Past Projects – 2013-14
Grove Park, Harborne
The School Council from St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School joined us for our last official planting involving schools in the 2013/14 season. They were interested to see how the trees they had planted in Grove Park three years ago with BTFL were progressing and it is great to be able to welcome back so many schools who have worked with us before.
The 5 new trees will enhance the entrance to the park along a new path off Harborne Park Road.
Queens Park, Harborne
A return to Queens Park gave us a chance to see previous trees we had planted were progressing. Six pupils from nearby Baskerville School planted the 9 colourful trees that had been chosen especially for this Park, helped by Alderman John Alden who presented each pupils with their own certificate and badge. The trees at both Queen’s and Grove Parks were funded partly from a Harborne Ward Community Chest grant and partly by a donation from city tree contractor Gristwood and Toms. Thank you to both for their support!
Senneleys Park, Bartley Green, with Mondelez International
Staff from Mondelez UK (‘Cadbury’ to most of you) volunteered their services to plant some standard trees and several hundred whips around the edge of Senneleys Park in an effort to increase biodiversity and attract a variety of insects to an area that is predominantly close cut grass. One or two of them didn’t know their own strength and, with the help of very wet sticky soil, dispatched a couple of our spades!! Despite a very waterlogged site, they soon had all our trees in the ground. Surely this must beat sitting behind a desk?
Ley Hill Park, Bartley Green
The Orchards Primary Academy may have a new name (formerly Ley Hill Primary) but the enthusiasm of the pupils is just as inspiring. Eleven year 5 pupils planted 5 large standard trees along the Holloway to help the Friends and BTFL to complete a project started last season. This was the first Big Tree Plant funded event of the year. Despite the early frost we were treated to glorious sunshine all morning. Pictures can be seen here
Bleak Hill, Stockland Green, with Deutsche Bank
The School Council from Court Farm Primary and Year 7 from Stockland Green School worked alongside staff from Deutsche Bank to plant 1000 whips at Bleak Hill recreation ground. Bleak Hill was busy as contractors were on site removing large areas of grassland ready for the planting of several thousand poppy seeds to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War. We are grateful to Deutsche Bank for match funding Big Tree Plant funds to continue our efforts to make Bleak Hill somewhat less bleak!
Twickenham POS, Kingstanding
‘Crew 8’ pupils from Kings Rise Academy worked alongside year 1 pupils from Twickenham Primary School to plant 1000 trees alongside the river at Twickenham Public Open Space. There were so many keen pupils from Twickenham Primary School that we had to bring them to site in two groups so we could supply them all with spades. The sunshine meant that we were joined on site by lots of adult helpers, including staff from Forest Schools, members of the local Friends Groups and residents. The smiles on their faces captured the atmosphere of the day! Our thanks to ‘Crew 8’ for their help in supervising the younger members of Twickenham Primary School. The theme for Year 1 this year is ‘woodlands’, so planting their own seems especially apt.
Calthorpe Park, Sparkbrook
Pupils from Percy Shurmer Academy completed a planting project to restore a beautiful avenue of trees within this inner city park. Nineteen members of Year 4’s gardening group from the school were helped with their planting by Quadron Services staff, as 5 Limes and 5 Whitebeams completed this existing avenue. Many of the pupils had planted trees before so they made short work of their task but they all impressed us with their pleasant and polite attitude on site.
Kingfisher Country Park, Shard End
What an exciting morning we had at Kingfisher Park with a large group of enthusiastic pupils from Hillstone Primary School, joined by Kingfisher Friends, to make short work of planting 500 mixed native trees. The selection of trees was extensive and included wild cherry, hazel, spindle, crab apple, field maple, oak, rowan and wild pear. Everyone was amazed at the size and numbers of worms on the site – obviously good soil!
Stechford Hall Park, Hodge Hill
This event was a first for BTFL, as a severe rain and hailstorm meant that pupils from Colebourne Primary School had to abandon their plans to help plant 10 trees on the site. Instead, members of BTFL committee, the Park Ranger and Woodland Management staff pitched in to complete the job! It was such a shame as by the time all 10 trees were planted we were working under blue skies and in lovely sunshine! Our remaining time was spent checking up on the trees we had previously planted in the park with Colebourne School.
Summerfield Park, Ladywood
Last year’s visit to Summerfield Park by Barford Primary School took place in heavy rain, but this year 10 members of the School Council managed to plant 10 large trees before the drizzle set in. Barford Primary School possibly takes the award for being nearest to one of our planting sites. Pupils made the very short walk across the road into Summerfield Park to make short work of planting 10 colourful trees along the cycle path: oaks, Liquidambar, hawthorns and hornbeams.
