Past Projects – 2017-18
Senneleys Park, Bartley Green
Volunteers from HSBC UK pitched in to do some woodland management work on an area of woodland we had planted previously, about 6 years ago. We were pleased to see how well our saplings had established and are starting to become a beautiful woodland. Unfortunately some of the ash trees that we planted were showing signs of ash dieback disease and needed to be pruned or, in some cases, removed. After some well-earned cake, the HSBC staff moved on to planting new trees to replace those removed – about 100 bird cherry whips were planted in the woodland and two larger field maple trees adjacent to the car park.
Queen’s Park, Harborne
Rescheduled due to heavy snow, this was a large joint event with Trees for Cities, planting 70 large trees – with an added challenge for our volunteers! Each team had to identify a tree in the storage facility and then read a map to find out where its location should be, move it to the location, then dig a big planting hole! After planting the tree they were asked to add stakes and ties, and finally mulch around the base….. then repeat the process! Trees for Cities had mobilised over 30 volunteers from various organisations to assist us, and we involved a small group of pupils from Baskerville School too. The trees were planted as an extension to major flood alleviation works that have been carried out in the park.
Welsh House Farm Estate, Quinton
Cold doesn’t even describe the conditions at Welsh House Farm, but the gloriously blue skies made it pleasant for our tree planting event with Welsh House Farm Community School. Twelve members of the school Gardening Club helped plant lime, field maple and wild cherry trees – ten large trees in all. We had received a special request to ‘green up’ this open area behind some tower blocks from local community worker Michael, and he had spread the word about the event, so several local residents also turned up to help.
Pype Hayes Park, Tyburn
We had a very busy and enjoyable day at Pype Hayes Park; the 26 children from Paget Primary arrived in glorious sunshine, but within seconds of admiring a huge rainbow, we were all caught in a very heavy rain shower…..so we took to the shrubbery to shelter! Just as quickly as it had arrived, it passed over, and the sun shone again. We also welcomed pupils from Abbey RC Primary, SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary and Arena Academy, and together they planted 800 whips to create a new strip of woodland across the park. We were grateful to the school staff, Forest School leaders, parent helpers and two staff from ‘Nite Nite’ for their assistance with all the children.
We made a second visit to Pype Hayes in March for our ‘Friends and Family’ planting event – local people who had sponsored tree planting to celebrate or commemorate a family occasion. The weather was freezing, with a biting wind, but we were delighted to welcome a number of families who gamely got another 200 or so trees planted before having a much-needed hot drink to thaw out! https://photos.app.goo.gl/fZ1jJ8bHQwN0SwJD3
Calthorpe Park, Balsall Heath
Despite the grey weather, the pupils on the Junior Leadership Team from Percy Shurmer Academy showed lots of enthusiasm in planting ten lovely flowering and fruiting trees to increase the colour and biodiversity in this inner city park, at the request of local group Balsall Heath is Our Planet. We were joined by some lovely adult volunteers, from the Birmingham Tree People, BHIOP, and Balsall Heath City Farm – and we also enjoyed a brief visit from ten St Paul’s Nursery pupils.
Ward End Park, Washwood Heath
Staff from HSBC UK in Birmingham came along to help with some woodland management at Ward End Park – the team got stuck in to some crown lifting and pruning of dead or damaged branches on a previously planted woodland area, followed by planting of new young trees to fill gaps where trees have been lost. We were joined by the Chair of the Friends of Ward End Park, a group who work hard on a regular basis to keep this inner city park looking good.
Glebe Farm Recreation Ground, Shard End
This was our largest event of the year – the sun shone on about 100 adults and children, who worked together to plant 2500 whips to create further native woodland on this large riverside site. Previously playing fields, much of the grass here is now un-mown, so the woodland will help to increase the environmental value of the area. The blue skies and milder temperatures were welcomed by the 38 Year 3 Pupils from nearby St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, staff from Selfridges, The Big Lottery, Public Health England, Idverde and students from the University of Birmingham. Also helping us were two staff from our partners The Woodland Trust. It’s always lovely to see children and adults working alongside each other, and by lunch time the job was complete.
Adderley Park, Washwood Heath
The enthusiasm of the pupils from Adderley Primary School was evident as they pitched in to plant ten new trees around the perimeter of the park, to create more colour and eventually help to screen the industrial units alongside the park. The school backs on to the park and makes use of this valuable inner city park for a regular morning walk and sports activities, so we know that the pupils will be keeping a close watch on their trees as they grow, and indeed they are already planning visits to see the trees when they are in leaf in the summer.
Kings Norton Park, Kings Norton
Once again we helped the Friends of Kings Norton Park to continue establishing an avenue of beautiful Redwoods with support from a Birmingham resident, Luc, who also came along to help to plant the trees. We were also joined in the mud by two local families. The trees we previously planted have established well so we hope that in a few years the avenue will really start to take shape as the trees mature. This park is part of the history of the Birmingham Civic Society too so it was one of our Centenary plantings.
