Past Projects – 2009-10
Balaam’s Wood Nature Reserve, Frankley
On 23rd January The Friends of Balaam’s Wood LNR and a group of Birmingham University Conservation Volunteers spent the day building up the hedge along the New Street edge of the wood by planting hawthorn and hazel whips to fill gaps. Ranger Matthew Barker oversaw the planting which also saw further hazel whips being planted in the woodland – two areas that were being taken over by holly and bramble now have an under planting of hazel.
2009 Family Sponsors’ Planting Day – Woodgate Valley
On Saturday 5th December over 130 people joined us at Woodgate Valley Country Park in Bartley Green to plant their sponsored trees and lots of saplings, and participated in the BBC’s ‘Tree O’Clock’ world record attempt. Altogether 75 ‘feathers’ of oak, rowan, silver birch, hornbeam, ash and scot’s pine were planted, along with 250 saplings. Once again the weather was kind as children and adults of all ages dug in to plant their trees. Many of the trees were sponsored to mark a special occasion or in memory of a loved one, and we were delighted to welcome so many large family groups. Tea and cakes went down well at the Visitor Centre afterwards! We contributed 280 trees to the BBC Breathing Places attempt to plant the most number of trees in multiple locations in one hour.
2009 Business Sponsors Planting Day – Woodgate Valley
On 4th December we were pleased to welcome staff from AECOM, BHSF, Horton’s Estate and Mills & Reeve, companies that had all sponsored a ‘Tree for Life’ in 2009, to Woodgate Valley Country Park in Bartley Green. Each company planted their semi-mature tree and a number of saplings, choosing from scot’s pine, silver birch, oak, ash, hornbeam and wild service trees. Cllr. Randal Brew and his wife Sandra planted a tree on behalf of Platinum sponsor npower, who were unable to attend. After the trees were planted Cllr. Brew presented commemorative plaques to each company before everyone enjoyed a buffet lunch.
Witton Lakes, Erdington
On Tuesday 23rd February, a large group of school children from two nearby schools braved the cold to plant hundreds of native saplings in an area of the park at Witton Lakes. Constituency Parks Manager John Biddle, Cllr. Rob Alden, and Linda Hines from the Friends of Witton Lakes, helped around 30 children from Wilson Stuart Special School and North Birmingham Academy to plant the whips, which will help to screen an unsightly fence and extend a small woodland on the other side of the fence. Two groups of children with special needs had great fun planting and were aided by 6 Trainees from The Future Jobs Fund, as well as the youngsters from North Birmingham Academy, who did two sessions!
Rookery Park, Erdington
On 17th February, Constituency Parks Manager John Biddle hosted a small planting event in Rookery Park to plant 3 Indian bean trees and 3 tulip trees.
Peter Hulse, who retired after working in Rookery Park for fifty years to plant for the future, assisted by Geoff Cole from Birmingham Trees for Life.
Centre Park, Castle Vale
On 16th December 2009, 18 children from St. Gerard’s RC Junior and Infant School and two of their teachers, supported by 5 apprentices from Birmingham City Trainee Scheme, braved freezing temperatures to help Gary Eaton, Castle Vale’s senior park-keeper, and a CVCET Project Officer to plant a Christmas tree and 3 limes in Castle Vale’s Centre Park.
Cannon Hill Park, Moseley
A more unusual selection of trees were planted at Cannon Hill Park on 25th March to replenish and replace some of the specimen trees that are part of the Tree Trail in the park. Cllr. Deirdre Alden and Chair of the local Friends, Tony Fox, helped 19 children from St. Joseph and St. Mary’s Primary School and 5 from Tindall Street School, Sparkbrook to plant some of the 11 specimen trees. Staff from Hammonds Solicitors donated about 20 rowan saplings to mark the opening of their new building, and helped the children to plant them in the nursery beds at the park. A Tree Walk was then hosted by Ranger Paul Lawrence, who introduced a group of Civic Society Trustees to the delights of a few of the oldest trees in the park.
Shire Country Park, Hall Green
The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress enjoyed a large planting event at Shire Country Park on 4th March 2010, along with Cllr. Paula Smith and Cllr. Jerry Evans – and nearly 100 other people!
27 pupils from St Bernard’s Catholic Primary school, 13 pupils from Cockshutt Hill Secondary School, 10 NVQ students and 6 Birmingham University Students were supported by Rangers and members of the Friends of Shire Country Park, and staff from contractor Quadron. Trustees of The Birmingham Civic Society and staff and volunteers from Birmingham Trees for Life also helped to plant the five large oaks and 400 saplings, all helped along by beautiful spring-like weather. The children also made wooden ‘medals’ for themselves to mark their participation, and presented one to the Lord Mayor. Refreshments were provided afterwards at a presentation to the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of a commemorative photo of them planting a tree.
Ideal Park, Bordesley Green
Another lovely day on Wednesday 3rd March saw 23 children from Bordesley Green Primary School with exceptional attendance records, aged from 3 to 10, aided by Quadron staff, plant 7 large trees. The children also enthusiastically hugged the existing mature trees! Afterwards, Head Ranger Leo ran an activity for them all to make ‘magic sticks’, and they all returned to school waving their magic sticks at passing cars.
