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.