Lickey Hills Country Park, Longbridge
Two events were held at the Lickeys this year. The first was a woodland management workshop with staff from our long-time supporters Deutsche Bank Birmingham. Once again an enthusiastic band of nineteen bankers came along to an area of hazel coppice previously planted by staff from the bank. They removed brambles and other unwanted undergrowth, then removed the tree guards that had been protecting the young trees. The transformation was significant and the campfire lunch hard-earned!
We were back at the Lickeys in April to celebrate the Birmingham Civic Society’s Centenary. 25 new trees have been planted in the Arboretum area to broaden and rejuvenate the selection of trees in this area just below the Visitor Centre. We were joined by the Lord Mayor and the Chairman and members of the Civic Society, as well as some members of the public, in very muddy conditions! Our thanks go to the Rangers and Lickey volunteers for helping to plant many of the trees in advance and saving our ‘dignitaries’ from the worst of the mud! https://photos.app.goo.gl/Vs4heKHGanJP3sjq9
Handsworth Park, Lozells & E. Handsworth
This was another Centenary event, and the gardening group from Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy came along in the pouring rain to plant new lime trees along a path in this historic park, replacing some trees that have been lost from the avenues in recent years. A large family group had also sponsored one of the trees in memory of their parents who had lived locally, and they took great pleasure in planting their commemorative tree. This was the wettest event of the season but no-one seemed to mind too much!
Holford Drive Community Sports Hub, Perry Barr
The Trustees of this community sports facility had contacted BTFL asking if they could have some fruit trees to grow some healthy food for the users of the centre to pick and enjoy. Two volunteers joined us to help plant ten pear and apple trees at the edge of the sports field to create a small ‘community orchard’.
Aldridge Road Recreation Ground, Oscott
The Forest School pupils from Great Barr Primary braved a short walk in freezing temperatures to plant ten lovely wild cherry and bird cherry trees along one of the pathways, continuing work started the previous year. Some of the Friends of Queslett Nature Reserve also joined us to help plant these lovely native flowering trees, which will provide a food source for pollinating insects and birds.
Perry Hall Park, Perry Barr
We visited Perry Hall Playing Fields twice this season to plant ‘Ray’s Wood’, a commemorative planting to celebrate the life and love of trees of the late Councillor Ray Hassall. A former Lord Mayor, Ray was also a founder of BTFL, so it seemed only fitting that we remembered him by planting trees in his own Ward. Local school children from Dorrington Primary joined members of the Civic Society and friends and former colleagues of Ray’s to plant 15 large trees and several hundred saplings in an area in the centre of the park. The Friends laid on welcome refreshments and the sun shone in a fitting tribute to a man who contributed so much to his city.
Photos from the second event in March can be found here:
Stirchley Park, Bournville
The Friends of Stirchley Park asked BTFL to provide some flowering trees to replace some that had been lost from along the paths, so ten flowering cherry and hawthorn trees have been added to the ones we planted there a few years ago. The Friends and other volunteers were helped by some very small Reception children from Stirchley Primary, for whom it was their first experience of tree planting. Also on hand was a young lady being supported by Platinum Housing Care, who had been to previous BTFL planting events.
Harvest Fields Park, Four Oaks
The Harvest Fields Community Centre sits in an open space on a new housing estate, now made more colourful and green by the 15 beautiful cherry, rowan and Liquidambar trees planted by children from nearby Little Sutton Primary School. The trees were part funded by a donation from Waitrose Four Oaks Community Matters scheme, and five staff from the store came along to help the children. The Lord Mayor was pleased to join us, and particularly grateful for the tea and biscuits provided by the Centre staff afterwards! Graduate Planet, a new community interest company placing graduates in jobs, also supported the event, as well as having planted one large tree previously at Sheldon Country Park.
New Hall Valley Country Park, Sutton New Hall
Another visit to New Hall Valley to add some further fruit trees to the community orchard. Members of the New Hall Valley Steering Group helped to plant a variety of apple, pear and plum trees to extend this orchard – there is now a good variety of fruit trees so there should be plenty of pickings in the future.
Gilbertstone Recreation Ground, Sheldon
Much of this park is now un-mown grass, so BTFL’s new woodland planting in the centre of the park will add some much needed biodiversity. A large group of volunteers from a variety of places made short work of planting 1000 whips – staff from Deutsche Bank Birmingham, Birmingham University students, and pupils from Yardley Primary and Al Hijrah Boys’ School all braved freezing cold temperatures, rain, sleet, and snow on a less than clement morning!
Oak Meadow POS, South Yardley
Three minibus loads of pupils from St. Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School came in relays to plant 500 whips and 5 large hawthorn trees on this fairly hidden site alongside the canal. It was a beautiful sunny morning and lots of local dog walkers seemed to appreciate the children’s efforts to green up their open space for the future. The planting here was quite difficult as the ground could not be ‘mole-ploughed’ due to the storage tanks underneath, so we were grateful to all our adult volunteers who helped the children with the notch planting in stony ground.