The weather today was probably the coldest we have experienced this year, and the site definitely the largest. The photo you can see shows less than half of the planting area ! Welcome to Allens Cross Recreation ground in Northfield. Luckily the sun was shining and we had lots of helpers.
First to arrive were the horticultural students from BMET College who rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in straight away. Next were the pupils from St Bridgets Catholic Primary school followed very closely by a coach full from Albert Bradbeer Primary.
As soon as they had received their instructions they were joined by staff from the birmingham offices of HSBC and Evershed Sutherland. Time to plant, so spades were allocated and everyone set off……up hill and down dale. Have a look at our photographs from today and you may get an idea of just how ‘up and down’ this site really is! Amazingly, two and a half hours later, every one of the 2500 whips were snuggled up safely in their furrows.
Special mention again to the Woodland Team as they undertook the mole ploughing of this area to make planting easier. Getting their tractor up and down some of these hills was a challenge in itself and then every whip had to be laid out roughly a metre apart ready for planting. A time consuming task !
Our thanks again to all our schools and volunteers that braved the cold and helped plant what will be a beautiful swathe of woodland. A great mornings work and we look forward to working with you all again.
St Albans Catholic Primary sent members of their School Council, and helpers, along to Brandwood End Cemetery to plant the first 15 trees in what we hope will be an ongoing project. In late 2018 over 60 large Poplar trees had to be felled as they had become unsafe due to age and disease. The Friends (FBEC) and the Tree Officer appealed to Birmingham Trees for Life for replacement trees and we were fortunate to be able to support this project. We were joined on site by three local Councillors, the Park Ranger for the area and two of Birmingham’s Tree Officers.
We were all looked after very well by The Friends (FBEC) who provided hot drinks, squash and biscuits for the workers- as well as pitching in alongside pupils to plant the trees. Lots of photographs available via this link !
Birmingham Trees for Life may be the organisers of all these lovely tree planting events across the City- but without the muscle of Birmingham City Council Woodland Team and the support of the Tree Officers we would not be able to plant the large numbers of trees that we do. This year we hope to reach our 80,000th!
Every planting event either requires the digging of tree pits or the mole ploughing of furrows for whips. Our trees need to be delivered to site and most importantly……our spades! No matter the weather we can rely on the lads of the Woodland Team to be ready when our planters (usually schools or volunteer groups) arrive on site.
We often forget how much we depend on them and their good will….so lets have a ‘shout out’ to the whole team !!
Today we were also assisted on site by two of the Tree Officers for the South of the City, who are frequently involved in decisions to remove trees- so especially enjoyed this opportunity to work alongside pupils from St Albans RC Primary and local Councillors to put some trees back !
We are now well in to 2019 and BTFL are about to continue their winter planting events!
This year our opening event is somewhere other than a park…….a cemetery ! On the 15th you will find us with pupils from St Albans RC Primary School replacing trees in Brandwood End Cemetery.
Next we travel to Allens Cross Recreation Ground, then on Saturday the 19th we join the Friends and families in Kings Heath Park.
January 29th- Adderley Park
January 30th – Batchelors Farm Park
January 31st-Glebe Farm Park
On behalf of all of us at Birmingham Trees for Life, can we wish Seasons Greetings to everyone that supports us. Whether you are a school who supports us on site, a Parks employee that facilitates what we do, a grant funder, a local Friends Group, or just a member of the public that takes the time to read our web site or face book blog. Without your support and interest we would not be able to carry on our work highlighting the importance of trees and trying to infuse the younger generation with some of the knowledge and passion that we share with many of our supporters. Thank you all again and we hope that 2019 brings you all that you wish for in life. Please keep supporting our projects in whatever way you can, as we head rapidly towards having planted 80,000 trees in the City of Birmingham !
Prince Albert pupils were intrigued by the beautiful and unusual names of today’s trees, so we thought we would print a list. They particularly liked ‘Louisa Red Shine’ !
4 x Acer campestre Lienco
4 x Acer campestre Louisa Red Shine
4 x Acer campestre William Caldwell
3 x Ulmus carpinifolia Wredei Aurea
Yesterday in the shadow of the Blues ground, today within a stones throw of the Villa….impartial!
What a joy today was ! The Cohesion Team from Prince Albert Primary School burst on to site and never lost an ounce of their enthusiasm when tasked to plant 15 beautiful trees with enchanting names! The more observant of you, that view our album for this planting, will notice a larger than usual amount of ‘arty’ foot, leg and hand shots! That’s because a few of our planters could not be ‘featured’ on photographs but were keen to be included….so we have tried to take shots so that they can say…….’that’s me’ !
Today’s site was challenging in many ways as before we could plant, arrangements had to be made to ‘clean up’ the area, which seems to attract fly tippers. Our BCC Woodland team found some of the tree pits contained more concrete blocks and bricks than they usually encounter which made life difficult. Never the less this small patch of green, in an otherwise very urban area, now has 15 new trees that will provide some beautiful Autumn colour….and Prince Albert Primary has 10 buzzing members of their Cohesion Team!
Students from Archway Academy had two good assistants today as they planted 10 new trees in Kingstone Hill Park in Bordesley. The Lord Mayor and her Consort not only came along to work alongside the students to backfill planting holes, but they also stayed to offer support as our volunteer planters tried their hand at actually digging the tree pits! They discovered that this can be exceptionally hard, and we are indebted to BCC Woodland Team, who usually undertake all our groundwork preparation. More of their efforts appear in our gallery via this link.
This planting is the first of several in a 3 year project BTFL is undertaking as part of their work with HS2 and Groundwork. Our project has received a grant from HS2’s Community Environment Fund (CEF). The CEF fund has been created by HS2 to add benefit to communities along the route that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Phase One of HS2 from London to West Midlands.
How lucky are we? Just half an hour before this photograph was taken we were all being buffeted and soaked as severe weather passed through the area, but by the time members of Birmingham Civic Society and BTFL staff had walked down to the Arboretum area of the Lickey Hills…….the sun came out !
Earlier this year several trees were planted by the Civic Society to extend this arboretum and today, as the plaque was unveiled, two further trees were added. We had expected to be planting today in rain and wind but thanks to a break in the weather we all enjoyed a really pleasant morning, followed by tea and cake in the Lickey Hills Visitor Centre. Lots of lovely photos are available in our album, via this link.
Last year, in fact the very same week, we were joined by pupils from Welsh House Farm Community School and the local community to plant 10 trees in the area at the rear of the flats in Selcroft Avenue. Once again today, we enlisted the help of the year 3 Gardeners Club at Welsh House Primary to add 3 more trees in the same area. We were joined on site by a local Councillor, and some members of the local Community Group as well as a representative of the sponsors and our local Park Ranger. You can see them all hard at work here!
Well done to everyone for putting up with the morning fog and drizzle……but I think we were lucky. As we left the site the rain began pounding down and the wind started to whip around the blocks. A sign of the weather to come?