Phillips Street Park, Aston with Deutsche Bank
In National Tree Week, pupils from the Gardening club at Aston Manor Academy were joined on site by the Lord Mayor and staff of Deutsche Bank Birmingham, to help plant 6 beautiful Cockspur Thorn trees in the centre of the park. Paul Hutchins, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank Birmingham, and Laura Griffiths, their CSR Chair, took the opportunity to present a cheque for £6,000 to the Lord Mayor and Geoff Cole, the Chairman of Birmingham Trees for Life. Deutsche Bank Birmingham have now supported BTFL and tree planting in Birmingham Parks for two seasons, and their funding and hands-on contribution has made a huge difference.
Lickey Hill Country Park, Longbridge with Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank Birmingham have funded the start of the restoration of an area of woodland badly affected by a serious disease which has necessitated the removal of hundreds of mature Larch trees. The enthusiasm of pupils from Lickey Hills Primary school and the ‘muscle’ of Deutsche Bank staff created a great team of hard working planters who managed to transform an area of woodland from a mud bath to a new hazel coppice. Members of the Lickey Hills conservation volunteers, rangers and the woodland team helped too, and 1000 hazel whips with guards were planted. Muddy ground claimed a casualty – one young man managed 2 ‘bootless’ steps before we could rescue his wellie, so continued with soggy socks!
Victoria Common, Northfield
Staff and volunteers from Northfield Ecocentre joined forces with Conservation Trust Volunteers to help to plant some cherry and silver birch trees in a newly completed garden area of Victoria Common. The trees will make a lovely splash of colour and provide shade once established. The Woodland team had prepared the site in the morning in heavy rain and high winds, but by the time we arrived conditions had improved dramatically. The ECO Centre staff had done a marvellous job of rounding up volunteers, some of whom had been working on a community allotment all morning!
Cofton Park, Longbridge with Deutsche Bank
Another Deutsche Bank sponsored project to create a new hedge line around the site used for model aeroplane flying. Bank staff turned out to help 29 pupils from Rednal Hill Infants School with the creation of 2 new hedge areas within Cofton Park, assisted by senior students from Balaam Wood Academy who managed to bring the sunshine with them. After the ground was prepared in pouring rain, at the last minute the sun broke through and everyone was able to work in lovely sunshine! By midday all 1000 whips were safely in the ground.
West Heath Park, Northfield
Thirteen pupils from Wychall Primary School joined us to plant 10 trees for autumn colour in West Heath Park. Despite cold winds the pupils got to work, and after finishing the tree planting they went on to surround each tree with lovely bulbs to provide spring colour in the park. Several of them live close to the park and have promised to report the flowering of the first bulbs to school and to keep an eye on all their trees. We are grateful to a local couple, the Marshalls, who contributed towards the cost of these trees to celebrate their marriage.
Handsworth Park, Lozells & E. Handsworth
Over three seasons, BTFL has been working with the Parks Manager to introduce interesting specimen trees to this historic park, to create an attractive and varied Tree Trail for visitors to enjoy. Girls from Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy planted the first 4 out of the 10 specimen trees, then were joined by pupils from Grove School’s Eco group, who proved themselves skilled in the use of spades and knowledgeable about the environment. Our thanks to local Ward Councillors for their Community Chest grant, which match-funded the Big Tree Plant grant to fund these trees
Perry Hall Park, Perry Barr
This was an unusual planting for BTFL as we had no school pupils on site to help, as for various reasons none of those we approached were able to attend, but we were joined by four Friends of the park and a local Councillor, who, along with the Woodland Management Team and the Park Keepers from Glendale Contractors, helped us to plant 600 mixed native whips along the riverside. Perry Hall Park is an amazing space and it has a very active Friends Group who can often be seen carrying out maintenance and improvement work within the park.
Turnberry Park, Perry Barr, with Deutsche Bank
The first of our plantings for 2014 saw pupils from Perry Beeches The Academy and Calshot Primary School, ably assisted by 10 staff from Deutsche Bank Birmingham working together on this project alongside the M6. Five large trees funded by the Big Tree Plant were planted, along with 500 whips funded by the Bank, to create a new woodland edge to the park, formerly known as Booths Farm Rec. Conditions were pretty muddy and wet but the trees were all planted quickly with so many willing hands, including some of the new Friends Group.
