Tag: Birmingham Trees for Life

BTfL is Collaborating with Mandy Ross, Poet, Children’s Author and Community Arts Practitioner

Well, September has arrived and Autumn is around the corner. And BTfL is excited to be part of the Return to Nature Festival on September 14th at Holders Lane Woods in Moseley – a woodland celebration of the natural world held by Forward Arts.

Mandy Ross and Return To Nature Festival

There will be a whole range of eco-themed activities, entertainment for the whole family to enjoy and participate in. Environmental arts, music, writing, craft, nature trails, story-telling, inspiring talks, delicious food and a wonderfully progressive community atmosphere. BTfL will be there placed in a beautiful clearing of the woods surrounded by a charming canopy of trees and greenery.

We are hoping you will all join in the fun with us and our creative activities related to trees and nature, including a nature walk to collect tree seeds and making a seed pots to take home and to help to create a Poe-tree! We are very excited to be collaborating with Mandy Ross, a Community Arts Practitioner, poet and children’s author based in Birmingham who will be working with BTfL at the Return to Nature Festival.

From 2-5pm Mandy will be overseeing a community writing workshop including seed collecting and planting. Mandy will also be encouraging the audience to write a community poem together based around tree memories. With words written on leaf shaped paper by each individual and collected to build a beautiful community poem which will be performed in the afternoon.

Mandy says: ‘This will be the first time I have worked with BTfL and it’s very exciting. But it’s not my first experience with BTfL. Last year I was involved in planting a tree in memory of my friend Jo Skelt, Birmingham’s Poet Laureate 2013/14 who sadly died of breast cancer.
Planting a tree in Jo’s memory through BTfL was such a lovely experience. Myself and my friends went to Pype Hayes Park and worked BTfL and with other people to plant a small forest – not just one tree! I was so impressed with how BTfL worked I was happy to be approached to work with them at the Back to Nature Festival.

I often go back to visit the trees planted at Pype Hayes in memory of Jo to see how that wonderful forest is doing – its growing healthily and beautifully.
Birmingham is a very green city and we are lucky to have so many green open spaces to enjoy. Seeing how many trees BTfL plant each year shows they have a very big commitment to continuing to make the city of Birmingham even greener and healthier.
‘I have always been interested in arts and nature and working with BTfL will be a great collaboration. Working around nature and encouraging people to share their personal stories gives an individual a voice to express themselves and share memories and experiences with others. Being immersed in nature brings out a creative energy in people. The community poem we will be writing at the Back to Nature Festival will allow many different voices to be heard and it’s a very positive experience. Living together in a beautifully diverse city, hearing about different experiences and points of view brings us closer together and a greater understanding and appreciation of each other.

It’s inspiring!

An example of Mandy Ross’s work with community groups

Sharing stories and experiences is good for our wellbeing also. A sense of wellbeing has always been a strong strand that carries through my work. Finding ways to encourage people to be creative, engage in writing and the arts and nature as a way of telling a story is something I’m fascinated with. My collaboration with BTfL doesn’t stop after the Return to Nature Festival, we will also be collaborating with schools to deliver workshops together during this tree planting season – exciting times!’

BTfL says: “Please come and join us for a wonderful celebration of our natural world!’
The event starts at 11am at Holders Lane Woods, Holders Lane, Moseley B13 8NW and the activities and music will go on until 8pm.

Copy by Justine Marklew

BTFL planting season 2018/19 comes to an end.

Today marked the final planting event for schools, communities and families with BTFL for this season. Trees are now leaving their winter dormant period, so we will suspend planting until November this year when we begin again for our 2019/20 season !

Our thanks to everyone that has joined us on site, ‘Friends’ of parks, schools, corporate groups and volunteers. We couldn’t do it without your support. We also need to give special thanks to BCC Woodland team, who make sure all our spades and trees arrive at the right place and prepare all our sites. Finally a thank you to all the BCC Parks staff and our BTFL volunteers who give their time to make things happen!

Keep watching this site to see what else we are up to, as we are busy with schools and events during the summer- helping to spread the word about the importance of trees.

 

Families and Friends sponsor trees with BTFL.

Families and friends who sponsor trees with BTFL get to come along and plant the trees themselves, in a Birmingham Park. This year our venue was the Lickey Hills Country Park.

This year,  over 50 ‘planters’ joined us to plant well over 500 new saplings in an area that has been recently cleared. Sponsors are able to make a donation and are welcomed, along with their families and friends, to join BTFL staff and volunteers planting up new areas of woodland. Often people are planting in memory of a loved one or maybe to celebrate a birthday or special event…….or just for fun!

After initial safety instruction they all set off to plant their saplings and we have tried to capture that moment and also the groups who were working together via this link. 

Why not join us next year? You will find details on how to take part on this web site. 

So many leaves at Garrison Lane Park with BVCS !

We came very close to being buried by leaves today at Garrison Lane Park…..and the amazing London Plane trees on this site were awe inspiring but Bordesley Village Community School had tree planting on their minds………

BVC School is very close to this park and most of the pupils use the playground here. They also come here to play football with their Sports Teacher occasionally, so they were all familiar with this open green space in an extremely urban area in the shadow of the ‘Blues’ ground.

Their task today was to add 5 new large standard trees to the perimeter of the site and then plant 100 smaller whips in one corner. As you can see here, they made a great job of both tasks and hopefully a small coppice will mature in this empty corner. Well done to them all for working hard to get this job done in record time and we hope to work with them again in the summer, when we will be revisiting to see all their trees in leaf.

