Author: janeharding

Goodbye and good luck BTFL!

Well this is my last week at BTFL and I have handed over the role of Project Manager to Sophia.  After 12 years, 8 of them as Project Manager, it seems very strange to be signing off.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working for BTFL and have had a lot of fun planting trees with so many different people all over Birmingham.  As Justine’s last blog post said, it’s been a varied role – everything from digging holes to speaking at Council Scrutiny meetings, from doing financial spreadsheets to showing children how to use a spade, and all things in between!  I was very touched by all the lovely comments from friends, colleagues and supporters I have worked with over the years – thank you.

BTFL operates as a very lean project with just 3 part time paid freelance members of the team to organise everything – thanks to my colleagues Justine and Debbie, and previously Jane E and Sue for the great teamwork and mutual support.  I would like to thank all the volunteer Committee members who have supported us over the years with their time and expertise, and I am forever grateful too to Simon Needle for all his tireless good humoured help with all our planting logistics and liaison with the Council.  Our Chairman Geoff Cole is a massive champion for trees in this city, and we couldn’t have done all this without him.  Thanks too to all the lovely lads in the Woodland Management Team who have never let us down, and to our friends and colleagues in the Parks Department.  Too many other people to mention everyone, but special appreciation to Deutsche Bank Birmingham’s Green Team and Andrew Marshall at HSBC UK – it’s been a real pleasure working with you.

My last season planting trees was not able to be completed unfortunately due to lockdown in March, and our meetings since have been ‘virtual’, so it’s been a bit of a strange end to my 12 years, and not what I would have liked, but I hope to haunt BTFL for a little longer yet by volunteering at one or two planting events this autumn where I might see people for real (Covid restrictions permitting of course)!

So it’s time to hand over the reins, good luck to Sophia, Debbie and Justine this season, and I’m sure the project will continue to do wonderful things for trees and people in Birmingham!

Over 90,000 trees and counting….

I’ve been very lucky to have enjoyed such a great role and I hope I leave behind a small green legacy in the city which has been my home for 35 years.

So thank you again everyone, and farewell!

Love from Jane xxx

All remaining planting events cancelled

We are sorry to advise that all remaining tree planting events this season have been cancelled due to the latest Govt advice regarding coronavirus. Thank you to everyone who has already planted with us, and to those who have not been able to but wanted to! We hope to see you all next season.

BTFL is looking for a new Project Manager!

After 12 years with BTFL our Project Manager Jane is leaving us.  We are looking to appoint a new person to the role from late spring/early summer 2020.  This is a freelance self-employed role, part time, with variable hours.  Full details can be found here: BTFL Project Manager role spec. Feb20

If you fit the bill, and would like to apply, please email your CV to info@btfl.org.uk by 31st March 2020.

The interview date is set for Thursday 16th April 2020.

Postponement of events w/c 24th February

We are sorry to advise we have had to postpone all three planting events scheduled for this week. The events at Perry Hall Park (26th), Marlborough House Rec (27th) and Batchelors Farm Rec (29th) have all been postponed due to flooding or waterlogging on site.

Please check out the events calendar for the new dates in March.

Apologies for any inconvenience but the weather is beyond our control!

Return to Nature at Holders Lane Woods

Forward Arts is holding a Return to Nature arts and well-being festival at Holders Lane Woods in Moseley on 14th September. There will be lots of colourful, creative, nature-inspired activities, suitable for all ages, as well as music, food and art.

For full details visit the website here:

https://www.forwardarts.co.uk/return-to-nature-festival

https://www.forwardarts.co.uk/workshops-activities

BTFL will be having a stand and running some creative tree-related activities such as poetry, seed collecting and seed pot making so why not come along and join us!

Welcome Justine!

We’re delighted to welcome our new team member Justine Marklew, who will be responsible for Communications, and liaison with schools and community groups.  Justine will be looking after our Twitter, Facebook and (new!) Instagram accounts, and looks forward to talking to all our followers!

 

Tree City of the World?

We are delighted to learn that the visit of the CEO of the Tree Cities of the World Network on 12th July was a great success and it is hoped that Birmingham will become the UK’s first official ‘Tree City’.

Well done to our close friend and colleague Simon Needle from Birmingham City Council who made a great presentation at the meeting about how Birmingham meets the criteria for the Tree City status.

More information can be found about the meeting here:

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/news/article/448/birmingham_bids_to_become_a_tree_city_of_the_world

And more information about the Arbor Day Foundation in the US and the Tree Cities of the World initiative can be found here:
https://www.arborday.org/programs/tree-cities-of-the-world/

We’ll keep you posted on developments!

Congratulations Andrew!

BTFL has been working with HSBC UK in Birmingham over the last couple of years and we are very pleased to congratulate our main contact there, Andrew Marshall, on winning HSBC’s Global Sustainability Champion award.

The competition is part of HSBC’s Water Programme, which was launched in 2012.  The 8 year $150 million programme in partnership with Earthwatch, WaterAid & WWF has so far brought clean water to 2.5 million people and access to sanitation for 1.6 million in places such as Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ghana and Nigeria.

Andrew set up a Birmingham ‘Green Team’ to highlight the bank’s environmental strategy and push local initiatives, and in his application he spoke about the relationship the team had forged with BTFL, and also highlighted the great work BTFL does in keeping our local parks green through volunteering, which provides a good sense of well-being for those staff who attend BTFL events.

The judges were looking for evidence of how Andrew’s sustainability work and actions had contributed real, measurable impacts in several categories: Knowledge & Understanding, Communication, Leadership & Delivering Sustainable Practices.

All the applications were externally judged by Earthwatch, WaterAid & WWF for work carried out throughout 2018.  In the end the judges couldn’t split Andrew and another colleague (James Davies), so in the end they decided to crown both as champions!

The two winners have been given the chance to physically go and work on one of the many projects through the Water Programme and they will join a project team in India in February 2020.

So well done Andrew from all of us at BTFL and keep up the good work!

Farewell and thank you to Jane E!

After over ten years in the role of School and Community Liaison for Birmingham Trees for Life, Jane Edwards is leaving us this week for a well-earned retirement.  At Jane’s final BTFL Committee meeting, Chairman Geoff Cole presented Jane with a keepsake to remember all the trees, children and events that have been part of the last decade.

BTFL’s mission is not just about planting trees, it is as much about involving local people in helping to plant them, especially school children.  Over the years, Jane has worked with hundreds of schools and teachers, to enable thousands of pupils to enjoy tree planting, often for the first time, and the pleasure and benefit they gain from outdoor activities involving the natural environment is always evident.  This year’s event at Perry Common Rec was her record – 153 children on one site over just a couple of hours!

So, on behalf of both BTFL and the Birmingham Civic Society, and especially myself, I’d like to thank Jane for all her hard work and tenacity, and for the good-natured and efficient way in which she always got on with the job.  Jane – you’ll be missed!

BTFL is looking for a new member to join our team!

Would you like to help get people involved in tree planting? BTFL has an opportunity for someone to take on our Communications and Liaison role, as Jane Edwards is leaving us after over a decade in the role.  This is a freelance self-employed role, part time, with variable hours.  Full details can be found here: Communications & Liaison role May 2019

If you fit the bill, and would like to apply, please email your CV to info@btfl.org.uk by 28th June 2019.