Stechford Hall Park, Hodge Hill
Around 30 pupils from Colebourne Primary School, led by their Headmaster Stuart Guest, joined Cllr. Beddows on 24th February to help plant 15 large trees on this former pitch and putt golf site. Roger Jackson and Tony Jones from area contractors Quadron, and BTFL staff were also on hand to help. The sun shone, and the children took part in a medallion-making activity organised by the Rangers. There was also lots of worm collecting done, as the school is making its own wormery!
Kingfisher Country Park, Shard End
On a glorious and sunny winter’s day on 5th December, the Friends of Kingfisher Country Park and members of the local scouts, gathered to create a small woodland supported by Head Ranger Leo McKevitt and his Rangers, and the council’s service provider Quadron. The planting was part of the BBC’s Breathing Spaces Tree O’Clock world record attempt. Over 30 people planted 250 broad-leaved native sapling trees, and afterwards the volunteers returned to base for some well deserved refreshments.
Chamberlain Gardens, Ladywood
Nine pupils from The Oratory Primary and their accompanying staff joined forces with Debbie and Malcolm from the Park Ranger Service to help plant 5 large at Chamberlain Gardens. Quadron staff prepared the site and helped stake the trees after the children and Rangers planted, filled holes and firmed the ground. Malcolm, the Ranger, explained about the value of worms to the soil and showed the children several wasp gourds on oaks being planted. Four members of BTFL and the local Area Manager for Quadron were also on hand to help, and altogether 10 London plane and lime trees were planted.
Molliett Street, Smethwick
On 5th March, pupils from City Rd Primary and St Patrick’s Catholic Primary helped plant over 50 large whips in an area of the park in Moillett Street to extend and develop a small coppice. Members of the BTFL team and local Park Rangers ably assisted by Councillor Lal helped with the project, encouraging local children to take an interest in parks and tree planting in their local area.
Jervoise Rec, Weoley Castle
On 11th February 9 pupils and 2 teachers from Jervoise Junior and Infant School joined 3 Rangers and Cllr. Eddie Freeman to plant 8 oak trees in Jervoise Rec. The children had all received an award for good attendance. At the last minute the BTFL staff were also joined by Tommy Sandhu, a presenter from the BBC’s Asian Network Radio and two of his colleagues, to plant a tree in commemoration of the start of his new drivetime show.
Kings Norton Nature Reserve
On Saturday 5th December 2009 The Friends of Kings Norton Local Nature Reserve, joined in the BBC Breathing Places “Tree O’Clock” world record attempt. The Friends were joined by local Street Champions, students from Aston University and civil servants from the Government Office for the West Midlands, and planted a total of 553 whips on two sites across the Reserve designated as woodland, well exceeding the 200+ they had pledged to the BBC. All involved enjoyed the challenge (and the prize draw that followed), and have contributed to the enhancement of biodiversity across the Reserve.
(310 of the whips were supplied by BTFL, (a further 90 were planted later), and 240 by the City Council’s Street Champions).
Trittiford Mill, Billesley
The 2nd February started with rain but that didn’t deter the pupils of Our Lady of Lourdes Junior School. With the help of their teachers, Ranger Adam Noon, Councillor Axeford, her husband, and Geoff and Jane from BTFL, they successfully planted 10 large trees at Trittiford Park. They all went back to school very muddy but happy, and keen to know when they could come again! Pupils and teachers have promised to keep an eye on the trees.
Daisy Farm Park, Selly Oak
The Friends of Daisy Farm Park and the local Ranger Adam Noon planted 181 mixed whips at Daisy Farm Park as part of the BBC’s World Record attempt on Saturday 5th December. Oak, hazel, hawthorn, ash, and field maple were planted to fill gaps in an existing hedgerow and to further extend the wooded area. In addition, a small grey alder was planted in a waterlogged corner of the playing field. The fine weather was most appreciated as were the hard earned mince pies and mulled wine.
Princess Alice Park, Sutton Coldfield
6 oak trees were planted in Princess Alice Park by John Edkin (local resident and Neighbourhood Watch rep), assisted by Councillors Alan Rudge, Stuart Clarkson and Malcom Cornish.
Old Yardley Park, Yardley
On 18th March 2010, 23 children from Lyndon Green Junior School and The Oval Primary School joined local Councillors Jackson and Eustace, BTFL staff, Park Rangers and 4 Quadron staff at our first mild day for planting on an open field area at Old Yardley Park. John Lawler, the Park Ranger, lead everyone in an ambitious planting scheme designed to introduce 7 mature Italian alder trees and whips to an open area, to assist drainage and shield fencing. John’s hope is that prickly circles of whips will discourage vandals who may possibly target the new trees. The children worked really hard planting and back filling and then finished off their visit by making wooden medallions decorated with trees. Adults were treated to hot soup in the village hall after the event.