Air Quality on Clean Air Day

What our air quality looks like

To mark this day, additionally to events and workshops in and around our schools, Active Communities planned an air quality relay using it’s Air Quality Monitors with the aim of mapping air quality in as much of the city as possible. The aim was be to get as many people to use the air quality monitors as possible in a single day to increase the data available.

The response was fantastic from staff , orange bike users, and staff from partner organisations meaning 33 people gave their time and effort to support this important cause.

They did this because air pollution impacts us all, from our first breath until our last. But there are lots of things that we can do to help reduce the amount of pollution our family breathes in. By making small changes to how we travel, what we buy and how we manage our home, we can reduce the pollution our familes friends and neigbours are exposed to. This relay was part of a number of other vital initiative that TAWS and partners were involved in. We hope that we did our bit to help improve the air quality on CLEAN AIR DAY. We walked 99 miles, we cycled 337 miles, we ran 26 miles!

Here are some comments and photos from participants

“The first park I went to (nearest to Chelmund’s Cross, as shown on the map above), was very close to the M6 motorway. This meant that the there was audible traffic noise, making me very aware of the close vicinity to the busy road. I also noticed the monitor recording poorer readings in comparison to the rest of the day.”
“For the remaining parks I was very unaware of surrounding traffic, with the green spaces really feeling like an escape from the busier roads. This was especially the case during the walk from Meriden Park, along the River Cole to the far side of Babbs Mill lake and back. Rather than traffic, what struck me was the sheer abundance of beautiful, quiet, green space but also the lack of people using it. Admittedly it was a Thursday morning, however the weather was nice (most of the time!), and other than the odd dog walker, there were so few people!”

Pictures from Meriden park to Babb’s Mill ? and 10,000 steps #greenisclean

Jo and Hannah

“I started my adventure from Coventry and cycled 20 minutes to Canley Station. The air quality was reported as red. I then cycled from Marston Green Station via the edge of the Birmingham International Runway along the Meadway, through Small Heath and Bordesley Green. The traffic was busy and the air quality felt as though it was getting worse.”


19 miles were covered running Clean Air Day. The journeys were lovely as I escaped traffic and ran or walked along canals and parks. The session at Oaklands Recreation Ground Social Running Group at 9am was particularly awesome as we got to the top of the viewing mound and pushed the bad air out of our park. On the success of the recent Clean Air Walk, we have now set up a regular walk group, Thursdays 12.00 noon – 1.00 pm from the Custard Factory.

Taz’s epic journey

Mark is our most prolific orange bike user with over 12,000 miles completed to date. He agreed to map his daily commute from rubbery into Birmingham as well as covering some parts of East Birmingham on his way back.

“On Clean Air Day, I varied my routes to and from work.  I was surprised to see the sensor showing red on some of the residential back roads round Northfield – they are 20 mph speed limit roads.  I believe the air quality was poor on these roads as many people use them as a ‘rat run’ to avoid the congestion on the main roads.  There were numerous times when the sensor went red, when traffic was minimal. Other times, it stayed green when I was in heavy traffic.  It was an interesting experience which made me realise that it is not just the city centre where air quality is a problem.”

“Afternoon commute. Unit is glowing red at the start of the commute. Went via Moseley, Kings Heath and Cotteridge.  Felt quite windy and didn’t appear to go red as often as on my morning commute. Another 10 miles completed .”


“I certainly noticed the change this morning. On the way home yesterday it was mostly red, but I took the alternative route in this morning coming through Harborne and round Five Ways on the 23 bus route – lots of green/orange. Although, didn’t see your email about photos last night so apologies, no snaps from me. But was interesting to see the colours changing this morning! Started out great then as I came into town and down to work it was more red.”


The whole combined team did an amazing job of raising awareness of air quality throughout the city. Thank you everyone who contributed to our first clean air relay!

Air Quality and EnvironmentActive Communities

Author: admin