Senneleys Park, Bartley Green
The recently formed Friends of Senneleys Park had asked BTFL to help them to re-plant missing trees from the avenue along the main path in the park. Pupils from Woodcock Hill Primary School helped them to plant ten interesting trees to fill in the gaps between the existing mature trees. This event was a little unusual in that the adults on site outnumbered the children, but that was mainly due to the exceptional turn out of members of the Friends! Norway maples, dawn redwoods, sweet gum and hawthorn trees will ensure a range of beautiful seasonal colour along the path in the future.
Senneleys Park Extension, Bartley Green
Once again pupils from Woodcock Hill Primary School joined us to plant, but this was a much larger group as we had 5 large trees and 500 saplings to plant in this ‘extension’ to Senneleys Park, adjacent to Newman University. Volunteers from Deutsche Bank Birmingham, and students from Bournville College helped boost the numbers, and it took just over an hour to get 5 large trees and 500 small saplings into the ground, with help from Shah Satnam Ji Green ‘S’ Welfare Force volunteers.
Welsh House Farm Estate, Harborne
For the second year running, we visited the Welsh House Farm estate, to continue to green up grass areas behind the flats on Selcroft Avenue. As last year, we were joined by pupils from Welsh House Farm Community School, and some local people, to plant another nine trees, including rowan, whitebeam and alder. The children were all members of the year 3 Gardeners Club, so very enthusiastic participants!
Perry Common Recreation Ground, Perry Common
This site had been postponed from last year as the extensive flood alleviation works being undertaken here had not been completed. BTFL welcomed a record number of children to the planting area in this large riverside park next to the Witton Lodge estate, to plant 1500 young trees. St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary, Oasis Academy, and St Margaret Mary Primary brought 153 children in all! Fortunately lots of adults were on hand to help out, including members of the Witton Lodge Community Association, Birmingham University students and staff from Deutsche Bank Birmingham, a long-time supporter of BTFL, who sponsored this planting event.
Norman Chamberlain Playing Fields, Shard End
We held two planting events at this site, part of Kingfisher Country Park, this year. The first was a memorial event for the family of Leo McKevitt, former Head Ranger at Kingfisher, who sadly passed away suddenly in 2018. Leo’s family joined members of the Friends of Kingfisher Country Park to plant ten large rowan and field maple trees close to the pavilion, which had been the Rangers’ ‘home’ on the site. View photographs
Our second event a few days later was much larger, as we joined forces with our partners at the Woodland Trust to plant 1500 saplings to create a new area of woodland a short distance from the pavilion. Pupils from Tile Cross Academy and Dame Elizabeth Cadbury school, plus volunteers from HSBC and Green ‘S’ Welfare Force all worked very hard to ensure we got all the trees safely planted.
Glebe Farm Recreation Ground, Glebe Farm and Tile Cross
This return visit to Glebe Farm Recreation Ground was blessed with a carpet of frost, glorious sunshine and blue skies. Again this was a joint event with the Woodland Trust, and Year 4 pupils from Audley Primary School were assisted on site by staff from HSBC and Selfridges in Birmingham as they worked side by side to plant 1000 young trees, to further add to woodland planted over several seasons by BTFL, as part of the River Cole Project.
Batchelors Farm Recreation Ground, Heartlands Ward
Part of BTFL’s River Cole Project, this was a small event to start to involve local people in their green space which is not well known. Alston Primary School is actually quite close but the pupils do not seem to use this large green space much. The park, known locally as Bordesley Green Rec, runs along the river with one end bordered by a railway line, and it has lots of beautiful wooded areas, some of which help form a barrier for the railway noise for residents. Alston’s Eco group planted 5 large alder trees and 100 saplings to create a new wooded corner.
Adderley Park, Alum Rock
Pupils from The Rosary RC Primary and Adderley Primary joined us in Adderley Park to plant 10 large trees and 300 whips along the park’s boundary. This was one of the sites funded from BTFL’s HS2 Community Environment Fund grant, as the park is not far from where the HS2 line will pass through. Adderley Park is one of the oldest in the city and a welcome green space in a mainly industrial area – the trees will help to provide a barrier to the noise and pollution from the road.
Garrison Lane Park, Bordesley and Highgate
We came very close to being buried by leaves at Garrison Lane Park, thanks to the beautiful old London Plane trees on this site! Bordesley Village Community School is very close, so the pupils were familiar with this little inner city park, not far from the ‘Blues’ ground. Part of our HS2 CEF funded project, 5 lovely sweet gum and Persian ironwood trees were planted by the children along the perimeter of the site, which will provide gorgeous autumn colour. A further hundred sapling trees were also planted in one corner to screen the little garden area from the road.
