Tag: BTFL

Celebrating after planting trees together

And We’re Off – A Great Start to BTfL’s First Tree Planting Event of The Season!

Well – what a great start to our BTfL Planting season 2019 -2020!

Not only did we get off to a flying start with the wonderful children and staff from World’s End Junior School in Quinton, we were also joined by Central News! Eager to film our first tree planting event. We were happy to welcome the Central News team to promote and celebrate the value of tree planting in Birmingham.

Tennal Lane Recreation ground in Quinton was our site today and after so much rain we were delighted the sun decided to shine on us from start to finish.  After a chatty 15-minute walk with 15 excited students and staff from  the school to the site it as quite clear that the students knew all about trees and were eager to share their knowledge and get planting trees – pronto!

Not only did the children understand about the positive environmental impact of trees, especially in big cities like Birmingham. But the true beauty of trees as well. World’s End Junior school pupils waxed lyrical about the splendour of trees and how enriched our live are to be surrounded by such natural beauty!

Do you know the monkey puzzle tree is older than the dinosaurs… Trees are natures lungs…. Trees are home and food to lots of wildlife, the children explained excitedly. As we got to Tennal Lane site there was an excited chant from the children, we love trees, we love trees! And so, say all of us!

Grabbing their spades with energy and enthusiasm the children, staff and some very welcome parents couldn’t wait to plant the ten standard trees. These trees will replace the Poplar trees already at Tennal Lane, which will be felled in the next few years due to their age – sad, but very necessary safety requirement.

But here a new generation of trees have been planted by year-three to year-six children and we celebrate every single one of them. The students of World’s End Junior School live and walk in and around Tennal Lane Recreation Ground regularly and will see their tree planting legacy growing week in week out.

Understanding that in five-months, five-years or in 50-years-time their small and beautiful trees will still be there to love, enjoy and celebrate. And for sure every one of those students will point and say, ‘there’s my tree!’

We understand children love trees, and that they will always love trees they planted today, taking very welcome ownership over these trees. The message they take back home to family, friends and neighbours is – trees are special we should all learn to love them a lot more. It was a special start to a special first day of planting with special students and we say thank you to everyone that joined us for the beginning of BTfL’s tree tree planting season.

 

Please see more photographs of our wonderful day tree planting with World’s End Junior School by clicking here

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

Adderley Primary pupils extend their tree knowledge.

Today was supposed to be sunny…..but instead it was dismal and dull. That was until we entered Adderley Primary School, which was vibrant and bright and full of enthusiastic pupils.

After a brief chat we all headed back to the Adderley Park, to take a look at the trees the school planted with us last season. The news was good…….and bad! Several of the larger standard trees had been deliberately broken off, but on a more positive note- those remaining were thriving. We stopped to look at all the smaller whips the pupils had planted and they were also growing well.

Pupils were challenged to look at trees in more detail and try to recognise and remember at least one that they liked.

We were amazed at the knowledge these young pupils already had surrounding trees and the general environment.  They were all really excited to see the wonderful resources provided by HS2 that would mean they could extend their knowledge further. Great school, great event…..thank you HS2 for your sponsorship of this great initiative. Here are a few more photos!

Bordesley Village Community School learn more about trees.

Thanks to HS2 funding, BTFL have been able to spend more quality time with schools that lie near the proposed rail route. 

As well as a teaching period in the class room, we had time to take them into the local park and introduce them to the wonder of trees and what happens to a tree during its life.

 

Bordesley Village Community School helped plant a number of trees in Garrison Park earlier this year but there was little time to look at other trees in the park and learn their names and what each part of a tree does- so today was a new experience for them.

You can see how busy they were collecting leaves and creating ‘food webs’, via this link.

Back at school Debbie showed them all the fun resources in their packs to keep them interested in trees and the environment they live in. Thank you BVCS for sparing time in your busy school day for 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. 

Busy day at Norman Chamberlain Playing Fields.

Today we returned to Norman Chamberlain playing fields to plant some much smaller saplings than those we planted  last Saturday….but there were 1500 of them!

Luckily, we had many hands to make light work of the planting as we were joined on site by pupils from Tile Cross Academy and Dame Elizabeth Cadbury school plus volunteers from HSBC,    Shah Satnum Ji Green S Welfare Force and staff from the Woodland Trust. Add to that the 3 BTFL staff and 2 of our committee plus the Woodland Team (who had already done all the preparation)…..and we were done in just over an hour. Amazing !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First of all we had to make sure that everyone had good instructions as to their role and how to make sure they carried it out safely…….but even more importantly, we needed to make sure we fed and watered them all at the end!  Our thanks to Green S Welfare Force for supplementing our lunch with some very tasty extras. Follow this link to see us all at work.

 

Trees- In memory of Leo McKevitt

Friends and family of the late Leo McKevitt met this morning to plant some beautiful trees in his memory. (Rowans and Maples)

Today’s trees were sponsored by Leo’s family and planted in an area close to his heart- Norman Chamberlain Playing Fields. This was also an area that Leo knew better than most- as he worked as the Senior Ranger here, and later at Woodgate Valley Country Park. Immediate family were joined by members of the Friends groups he had worked alongside.

Leo was well known to all of us at BTFL as he had great skills with all the children and adults that attended our events and always came up with  new ideas to engage all ages.

He will be sadly missed by family, friends and colleagues, but we are sure he will have been looking down with a smile as we all battled against the wind to keep the trees, and ourselves, upright! You can see our efforts via this link.

Our thanks to the Old Saltleians RFC for allowing us to use their sports pavilion to get out of the wind for a well earned hot drink, and special thanks to the McKevitt family for choosing to sponsor trees with BTFL.

Worst weather ever for Deutsche Bank workshop!

Every year we welcome Deutsche Bank staff to a ‘Woodland Workshop’ where they get a chance to learn some outdoor skills and the Rangers benefit from their assistance on site.

Today there was a twist……..in that the weather was possibly the worst we have seen this year 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 heathland on ‘Bilbury Hill’. That involved removing brambles and self set silver birch and proved a real challenge as this area of the hills is very high and very open and the rain was exceptionally heavy.

If you follow this link you will see how wet it was (by the quality of the photographs!) but also how everyone soon warmed up, ready for lunch, once we retreated from the weather. Unfortunately it had to be cooked in an oven instead of on an open fire, but that didn’t stop everyone enjoying a hearty meal.

Lots of helpers at Senneleys Park extension.

Today we welcomed 29 pupils from Woodcock Hill Primary School to continue planting in Senneleys Park, but this time in the nearby extension to the park (adjacent to Newman University). Some of their pupils had worked with us in late 2018 in the main park area, and were keen to plant more trees!

Volunteers from Deutsche Bank Birmingham, and students from Bournville College (SCCB) helped boost the numbers, and it took just over an hour to get 5 large trees and 500 small saplings into the ground.
Last year we were lucky enough to meet volunteers from a national group called Green S Welfare Force and today they travelled all the way from London in the South and Warrington in the North to help.

They stayed behind to help check that every sapling was tucked up warm in the ground and that none had been inadvertently left exposed. Such a shame we couldn’t show them some lovely sunshine in Birmingham, but we hope to meet them again in March on one of our final plantings at Norman Chamberlain Playing Fields. The promised rain held off till we had finished, and you can see from our gallery that everyone had a great time….despite the change in the weather!