Beautiful sunshine for sponsors to plant at Lickey

The sun really shone on our planting today, deep in the Lickey Hills. 45 adults and children joined us to plant trees in memory of loved ones, or to commemorate a family event, and because they love trees. All of the trees had been sponsored by our planters today so that made them very special.

The walk to the planting site was fairly long and challenging underfoot, due to the recent heavy rain, but everyone made it there and back in one piece….despite some very slippery and deep mud ruts.

Today’s planting consisted of oak feathers (small standard trees) that had been grown in the Lickey nursery, and they were supplemented by a large number of smaller hazel whips.

We have taken lots of photographs today so hopefully everyone who participated will find themselves on one of them somewhere! Follow this link to see most of them, but we will be adding more as people share their own photographs with us.

After the long uphill walk back to the Visitor Centre everyone enjoyed a well earned hot drink and snack before heading home. Today was an especially busy day on the Lickey Hills as it was the first really warm sunny day of the year, so we hope everyone enjoyed their planting experience and that some may choose to join us again next year.

Sponsor a tree with BTFL

Birmingham Trees for life have now completed their main planting programme for the season 2016/17...... but we have one more event at the Lickey Hills, where we will be joined by members of the public who have chosen to sponsor a tree in memory of a loved one or to celebrate an event.

If you would like to sponsor a tree, and help plant it at our next sponsors' event, why not visit the 'sponsor a tree' page on this website to find out more?

Thanks for the 'tweet' St Bernadettes!!

Retweeted St. Bernadette's (@StBernsPrimary):

3EH had great fun planting trees in our local area. Thank you to the team at Birmingham Trees for Life! 

Volunteers turn out at Heybarnes.

Today was the last official planting in the BTFL calendar till next season starts in November, so we wanted to go out with a bang…….and what a bang!

Close to 170 adults and children joined us on site at Hey Barnes Recreation ground to turn this open space into a Nature Improvement Area Woodland. Today’s event was a joint venture between Birmingham Trees for Life, The Wildlife Trust and Trees for Cities and we have Trees for Cities and the The Woodland Trust to thank for the 5000 saplings and several larger trees that now 'green up' Heybarnes.

As you can imagine it took lots of people to plant all those trees so can we thank Trees for Cities for rousting up well over 50 corporate volunteers from Birmingham branches of national organisations. Hopefully we have not missed anyone out in our volunteers list below…..
Arconic, The Wildllife Trust (Birmingham and Black Country), RSM, The Environment Agency, Green ‘S’ Welfare UK, The Big Lottery, Trees for Cities and of course our own BTFL volunteers.












Our thanks also go to Simon and Debbie Needle for organising the whole day and making sure we had trees, spades, the Ranger Caravan as shelter, and more importantly…… drinks. A special mention must go to Green ‘S’ Welfare who provided some well appreciated warm samosas and spring rolls!!






The sun may not have been shining but I think you will see from our photo album that smiles all round were the order of the day-especially from the pupils of nearby St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School who sent a whole year group to help the adults plant! Well done to them as they all worked very hard.
Such a great end to a great planting season. Thank you everyone concerned.

This was the first time that Birmingham Trees for Life had worked on site with Trees for Cities and we hope that it will be the first of many. Unfortunately the only people we forgot to photograph were us....and them, but we did get several people to pose in front of our respective flags!

A sad loss for Birmingham.

We are so sad to hear of the death of Councillor Ray Hassall who was instrumental in the formation of Birmingham Trees for life.  Councillor Hassall often joined BTFL staff and schools planting in city parks, and continued his support when undertaking his role as Lord Mayor. BTFL were privileged to be nominated as one of the 'Lord Mayor's Charities' during his tenure.

Planting trees with the charity he helped create, which has now planted nearly 70,000 trees across the city- what a wonderful legacy, and thousands of Birmingham schoolchildren who help plant those trees will have lovely memories of their tree planting. Birmingham will be a greener place because of his vision
Remembered fondly by all at Birmingham Trees for Life

Community members and Scouts put the 'green' in Acocks Green Recreation Ground.

The Friends of Acocks Green Rec, local residents and the 260th Birmingham Scout Group turned out today to help plant trees and hedging in Acocks Green Recreation Ground.  A small orchard area was created that will bring fresh fruit to this fairly barren open area, and a long line of hedging was planted to ultimately, over time, shield a very blank wall along one side of the site which is prone to being covered in graffiti.

Lots of lovely photographs today of everyone working together. Follow our link....

Clearing and planting at Lickey

What a glorious day we picked for our all day 'Woodland Resoration Workshop' on the Lickey Hills, where the plan was to help to complete the clearing of an area of woodland that had been thinned out, and then replant the same area with young trees, to restore the native deciduous woodland. To help with the task we had recruited a number of employees from one of our sponsors, Deutsche Bank, and staff and clients from Platinum Housing Care.