Bromfield Close, Aston
Price Albert Primary School’s ‘Cohesion Team’ burst on to site with great enthusiasm and knowledge, to plant 15 beautiful large trees to improve this strip of green space on an inner city housing estate. The children impressed us with their understanding of the environment and how important nature is to us. We hope that the local residents will all enjoy the lovely autumn colour the maples and elms will provide.
Kingston Hill Park, Bordesley and Highgate
This was the first of our HS2 CEF funded projects, a hidden park which is close to the Blues ground and quite hard to find! A very small group of students from Archway Academy joined us to help do the planting, and even had a go at digging the tree pits themselves. As this park is in the Lord Mayor’s Ward, she and her Consort came along to help. The ten new ornamental plum, pear and sweet gum trees will provide lovely blossom and leaf colour.
Allens Cross Recreation Ground, Northfield
The weather today was probably the coldest we have experienced this year, and the planting definitely the largest. Allens Cross Recreation ground is a large sloping site just off the A38, much of which has been taken out of mowing in recent times. With 2500 trees to plant in the rough grass, we needed lots of helpers. A group of horticultural students from BMet College were joined by pupils from St Brigid’s Catholic Primary school and Albert Bradbeer Primary. More adults from HSBC bank and Eversheds Sutherland bolstered the numbers.
Lickey Hills Country Park, Longbridge and West Heath
This season we visited the Lickeys for three very different events. First was the continuation of the 2018 Centenary celebrations with the Birmingham Civic Society – we added two more trees and a commemorative plaque to the Centenary Arboretum that we planted last season.
Our second Lickeys visit was for our now annual Deutsche Bank ‘Woodland Workshop’, where the bank’s local staff get a chance to learn some outdoor skills and the Rangers benefit from their assistance on site. Unfortunately unlike last year, this year the weather was possibly the worst we have seen all season, and our original plans for a workshop in the woods with a open air campfire lunch were literally washed away! For safety reasons, the woods were deemed too dangerous in the high winds, so the decision was made to divert to working on a project to restore the heath land on ‘Bilberry Hill’.
Our final event in the woods was the last event of the season – our annual ‘Friends and Family’ event where people who have sponsored ‘Trees for Life’ with us come along to plant their trees themselves. This year, over 50 adults and children joined us to plant special trees in memory of loved ones, or to celebrate birthdays or other family occasions. Around 500 young native trees were planted in an area that has been recently cleared.
Shenley Fields Recreation Ground, Weoley and Selly Oak
A mixed age group of pupils from Our Lady and St Rose of Lima Catholic Primary School, assisted by staff from Deutsche Bank Birmingham, made short work of planting ten beautiful new ornamental trees around the edge of Shenley Fields Recreation Ground in Weoley. The trees are part of a plan to replace some elderly poplar trees that have had to be removed. The bird cherry, pin oak and sweet gum trees will create a lovely colourful edge to the park.
Kings Heath Park, Brandwood and Kings Heath
Despite the inclement weather, the rain did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of over 70 members of the community who turned out in Kings Heath Park to plant 500 saplings to extend an area of woodland. This event was sponsored by, and arranged for, the family of a local man who had lived all his life around the Kings Heath area. They were helped in the task by over 50 members of the newly formed Friends of Kings Heath Park and other local residents – a fabulous turnout from the Friends. Over 70 people in total on a less than clement day!
Brandwood End Cemetery, Brandwood and Kings Heath
St. Albans Catholic Primary School sent members of their School Council along to Brandwood End Cemetery to plant the first 15 trees in what we hope will be an ongoing project. In late 2018, over 60 large poplar trees had to be felled as they had become unsafe due to age and disease. The crab apple, pin oak, sweet gum, flowering cherry and tulip trees will be much more appropriate in size for the people in the houses behind the boundary fence, as well as providing long seasons of beautiful colour and interest. We were all looked after very well by the Friends (FBEC) who provided refreshments for the workers – as well as pitching in alongside pupils to plant the trees.
Harvest Fields Park, Roughley
At our first event of this season, we were pleased to be joined by our ‘regulars’ at Harvest Fields. Little Sutton Primary School came along last season to plant several large trees on this site, and staff from Waitrose Four Oaks once again pitched up to help, as their ‘green tokens’ Community Matters scheme funded the trees. This time we were planting a community orchard in an area to the side of the Community Centre. Ten apple, pear and plum trees will provide blossom for the bees and then fruit for local people to enjoy.