffering from heat exposure - the majority of which concern dogs left in hot cars. Last year, there were 7,187 reports to the charity’s emergency hotline - with 23% of all those calls coming in just one month.

Every year, the charity sees a surge in calls in July - with call-handlers dealing with more than 1,600 calls in the peak summer month in 2016, 18% more reports than any other month.

The majority of calls relate to dogs - often left in cars, caravans or vans on warm days - but the charity also receives concerns about other animals suffering in the heat, from horses to farm animals to fish.

The RSPCA encourages owners to take extra care of their pets in the hot weather. Animals need constant access to fresh water and shade, and dog walkers should avoid exercising their pets during the hottest part of the day.

The charity’s key aim, through the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign, though, is to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving pets in hot environments such as vehicles, conservatories and outbuildings during the warm weather. If anyone sees an animal in distress in a hot car, the advice is to call 999.

Despite this advice, the UK’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity continues to receive thousands of calls every year about incidents of animals shut in confined spaces in the warm weather. In a bid to get the message out to more people, the RSPCA is revealing the country’s worst counties for leaving dogs in hot cars (based on numbers of calls in 2016)

It’s important to remember not to leave any animal in a car or caravan, or in a conservatory or outbuilding, where temperatures can quickly rise, even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside. For example, when it’s 22C outside, within an hour the temperature can reach 47C inside a vehicle, which can result in death.

In an emergency, the group’s advice is to call 999 to report a dog in a hot car to police. As a charity, the RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident.


The 2017 ASTW Awards of Excellence received record-breaking entries this year in a total of 19 categories.

The full list of finalists for the awards, which will be presented at a gala event to be held at Novotel Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday 19 August, 2017 as part of the ASTW Conference and AGM can be found on the ASTW website.

"The ASTW would like to thank the judges, who are non-members from the national and international travel writing industry, and all of the sponsors involved in the awards this year, and who support the ASTW on an ongoing basis."


After months of keeping quiet behind the scenes, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and Wild in Art have announced that over 230 beautifully decorated sun bear sculptures are ‘pre-bearing’ to prowl on to the streets, parks and open places of Birmingham for the region’s largest ever free public art trail, The Big Sleuth.

For 10 weeks this summer, the sleuths of colourful 5ft-tall bears and 3ft-tall bear cubs will inhabit Bear-mingham and its surrounding areas Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Sandwell and at Resorts World from Monday, 10 July.

The Big Sleuth, so called because ‘sleuth’ is the name of a group of bears, as well as a detective, unites 100 bears individually created by artists, with 137 bear cubs designed as part of The Big Sleuth Learning Programme.

Each striking sun bear on the trail tells a different story including designs from celebrities and artists, such as the very well respected artists Temper and Reuben Colley, pop-rock band star Bradley Simpson from The Vamps, actor Adil Ray A.K.A Citizen Khan, Birmingham Bears and England cricketer Chris Woakes, adventurer Bear Grylls, and a special Peaky Blinders bear endorsed by the show’s writer Steven Knight.

The trail will attract thousands of residents and tourists to the region, inspiring civic pride and the opportunity for people to spend time together and get active whether it is walking, running or cycling. At the end of the trail, the large bears together with the special celebrity bear cubs will be auctioned off in October to raise vital funds for Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

“We’re so excited that The Big Sleuth is finally here, we have been planning the bear’s arrival since the owls left and we can’t bear-lieve it’s finally here!” commented Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. "We hope The Big Sleuth will encourage people to come together to walk, jog, run or cycle the free trail, and consider downloading The Big Sleuth app which allows you to track your trail, collect bears, unlock rewards and/ or take part in our Super Sleuth Challenges, which will raise money for our hospital.”

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art, said: “We’re delighted that this year’s exciting trail is here. The Big Sleuth brings together business and creative sectors with schools and local communities to celebrate Birmingham’s rich culture and heritage, and will leave lasting memories across the region for generations to come.”

The Big Sleuth’s predecessor, The Big Hoot, raised over £500,000 for the charity at auction, and The Big Sleuth aims to do the same. All proceeds will go towards helping the children and young people treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. You can support the hospital by texting SLEUTH to 70007 to make a one off £3 donation or download The Big Sleuth app to kick start your fundraising and track your trail, collect bears and unlock rewards.

Nottingham is an eclectic, urban hot spot surrounded by the legendary tales of Robin Hood and his most renowned hideout, Sherwood Forest.

More legendary tales will unfold this summer when the city hosts a WORLD EXCLUSIVE exhibition, Dinosaurs of China: Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers. Featuring dinosaur bones and skeletons never before displayed outside of China, the exhibition tells the story of how dinosaurs evolved into the birds that live alongside us today. This is a real must-see in your summer diary.

Magnificent Wollaton Hall, which houses the city's Natural History Museum - and starred as Wayne Manor in the film The Dark Knight Rises - will host the main exhibition, and feature a staggering skeleton that's as tall as three double decker busses.

If that wasn't enough, there's a fantastic FREE satellite exhibition at Nottingham Lakeside Arts. Get involved to learn more about these incredible creatures and their discovery.