Birmingham Trees for Life is a partnership organisation working with organisations, businesses, community groups, individuals and schools, to involve as many people as possible in tree planting across the city. Our partners include:
Birmingham City Council looks after over a million trees in its streets, parks and open spaces. In early 2006, a report on the city’s trees brought to the attention of the Council the importance of trees and suggested ways of raising the profile of trees in the City. The Council also recognised the importance of involving local people, especially school children, in looking after and improving the environment, so Birmingham Trees for Life was set up in partnership with The Birmingham Civic Society, to enable BTFL to work independently to raise funds and encourage participation.
Birmingham is fortunate in having a surprisingly rich variety of natural open spaces. The health of this natural environment and the wildlife it contains is important to everyone and needs to be cherished and enjoyed by all, both now and in the future. The Parks Department looks after these spaces and BTFL is supported by Parks staff in the site selection, ground preparation and care of the trees we plant. In early 2020, Birmingham became recognised as a Tree City of the World.
Birmingham Civic Society
The Birmingham Civic Society is a 100-year-old local charity working to make Birmingham a better place. The Society runs BTFL on behalf of the City Council. Because the Birmingham Civic Society is a Registered Charity, BTFL can raise funds for tree planting through grant applications, sponsorship and charitable donations.
The Society is a membership body made up from a wide range of volunteers who encourage community engagement and promote pride in our city.
‘Working together to make Birmingham a better place for everyone.’
Birmingham Open Spaces Forum is a network organisation that aims to bring together all the people in Birmingham with an interest in open spaces. BOSF acts as an umbrella for the numerous Friends of Parks groups, and offers opportunities for those interested in open spaces to share knowledge and experience. BOSF and the Friends groups work with BTFL in involving the local community in tree planting projects.
We are pleased that, since 2016, BTFL has been working in collaboration with the Woodland Trust on woodland planting projects. The Woodland Trust has agreed to provide BTFL with a supply of whips (sapling trees) each year for 5 years to increase its tree planting activities in urban areas. BTFL is looking forward to developing this relationship with the Woodland Trust in the coming years – and to demonstrating the benefits of urban tree planting involving local communities in England’s second city!
Birmingham City Council’s parks and open spaces are looked after by Birmingham Parks and Nurseries (BPN), the Council’s Grounds Maintenance Service Provider. The Woodland Management Team, who help BTFL to prepare the ground for our volunteers to plant trees, and water and care for the trees afterwards, are a part of BPN.
The Big Tree Plant was a national Government tree planting programme from 2011 to 2015. The programme was designed to encourage community groups to plant trees, especially in urban areas, and BTFL was one of the first recipients of a four year grant for tree planting in Birmingham from autumn 2011 to March 2015. BTFL planted over 21,000 trees under the scheme, and nationally, the programme achieved its target of over 1 million new trees. The final report on the Big Tree Plant is now available on the Forestry Commission’s website.