Do you know where Batchelors Farm Park is?

When we rang Alston Primary School in Bordesley Green and asked them if they fancied planting trees in Batchelors Farm Park , their first question was…….where ?? Even we had to double check that we had the right location !

The park is actually very close to their school and can be entered at the bottom of Kenwood road, although we have to say that the entry gate area is not at all inviting and we hope the local Councillors see our post and try and do something to mitigate this issue. The pupils were shocked at the amount of dumped waste that had obviously had been there for a long time. Much had also been on fire at some stage.

Once you enter this park, known locally as part of Bordesley Green Recreation Ground, the view is entirely different with lots of beautiful semi woodland areas flanking the railway line and shielding houses from noise.

Today some of the school’s ECO group planted 5 large trees, to spread the wooded area, and used those trees to protect 100 smaller saplings planted inside their boundary area. We hope these will grow into another small woodland coppice area in time. Our thanks to the 6 pupils from Alston Primary who, with their staff, worked very hard to do all this work in an hour! You can follow their efforts via this link.

Rain certainly didn’t stop play in Kings Heath Park!

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 new saplings and extend an area of woodland. BTFL and Ranger Dean were joined by planters from across the city but mainly from the local area, thanks to some excellent promotion by The Friends of Kings Heath Park.

Our special thanks today must go to the sponsors of our event, who consist of an extended family who returned to the area especially to plant trees in memory of a much missed relative. They had literally travelled from all over the UK  to plant in a park that had played a special place in all their lives!

The morning started with 52 people on site but people kept arriving and it was lovely to realise our final count was over 70 including  20+ children (…and one dog!). Our thanks again to the Friends for spreading the word and to everyone that came along to plant. We hope you all had an enjoyable experience, despite the weather. Maybe you can catch sight of yourselves in our album of photos via this link.

2500 saplings planted in two and a half hours!!

The weather today was probably the coldest we have experienced this year, and the site definitely the largest. The photo you can see shows less than half of the planting area !  Welcome to Allens Cross Recreation ground in Northfield. Luckily the sun was shining and we had lots of helpers.

First to arrive were the horticultural students from BMET College who rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in straight away. Next were the pupils from St Bridgets Catholic Primary school followed very closely by a coach full from Albert Bradbeer Primary.

As soon as they had received their instructions they were joined by staff from the birmingham offices of HSBC  and Evershed Sutherland. Time to plant, so spades were allocated and everyone set off……up hill and down dale. Have a look at our photographs from today and you may get an idea of just how ‘up and down’ this site really is!  Amazingly, two and a half hours later, every one of the 2500 whips were snuggled up safely in their furrows.

Special mention again to the Woodland Team as they undertook the mole ploughing of this area to make planting easier. Getting their tractor up and down some of these hills was a challenge in itself and then every whip had to be laid out roughly a metre apart ready for planting. A time consuming task !

Our thanks again to all our schools and volunteers that braved the cold and helped plant what will be a beautiful swathe of woodland. A great mornings work and we look forward to working with you all again.

Seasons Greetings to all our supporters.

On behalf of all of us at Birmingham Trees for Life, can we wish Seasons Greetings to everyone that supports us. Whether you are a school who supports us on site, a Parks employee that facilitates what we do, a grant funder, a local Friends Group, or just a member of the public that takes the time to read our web site or face book blog. Without your support and interest we would not be able to carry on our work highlighting the importance of trees and trying to infuse the younger generation with some of the knowledge and passion that we share with many of our supporters. Thank you all again and we hope that 2019 brings you all that you wish for in life. Please keep supporting our projects in whatever way you can, as we head rapidly towards having planted 80,000 trees in the City of Birmingham !

Prince Albert Primary pupils green up Bromfield Close !

Yesterday in the shadow of the Blues ground, today within a stones throw of the Villa….impartial!

What a joy today was ! The Cohesion Team from Prince Albert Primary School burst on to site and never lost an ounce of their enthusiasm when tasked to plant 15 beautiful trees with enchanting names! The more observant of you, that view our album for this planting, will notice a larger than usual amount of ‘arty’ foot, leg and hand shots! That’s because a few of our planters could not be ‘featured’ on photographs but were keen to be included….so we have tried to take shots so that they can say…….’that’s me’ !

Today’s site was challenging in many ways as before we could plant, arrangements had to be made to ‘clean up’ the area, which seems to attract fly tippers. Our BCC Woodland team found some of the tree pits contained more concrete blocks and bricks than they usually encounter which made life difficult. Never the less this small patch of green, in an otherwise very urban area, now has 15 new trees that will provide some beautiful Autumn colour….and Prince Albert Primary has 10 buzzing members of their Cohesion Team!

Lord Mayor joins Archway students at Kingston Hill Park.

Students from Archway Academy had two good assistants today as they planted 10 new trees in Kingstone Hill Park in Bordesley. The Lord Mayor and her Consort not only came along to work alongside the students to backfill planting holes, but they also stayed to offer support as our volunteer planters tried their hand at actually digging the tree pits!   They discovered that this can be exceptionally hard, and we are indebted to BCC Woodland Team, who usually undertake all our groundwork preparation. More of their efforts appear in our gallery via this link.

This planting is the first of several in a 3 year project BTFL is undertaking as part of their work with HS2 and Groundwork. Our project has received a grant from HS2’s Community Environment Fund (CEF). The CEF fund has been created by HS2 to add benefit to communities along the route that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Phase One of HS2 from London to West Midlands.