For 16-years we have planted trees and that’s 16 Friends and Family tree planting events, traditionally the last event of our season – and today’s Friends and Family planting event couldnt be more poignant! Not only does it bring us to a total of 99995 trees in the ground, but 99995 very special memories for each and every person that has ever joined us at a BTfL tree planting event and that is nearly 14,000. But it brings us to the end of another tree planting season where, common ground, a great cause, commitment and community is always the key to our success.
Today 68 people joined us, 14 of those were children of all ages, eager to dig some holes and plant some trees. There are many reasons people join us at our Friends and Family events. To remember a person that has passed on, to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, a birth, to improve the environment, to off set their carbon footprint, to be connect with nature or because of a total love of trees, or just because…
Today’s Friends and Family event is two years late, the pandemic, put a stop to any tree planting for 18-months. And while some people committed to the Friends and Family event 18-months ago, some may not have been able to make it today. So we just wanted to reassure any of you that couldnt make it today, that every tree planted today by BTfL, was dedicated to you and yours.
Here, our Chairman Geoff Cole explain why we are here today
We enjoy chatting to everyone at this event and understand why they are here.
Dan told us, ‘I’m 30 this year, it’s a big birthday and I wanted to plant 30 trees, I’m half way through and counting. It will be the World Cup Final 2022 on my actual birthday, so of course the second big win of the year after planting these trees would be to see England in the World Cup final!
There were two other specal birthdays too. Beryl had donated to BTfL Friends and Family event for her friend Caroline to celebrate her 60th birthday, she’s now nealry 62! Then there was the son who had donated to BTfL for his Mom’s 70th birthday, that was also nearly two years ago and now she is 72, but when it comes to planting trees, there is never a wrong time and it’s never too late to plant them. Gillian was also planting in memory of her huband Stephen, and wanted her trees to be as close to the bluebells growing as possible.
We had a wonderful family of 20, planting memory of a husband, father, brother, uncle and a friend. Some of that family group had travelled for Switzerland and France to be with us today.
Sue, one of our dedicated BTfL committee members was here today as part of our team, but also to plant an oak tree and other sapling trees in memory of Ronnie Leckey, ther father of Sue’s friend Eve who sadly died late last year. Sue says; “Just before Christmas I was able to send emails to Ronnie’s children and grandchildren – five families living around the world, including BTfL cetificates thanking them for thir generous donation towards the planting today. They thought it was a great Christmas present and a great way to remember Ronnie who loved trees and woods. Although none of the families could be here today I have sent videos and photographs of the young trees we planted on their behalf, with the location of the woods using (What3Words) so that they can one day come and vist the new woodland we all created today.’
Ruben, (two) and Orla, (four) were planting in memory of ther Nan, Joy. Even aged two Ruben was determind to plant some trees and then some more trees.
The Green S Welfare team join us at a lots of our plantings and over 20 of their amazing team helped us plant trees today. And at very planting they bring an amazing energy and enthusiasm that always pops and fizzes at our tree plantings with a refreshing evervescence!
Today we can add another 1500 trees to the Queens Green Canopy Map where every tree planted this year is gifted to the Queen to celebrate her Plantinum Jubilee. Today we had Heidi Doughty join us, Deputy Leiutenant for the West Midlands, representing Lord Leiutenant John Crabtree, along with her husband, Profesor Jim Storr. Here standing with Viv Astling, our dedicated BTfL committee member.
Today Heidi gave a talk to all our Friends and Family volunteers explaing the importance of the Queen’s Green Canopy in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.
Jess and Jay have joined us before as volunteers at one of our school plantings and enjoyed themselves so much, they wanted to come back, but this time they brought their daughter Laura, (10). Who enjoyed planting trees, but also enjoyed the wildife at the Lickey Hills, espcially the birdlife and while we were planting Laura was lucky enough hear a Jay in the trees, warning us all below their birdseye view away from their territory.
So its always with a smile, with joy, satisfaction, celebration and with a heavy heart we wave a fond farwell to Birmingham Tree’s for Life community tree planting season 2021/2022.
Only five more trees to plant until we reach our 100,000th tree! This will be ceremonial planting a celebratory planting and we hope it will go some way to remember, every tree, every smile, every spade in the ground, every volunteer, every school and ear splitting scream of TREES that always punctuates the end of every planting. Because every time we scream trees we hope the world is listneing and will follow in our footsteps of – more trees please!
Please view the photo album for this event here
Thank you to everyone who attended our Friends and Family Tree Planting today, all the volunteers, Steve Hinton, Simon Needle, Geoff Cole, Sue Griffith, Viv Astling, Stevie Prior, Heidi Doughty, Ian Storr and last but not least, Debbie Needle, our Project Manager who without her hard work, determination, persistence, resilience and ability to cope in a crisis with a huge smile – none of this amazing tree planting season would’ve happened.