You can see the Woodland Manager checking out the area at the start of the day, but if you follow this link you will be able to watch its transformation. You will also see that we had the most amazing weather so we were able to eat our baked potatoes and beans in the sunshine (all cooked on site!).

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham arrived at the start of the day and spent some time helping to build and start our camp fire. (There is a pyromaniac in us all!)

The photographs in the link will show how hard all of our participants worked but the transformation was incredible and will rejuvenate this area of woodland allowing the bluebells and foxgloves to flourish.












Our thanks to Rangers Steve, Penny, Holly and Dave, and Debbie and Simon Needle for their organisation of this event on our behalf. On behalf of everyone, can we assure them that it was much appreciated.

Many of the people on site today have never experienced working outdoors, let alone cooking and eating out in such a beautiful woodland area.  Thank you all the Deutsche Bank staff and the clients and staff from PHC for embracing the physically challenging work today, but we are sure they will all agree that the result was worth it!  Well done everyone.

Chivenor Primary pupils plant in Javelin Avenue

Year 5 pupils from nearby Chivenor Primary School helped plant 10 new trees along the boundary of Javelin Avenue in Castle Vale, close to the nature reserve.

Chivenor have a 'Forest School' so there was no shortage of volunteers to help plant 5 beautiful Liquidambar (sweet gum) and 5 unusual hop hornbeams (Ostrya carpinifolia), which will bring colour to this open grassland area.



Several of the pupils live very close to this area and have promised that they will be checking on 'their' trees as they walk to and from school. Today they also uncovered lots of different treasures........ an old matchbox toy car - buried probably for 10 years+, since the blocks of flats on this site were demolished; plus a very unusual spoon and lots of slate and granite chunks. (Most of these items went back with them to school!). You can see them hard at work via this link.

Our thanks to all our helpers today and the pupils of Chivenor Primary for helping us to 'green up' Castle Vale. BTFL also provided 250 sapling trees to the Community Environmental Trust who planted them with local families at an event earlier in the year. 

Disposal of Broad Street Tree

Following the lost battle to retain the tree in Broad Street,  BTFL and other groups sprang into action to try and find a possible use for the trunk. Maybe as a sculpture? Suggestions came thick and fast so attempts were made to ensure the tree surgeons kept it, but unfortunately the contractor was a little too prompt in disposing of the trunk so the opportunity has been lost.  Oh well.....worth a thought!

BTFL working in partnership with The Woodland Trust at Cofton Park

What a marvellous morning we all had today at Cofton Park. We had close to 100 pupils and over 50 adults ranging in age from 3 to 80! (Well done to Jo for doing her sky dive to raise funds for tree planting).

Today's event was to formally launch the partnership between Birmingham Trees for Life and the Woodland Trust. Even though this has been operating for some months, this was the first opportunity we all had to get together and celebrate what we hope will be a long and mutually beneficial collaboration.

Our youngest participants came from the Nursery at Rednal Hill Primary, and next in age came pupils from Albert Bradbeer Primary Academy, followed by students from Turves Green Boys' SchoolPerry Beeches Academy and the more mature horticultural students from Birmingham Metropolitan College......and finally the staff and supporters from the Woodland Trust and Birmingham Trees for Life.

We were also joined on site by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham who was awarded super star treatment by all the pupils who wanted their photographs taken with him and also his autograph!

BTFL,Woodland Trust Staff, volunteers, pupils and parents would like to thank the Lord Mayor for his patience! If you link to our album you will see that he was well and truly mobbed!



BMet's more mature horticultural students just got on with the task and soon completed the area they had been allotted, so began checking the whole planting site to make sure no spare whips remained.





Perry Beeches Academy were delayed by traffic but arrived just in time to take over from the departing Nursery pupils and check the standard of their planting. (It appears it was very good!)

Turves Green Boys' School (below) and Perry Beeches have been on several sites this year with BTFL so we were confident that they would do a good job!

 Our thanks to John Tucker, Director of Woodland Creation at the Woodland Trust and all  the Woodland Trust staff who travelled some distance to take part in this launch event at Cofton Park.

There are lots of lovely photographs on our Google Album which you can access via this link

 Here's to many years of working in partnership with The Woodland Trust


(Thank you to Kate for her imaginative photograph of the BTFL team on site today!)

The final month of this year's plantings coming up....

Tomorrow, March 1st, is the first event of the final month of plantings for this season.  We will be at Cofton Park celebrating our new partnership with the Woodland Trust, and once again the Lord Mayor will be joining us.

Remaining tree planting events for the 2016-17 season are as follows:                                                           8th March - Javelin Avenue, Castle Vale                                                                                              9th March - Lickey Hills Country Park -  Woodland Workshop with Deutsche Bank                                     11th March - Acocks Green Recreation Ground                                                                                          16th March - Heybarnes Recreation Ground, Bordesley Green                                                                   25th March - 'Plant a Tree for Life' sponsors' planting at the Lickey Hills - the final event of this season


Final farewell to the main trunk!

Our thanks to a member of our committee who happened to be up high enough to catch this sad final act!