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:
And more information about the Arbor Day Foundation in the US and the Tree Cities of the World initiative can be found here:
We’ll keep you posted on developments!
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!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by 28th June 2019.
Spring is well and truly here and there is no better time to get out and about and appreciate the beauty of nature in this time of new life. The gorgeous bright green of the young leaves just bursting from their buds and lit up by the morning sun cheers you up no end! On a morning walk at the Lickeys this morning, as well as the carpets of bluebells starting to flower, I was treated to close up visits from a tree creeper, buzzard and nuthatch too!
It’s rewarding to see the fruits of BTFL’s volunteers’ and funders’ labour too – the BTFL Deutsche Bank hazel coppice in the woods at the Lickey Hills is coming in to leaf and has established and grown really well now. Surrounded by the bluebells, it really is a picture of spring – so get out into the woods and see all this new life for yourselves!
This year’s annual ‘Family and Friends’ sponsors’ tree planting event will be at the Lickey Hills on Saturday 23rd March. You can sponsor tree planting in memory of a loved one, or to celebrate or commemorate a family occasion – or just for fun! Planting trees is a lovely way for the family to remember a loved one, and we’ve had marriages, births, birthdays and engagements celebrated too.
Sponsorship starts at £25. You can find out how to do this on the ‘individual sponsorship’ page of this website – just follow the instructions! If you would like to come to the event on the 23rd, please make sure your sponsorship form and money is with us by 14th March.
All gardens should have at least one tree!
This weekend is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. It’s the world’s largest wildlife survey and everyone can take part. I’ve just done mine by sitting at my lounge window looking at the birds visiting our garden for an hour (a pleasure in itself!). And in my average sized urban garden (only about 6 miles from the centre of Birmingham), I recorded 14 different species including a woodpecker, a black cap and a wren.
We all need to provide habitats for birds and other wildlife in our urban gardens, and trees are an important feature as they provide both food and shelter. You might think your garden is too small for a tree, but there are many varieties bred specifically to remain small enough to fit perfectly into small urban gardens, such as rowan, flowering cherry, hawthorn and crab apple – all have blossom for bees and fruit for birds, as well as providing beautiful colour for us to enjoy.
So why not make it your mission this winter to plant a small tree in your garden – the tree and the wildlife it brings in will give you and your family much pleasure throughout the year!
Each year tree lovers can celebrate Tree Charter Day in National Tree Week.
The Charter for Trees, Woods and People was launched on the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest. The people of the UK have a right to the benefits brought by trees and woods and the charter recognises, celebrates and protects this right.
The Tree Charter now has many thousands of supporters. You can sign it here
BTFL arranged a tree planting at City Centre Gardens to mark the national Civic Voice conference, held at The REP theatre in October, hosted by the Birmingham Civic Society in its Centenary year. Outgoing Chairman Gavin Orton and incoming Chair Amelia Ladbrook planted a cockspur thorn tree in this small park behind the REP on a beautiful autumn afternoon. Delegates from Civic Societies all over the country came to the conference to discuss Conservation and Regeneration and how cities can balance the two. They were treated to a number of tours of ‘The City Beautiful’ – the Birmingham Civic Society’s theme for Centenary year – including a tour of the canals by kayak! BTFL ran a workshop at the conference on green spaces in the urban environment too.