Tag: Parks

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

Audley School’s Trip to the Farm – Glebe Farm Park!

As heavy clouds loomed over Glebe Farm Park Recreation Ground, Btfl, Year Four, Audley School children and Mandy Ross, children’s author and poet donned our raincoats and marched down to Glebe Farm Recreation Ground with gusto. We weren’t going to let the threat of heavy rain put us off – and it didn’t.

Year four pupils from Audley School looking for tree seeds
Year four pupils from Audley School at Glebe Farm Park

BTfL had the honour of enjoying a morning with Audley School children learning about trees, nature and the River Cole with Mandy, Birmingham based, Arts Practitioner who led a workshop with the children celebrating nature at Glebe Farm Recreation Ground.

We started our workshop on the short walk to Glebe Farm Recreation Ground, asking the children about their tree memories…

‘My favourite tree is the one with the blue rope that we swing from.’

 ‘I love my Grandparents apple tree, Granddad picks the apples, Nan makes an apple pie.’

‘There is a small tree, I climb into where I can watch bikes and cars racing by.’

 ‘I loved the climbing tree in Sutton Park, I would climb it every time I visited the park, it’s not there anymore.

 ‘My Grandma has a fig tree, but the weather is too cold here so it doesn’t grow.’

Listening to the children’s tree memories was a poignant introduction to the workshop and on our journey to the site we pointed out trees, seeds on the floor and tree roots pushing though slabbed pathways. At the site, we quickly spotted the trees planted by children at Audley School and BTfL over the last eight years. Children were quick to realize that maybe those trees had been planted by older brothers and sisters in previous years.

Standing amongst the young forest, the children were amazed to learn that the trees planted with BtfL and Audley School were the same age as the children and that those trees and the children would grow together! We all stood quietly on the banks of the River Cole and listened to the swishing of trees in the wind and the gentle flow of the River. Asked to describe the river the children, said, ‘wet, mucky, aqua brown, calm, a home for ducks, muddy, flowing!’

Year four pupils from Audley School at the River Cole
Mandy Ross, teaching students about trees planted by BTfL and Audley School

Learning the names of the trees and the connection between the trees and the River Cole was inspiring to the children. We collected, seeds, conkers, leaves and acorns and the children loved the tactile quality of nature. Feeling the spikey conker shells, crunchy leaves and beautiful shiny conkers they were inspired to think about nature. With rosy cheeks glowing from being outside and embracing the elements we walked back to school full of chatter about trees!

Back in class the children were itching to get creative – and so they did. Drawings and quotes inspired by us imagining being a tree or a river, what season we loved, what we felt and saw from nature’s perspective.

Sharing thoughts and feelings about nature and nature’s perspective, enjoying the rhythm of the poem rather than rhyme!

All the children were eager to engage and what followed was a wonderfully imaginative creative poem – and best of all it was a group effort!

 

 

Audley School Year Four Poem

In the city, by the river, here we planted emerald trees.

Willow, Oak and prickly Hawthorne, juicy berries, swishy grass.

In the Autumn, by the river leaves are getting brown and crunchy.

Falling slowly in glimmering water, flowing gently to the sea.

In the summer, by the river, sun is shining on the trees.

And on water, people bringing picnics under shady trees.

In our forest by the river, we protect the baby trees,

To grow with sun and rain and soil, homes for owls, pigeons and squirrels.

The workshop was inspiring, we all agreed and made us think about nature which is always around us, always embracing us. We hope the children were left with a closer bond and a bigger love for nature.

From their enthusiasm, creativity and questions it’s clear the Year Four children of Audley Primary School in Stetchford already had that. And we hope that their passion for the natural world in their neighbourhood continues and grows like the beautiful trees we planted eight years ago.

By Justine Marklew

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.

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.

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!

Planting dates for Autumn/Winter/Spring season

The leaves begin to fall and the nights draw in, so its time for Birmingham Trees for Life to get some of the school pupils and Friends of Parks groups around the City planting more trees !

We start our year in Sutton Coldfield with the pupils of Little Sutton Primary and staff of Waitrose, planting some fruit trees in the grounds of the Harvest Fields Centre. Senneleys Park, Welsh House Farm, Kingston Hill Park and Bromfield Close follow in quick succession ………and then it is Christmas!

These first 5 plantings are fairly small with between 10 and 15 standard trees, so the pupils manage very well on their own with the task.  In the New Year we start with the larger sites and larger plantings with anything from 10 large standards to 2500 smaller ‘whips’. Its on the larger sites that we always welcome help from volunteers so if you live close to any of the sites below and would like to come along and help- contact us on jane.edwards@btfl.org.uk or via this site.

Allens Cross Recreation Ground-B31 5AT                   17th January

Glebe Farm Recreation Ground-B33 9NE                     31st January

Perry Common Recreation Ground- B23 5DR             13th February

Back with an updated web site

After a couple of weeks internet silence, BTFL are now back posting on their web site. We had to maintain ‘radio silence’ for a short period whilst our site was brought up to date and made more user friendly for those of you that view by phone or tablet. We hope it’s a success, and please tell us if you experience any difficulties.  Luckily we have still maintained our presence on facebook!