Members of the public are being encouraged to look after the environment - by beating a chocolate bar with a stick. On 9 June University of Birmingham staff and students will team up with school children and other community groups in Selly Oak for the Splat the Rat day.

The community event, which is being organised by Rebecca Wooldridge and Marcia Greenwood, Selly Oak ward support officer, is designed to raise awareness of environmental issues in the area and includes activities such as a demonstration by Dr Trevor Shields, the university's sustainability and environmental officer, on reducing carbon emissions, plus a 'tidiest front garden' competition. Meanwhile pupils from Tiverton Primary School have been busy designing a poster to promote the event.

The day will culminate in the title activity, in which volunteers send a rat – in this case a chocolate bar – hurtling down a tube as participants try to 'splat' it before it falls to the ground. Other events include a 'Rat Race' to find the fastest litter picker and a 'Rat Walk' giving young people the chance to model headgear and clothing they have made from recycling objects.

Rebecca Wooldridge, community housing & liaison manager for Housing Services, said: "This is a fun day designed to bring everyone together and get people working as a team to benefit the community. We really want everyone to roll up their sleeves and pitch in for a great cause – and have a laugh at the same time."


Media Information: Anna Dingley, University of Birmingham Press Officer: 0121 4158134/07769 952763, email

Notes to Editor:

The University of Birmingham has around 27,000 students and 6,000 members of staff and a turnover of £360 million.