Enjoy spring in the woods!

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!

 

 

BTFL planting season 2018/19 comes to an end.

Today marked the final planting event for schools, communities and families with BTFL for this season. Trees are now leaving their winter dormant period, so we will suspend planting until November this year when we begin again for our 2019/20 season !

Our thanks to everyone that has joined us on site, ‘Friends’ of parks, schools, corporate groups and volunteers. We couldn’t do it without your support. We also need to give special thanks to BCC Woodland team, who make sure all our spades and trees arrive at the right place and prepare all our sites. Finally a thank you to all the BCC Parks staff and our BTFL volunteers who give their time to make things happen!

Keep watching this site to see what else we are up to, as we are busy with schools and events during the summer- helping to spread the word about the importance of trees.

 

Families and Friends sponsor trees with BTFL.

Families and friends who sponsor trees with BTFL get to come along and plant the trees themselves, in a Birmingham Park. This year our venue was the Lickey Hills Country Park.

This year,  over 50 ‘planters’ joined us to plant well over 500 new saplings in an area that has been recently cleared. Sponsors are able to make a donation and are welcomed, along with their families and friends, to join BTFL staff and volunteers planting up new areas of woodland. Often people are planting in memory of a loved one or maybe to celebrate a birthday or special event…….or just for fun!

After initial safety instruction they all set off to plant their saplings and we have tried to capture that moment and also the groups who were working together via this link. 

Why not join us next year? You will find details on how to take part on this web site. 

Busy day at Norman Chamberlain Playing Fields.

Today we returned to Norman Chamberlain playing fields to plant some much smaller saplings than those we planted  last Saturday….but there were 1500 of them!

Luckily, we had many hands to make light work of the planting as we were joined on site by pupils from Tile Cross Academy and Dame Elizabeth Cadbury school plus volunteers from HSBC,    Shah Satnum Ji Green S Welfare Force and staff from the Woodland Trust. Add to that the 3 BTFL staff and 2 of our committee plus the Woodland Team (who had already done all the preparation)…..and we were done in just over an hour. Amazing !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First of all we had to make sure that everyone had good instructions as to their role and how to make sure they carried it out safely…….but even more importantly, we needed to make sure we fed and watered them all at the end!  Our thanks to Green S Welfare Force for supplementing our lunch with some very tasty extras. Follow this link to see us all at work.

 

Trees- In memory of Leo McKevitt

Friends and family of the late Leo McKevitt met this morning to plant some beautiful trees in his memory. (Rowans and Maples)

Today’s trees were sponsored by Leo’s family and planted in an area close to his heart- Norman Chamberlain Playing Fields. This was also an area that Leo knew better than most- as he worked as the Senior Ranger here, and later at Woodgate Valley Country Park. Immediate family were joined by members of the Friends groups he had worked alongside.

Leo was well known to all of us at BTFL as he had great skills with all the children and adults that attended our events and always came up with  new ideas to engage all ages.

He will be sadly missed by family, friends and colleagues, but we are sure he will have been looking down with a smile as we all battled against the wind to keep the trees, and ourselves, upright! You can see our efforts via this link.

Our thanks to the Old Saltleians RFC for allowing us to use their sports pavilion to get out of the wind for a well earned hot drink, and special thanks to the McKevitt family for choosing to sponsor trees with BTFL.

Worst weather ever for Deutsche Bank workshop!

Every year we welcome Deutsche Bank staff to a ‘Woodland Workshop’ where they get a chance to learn some outdoor skills and the Rangers benefit from their assistance on site.

Today there was a twist……..in that the weather was possibly the worst we have seen this year and our original plans for a workshop in the woods with a open air campfire lunch were literally washed away!

For safety reasons, the woods were deemed too dangerous in the high winds so the decision was made to divert to working on a project to restore the heathland on ‘Bilbury Hill’. That involved removing brambles and self set silver birch and proved a real challenge as this area of the hills is very high and very open and the rain was exceptionally heavy.

If you follow this link you will see how wet it was (by the quality of the photographs!) but also how everyone soon warmed up, ready for lunch, once we retreated from the weather. Unfortunately it had to be cooked in an oven instead of on an open fire, but that didn’t stop everyone enjoying a hearty meal.

Sponsor and plant ‘Trees for Life’ with BTFL this March

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.