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!

Adderley Primary pupils extend their tree knowledge.

Today was supposed to be sunny…..but instead it was dismal and dull. That was until we entered Adderley Primary School, which was vibrant and bright and full of enthusiastic pupils.

After a brief chat we all headed back to the Adderley Park, to take a look at the trees the school planted with us last season. The news was good…….and bad! Several of the larger standard trees had been deliberately broken off, but on a more positive note- those remaining were thriving. We stopped to look at all the smaller whips the pupils had planted and they were also growing well.

Pupils were challenged to look at trees in more detail and try to recognise and remember at least one that they liked.

We were amazed at the knowledge these young pupils already had surrounding trees and the general environment.  They were all really excited to see the wonderful resources provided by HS2 that would mean they could extend their knowledge further. Great school, great event…..thank you HS2 for your sponsorship of this great initiative. Here are a few more photos!

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!

Bordesley Village Community School learn more about trees.

Thanks to HS2 funding, BTFL have been able to spend more quality time with schools that lie near the proposed rail route. 

As well as a teaching period in the class room, we had time to take them into the local park and introduce them to the wonder of trees and what happens to a tree during its life.

 

Bordesley Village Community School helped plant a number of trees in Garrison Park earlier this year but there was little time to look at other trees in the park and learn their names and what each part of a tree does- so today was a new experience for them.

You can see how busy they were collecting leaves and creating ‘food webs’, via this link.

Back at school Debbie showed them all the fun resources in their packs to keep them interested in trees and the environment they live in. Thank you BVCS for sparing time in your busy school day for TREES !

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.

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.