Tag: Community. Friends Groups.

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. 

Great work by The Rosary and Adderley Primary- despite the cold!

Pupils from The Rosary RC Primary and Adderley Primary joined us in Adderley park today to plant 10 large standard trees and 300 smaller saplings.

The cold weather did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm and, even though their numbers were small, they worked hard to help us get most of the 300+ trees in the ground ! Adderley pupils were continuing a planting that they actually started this time last year but everyone agreed that the additional help from The Rosary was very welcome. It seemed to fit well with their ‘mindfulness’ week.

Adderley Park is one of the oldest in the City and a welcome green space in a mainly industrial area. It is really encouraging to know that we have many more pairs of eyes keeping watch over these new young trees and we hope that the new ‘woodland’ area will mature to mask some of the noise and pollution from the adjacent roads.

Our thanks to Adderley staff for their tweets!! Really good work by everyone on site ! Lots more photographs are available 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 !

Civic Society Centenary Arboretum plaque unveiled at Lickey.

How lucky are we? Just half an hour before this photograph was taken we were all being buffeted and soaked as severe weather passed through the area, but by the time members of Birmingham Civic Society and BTFL staff  had walked down to the Arboretum area of the Lickey Hills…….the sun came out !

                            

Earlier this year several trees were planted by the Civic Society to extend this arboretum and today, as the plaque  was unveiled, two further trees were added. We had expected to be planting today in rain and wind but thanks to a break in the weather we all enjoyed a really pleasant morning, followed by tea and cake in the Lickey Hills Visitor Centre.  Lots of lovely photos are available in our album, via this link.

Avenue of trees for Senneleys!

The Friends, and pupils from Woodcock Hill Primary School, helped plant 10 new interesting standard trees along one of the central avenues in the park today. Catch them in action via this link

Today was unusual as the adults on site out numbered the pupils , but that was mainly due to the exceptional turn out of members from the Friends of the park. (There are 2 missing from the photo above !)Once again we were blessed with glorious sunshine and really pleased to see that our whip planting, done a few years ago, was already resembling an area of woodland! You can see them all standing proud in front of the more mature trees.

The pupils today enjoyed a long walk through the park, searching for bugs in dead trees, spotting squirrels and kicking up the carpet of leaves…..and still had time to plant our trees!

Great start to the BTFL season at Harvest Fields Centre

What a great start to our planting for this Winter as we were joined on site by our ‘regulars’ at Harvest Fields.  Little Sutton Primary School have already worked with us to plant larger trees on this site and we were pleased to also welcome some staff from Waitrose in Mere Green, as their ‘green tokens’ funded our trees.

We were also joined by local two Councillors, who pitched in, and a few interested local residents.

It was hard to believe that we were in mid November, as the temperatures were well above average. This time our planters have helped create a small 10 tree orchard of apples, plums and pears, to the side of the Harvest Fields Centre, that should provide lots of fruit for local residents. The blue skies and sunshine meant that we took lots of photographs, so if you would like to see more please follow this link.

 

Almost time to visit Harvest Fields Centre again…..Wednesday!

BTFL will be back adding to our last tree planting at Harvest Fields Centre with pupils from Welsh House Farm Primary School and staff from the  sponsors of the trees……Waitrose, Sutton Coldfield.  Last year we were joined by the Lord Mayor but this time they are ‘going it alone’!  Fingers crossed for good weather.