Chinn Brook Meadows, Billesley with Deutsche Bank
Once again we were delighted to welcome a large group of Deutsche Bank Birmingham staff along to help plant their sponsored trees. Today they were on a mission as they had been challenged by their branch in Jacksonville, USA, to see who could plant the most trees. Needless to say, Deutsche Bank were not about to let the USA beat the UK in this challenge so today was the final push towards their 5000th tree. That meant that we had to plant 1500 trees! Help arrived in the form of some of the local Friends, ten pupils from Kings Heath Boys’ School Eco Warriors team and pupils from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary. With all these hands, 1500 new trees were planted inside an hour to extend the existing woodland edges. Chinn Brook Meadows is also home to a new area of wild flower meadow and our extended woodlands will add to the biodiversity for animals and birds as well as helping to create wildlife corridors.
Selly Park Rec, Selly Oak with SPPOA
This event was funded by the Selly Park Property Owners Association. Following a bequest, SPPOA had agreed with the Parks Manager that the name of Robert Dolphin (former owner of the Selly Hill Estate) would be commemorated by the naming of a walkway within the park, and new trees were planted along a path close to St Mary’s Hospice. Eight beautiful purple hazels were planted by the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress joined by pupils from St Edwards Catholic Primary School and local residents.
Walkers Heath Park, Brandwood
31 pupils from The Oaks Primary School in Druids Heath joined us again to help plant 10 more large trees in a small area of this extensive park on the edge of the city. The very active Friends group brought apples, oranges and drinks along that were soon demolished by hungry children……they even ate all the chocolate fingers much to the dismay of the adults present! Many of the pupils already visit the park to take part in activities organised by the Friends so they will be keeping an eye on all their trees.
Banners Gate, Sutton Vesey with Documotive
Staff from Sutton-based company Documotive once again brought sunshine with them on their return to Banners Gate to complete their ‘Documotive Woodland’ project, close to the entrance to Sutton Park. Ten large oaks were added to the twenty five other native trees previously planted, creating a lovely woodland on the edge of the golf course. Documotive have worked with BTFL for three years to sponsor a tree for each million documents they process for Housing Associations.
Webster Way POS, Sutton New Heall, with Waitrose
The weather conditions for this event were the worst that we have planted in, and pupils from Mere Green Combined Primary School worked with staff from Waitrose Four Oaks in high winds, hail and rain to plant 5 large trees and 100 whips along the edge of this open space at the junction of Webster Way and Brookhus Farm Road. The soil was heavy clay too, but none of this deterred them in their mission even though some of the pupils were practically being blown over by the wind! A local Reporter from the Sutton Observer stopped by to take some photos, but even he struggled to stay upright and shield his camera lens from the torrential rain which got worse and worse as the planting progressed. Thanks to Waitrose for their support from their ‘Community Matters’ scheme.
Calder Drive POS, Sutton New Hall
The weather forecast was grim but it didn’t deter 11 Eco Warriors from Walmley Junior School as they braved the rain to help us plant 5 large oak and maple trees and 100 oak whips. Despite rubble buried close to the surface, which made planting the whips a challenge for all the pupils, they worked hard to complete the task – even though one or two of them were barely taller than the spades they were using!
Sheldon Country Park Plant a Tree for Life community day
Around 75 people joined us to plant their sponsored trees in March 2014 – a number were in memory of loved ones, others to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries. The local branch of an international women’s group, the Soroptimists, were planting in memory of four members, and their families attended in force. We planted around 120 rowan and other young trees. This is the last planting event of the season and we were so pleased to see the sun. Our participants certainly deserved their cup of tea when we returned to the farm site.
Sheldon Country Park Plant a Tree for Life business day
This hidden gem in Birmingham is also home to a working farm, so our business sponsors were distracted by a new born lamb, some Jersey cows and lots of pink greedy piglets from their tree planting task! However, we got back on track and planted young rowan trees to extend a small woodland on the site, the species chosen by the rangers in the hope that these will attract migrating waxwings to the park. Plaques were presented to BTFL sponsors, Deutsche Bank Birmingham, Hortons’ Estate, and The Insurance Factory, during a buffet lunch with some well earned hot drinks at the park’s cafe.
Old Yardley Park, Stechford & Yardley North
Old Yardley Park was so wet that the Woodland Team had been unable to prepare the ground for the planting of 500 trees because their tractor sank in the mud. We were lucky enough to welcome pupils from The Oval Primary School and Oasis Academy Blakenhale, who weren’t put off at all by the soggy conditions and even some snow! The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress arrived to pitch in, working alongside the pupils. ‘Reporters’ from The Oval interviewed the Lord Mayor, the Lady Mayoress and members of BTFL staff to complete an article for their school newspaper and have promised copies to us all. We also enjoyed the support of Friends of Old Yardley Park and the Yardley Conservation Society. Following the event, Yardley Great Trust kindly provided refreshments for everyone in the lounge of their nearby ‘Yardley Gardens’ Alms House site.