Along a large grassy area in Balsall Heath on the edge of Birmingham City Centre – who knew there would be primary school masquerading 16 Super Hero Year Three Tree Champions – well we learn something new everyday and what a treat it was.
Stealth, determination, enthusiasm, curiosity, strength – all that was missing were the capes!
Heath Mount Primary School should be very proud because they brought 16 smiley and enthusiastic children who, excuse the pun, dug really deep and worked so hard planting a mini forest in their local area only a five minute walk from their school. And although it was a bit of a struggle at times to cut that spade in through the tough grass, mud and rubble, the children never stopped smiling. Together, not only did we plant 300 cell grown saplings, but 50 whips and two Christmas trees as well. The cell grown trees are a fantastic fit for a smaller space in a urban areas and include a wide variety of smaller native Britishs trees, like Rowan, Crab apple and Field Maple. The Christmas trees were an added bonus and rescued from recycling by our brilliant Woodland Team who took the lucky Christmas trees off life support and breathed new life into them by helping the children and volunteers bed them down in their new home.
As well as these wonderful children one local resident was very eager to talk to us about what we were doing. When she discovered we were planting 352 trees, she was even happier. ‘Balsall Heath needs these trees, thank you,’ she smiled, ‘You’re right, everywhere needs more trees, but right trees, in the right place, for the right reason.’ we replied.
These lovely moments make us realise that more and more of the population really understand the benefits of trees on their lives – the wider the message, the more trees are loved! It’s simple maths.
Not only that, we had four fantastic volunteers from Systra Limited, Warren, Amaan, Ollie and Sean who mentored the children helping instruct them to notch plant and dig the T-shaped holes stomping down our mini woodland so the were safe and secure in the ground.
As always this year every tree planted is part of the Queens Green Canopy celebrations and we were honoured to have two Deputy Lieutenants, David Clark and Jonnie Turpie join us too, working with the children to space out and plant the trees, enjoy the calm kind weather and absorb the lovely one of togetherness we always enjoy at any of our community tree plantings.
The children were very happy that the trees wouldn’t only feed and home local wildlife, they would disperse seeds leading more trees and they would look so different through the seasons as well as cleaning the air.
One pupil, Umaan was very excited to tell us that just over the garden wall right in front of us was where he lived. So Umaan lives within touching distance of the forest we planted. Well maybe we should call it Umaan’s forest then, with proud look, Umaan agreed and promised he would keep any eye on the trees for us all to ensure they were looking in good shape.
These amazing pupils worked shard to ensure the trees were all planted correctly and pushed themselves physically for every moment of the planting. We were very impressed and started to think that had some kind of super hero powers. No, we just love plant the trees!’ They explained.
In fact all the children whole hardly agreed that these special trees, greening up and cleaning up the air are very special and they will tell everyone they know the importance of trees for our health, our well being an our environment. It’s a message we must all repeat whenever we can, but once you have actually planted a tree, invested in that tree and it’s legacy, watched it grow and change through the seasons it’ so much easier – to communicate that vey important message.
And yes, the number of trees we plant each year keeps getting bigger and bigger. As part of the Queens Green Canopy, a marvellous legacy in celebration of her Majesty’s platinum Jubilee. As well as airy special year for BTfL where we will be planting our 100,000th tree – Wowser!
At the end of our tree planting morning David Clarke explained to the children the importance of the Queen’s Green Canopy not only in Britain, but the whole of the Commonwealth where thousands of children will be planting trees like we did today. So if you can plant a tree, do plant a tree, enjoy that tree and treasure that tree – it will be one of your best friends and your children’s best friends!
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended this planting today, Heath Mount Primary School, our volunteers from Systra Ltd, both David Clarke and Jonnie Turpie, Geoff Cole, Simon Needle and the Woodland Team, like we always say, team work – makes the dream work!
And everyone was a super hero today.
Please view the photo album of this planting here