Our mantra at BTfL is any day is a good day to go tree planting, but when the sun is shining and it’s such a beautiful day and having 30 animated year five school children from Shirestone Academy, along with 18 wonderful volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s association as well as, Deputy Lieutenant for the Queen, Julia Willoughby and 600 trees at Tile Cross Rec to plant – well it doesn’t get much better than that.
There was a lot of excitement from the children as we asked are you ready to plant some trees?
‘Yes!’ came a booming reply which nearly knocked us off our feet. If only we could bottle this kind of energy!
We got off to a flying start as the children and volunteers split into three group around the edges of the Rec and worked together in groups of two and three. After a spade safety talk the children were raring to go.
‘How will we plant 600 trees in a morning?’ one pupil asked.
‘Easy peasy,’ we replied.
Well this group of children were certainly the competitive type. Planting their trees carefully and securely but quietly competing against each other to reach the highest number of trees in the ground. The concentration on their faces was brilliant. Knowing that they were creating a mini forest that everyone in the area would benefit from. When the children asked how big the trees will be in five years……,eight years….. ten years…. 20 years?
We illustrated this by measuring smaller children, to taller children to teachers and then we had to stop as in 20 years we know these wonderful trees will be taller than any of us – and of course benefitting everyone in the local area.
The flats in the background will enjoy the benefit of the vibrant colours of the trees through the changing seasons, and will be able to enjoy all the birds and wildlife that will use the trees in future years.
When we explained to the children that these trees being planted are part of the Queens Green Canopy Platinum Jubilee celebrations – they children were evermore enthusiastic. ‘Wow, planting these trees for the Queen and for Birmingham is cool!’ Julia Willoughby, explained to the children how she is the representative of the Queen at such events when the Queen can’t attend! The children could not quite believe their luck and gave a salute and a courtesy as a mark of respect and as part of the celebrations.
And again we were lucky enough to be part of the 100-year legacy of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association. As these wonderful women are planting 100,000 trees this year across the UK to celebrate their centenary! Now that’s what we call people power!
And talking of power, the children form Shirestone Academy did not stop for even a sharp intake of breath and were disappointed that there were no more trees to plant after the 600th tree gone in the ground.
The children were pleased as they counted how many trees they had planted all in agreement that Riley was the Tree Champion of the day after planting and epic 20-trees. But we alway remind the children, they are all tree champions, not just because they have planted trees and will enjoy everything trees have to offer throughout their lives. But because they respect trees and will celebrate trees by sharing their stories about tree planting with BTfL, for Birmingham, for the Queen, for the environment, for the population – because trees never discriminate – trees benefit absolutely everyone – and we believe that this is a cause for celebration every single day!
Please check out our photo album of this event here
Thank you to Shirestone pupils and staff, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, Julia Willoughby DL, Geoff Cole, Sue Griffiths, Simon Needle and the Woodland team.