Tag: Woodland Trust

Our Friends and Family Event + 99995 Trees Planted = 99995 very special memories!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birmingham Becomes A Queen’s Green Canopy City – We Planted 1001 Trees to Celebrate!

At BTfL planting trees is our life’s work and we enjoy every single minute of it. The events are always exciting, it’s always joyful work, a great place to connect, laugh together, dig deep together and enjoy and celebrate everyone that joins us – today was no exception.

As great mornings go, well celebrated Birmingham becoming a Queens Green Canopy City with a ceremonial tree planting with the Birmingham Lord Mayor’s Deputy, Cllr Mike Sharpe, Cllr John O’Shea, Hayley Caruthers who is a Team England Athlete competing in the Common Wealth Games Marathon event. A beautiful QGC plaque was presented to the Deputy Lord Mayor – a very proud moment for Birmingham City Council and the city’s tree planting legacy.

   

 

We were joined by great supporters of Birmingham Trees for Life, including the Woodland Trust and 13 volunteers from the amazing Green S Welfare Group who come to join us to plant trees from all over the country, several times a year and are an absolute joy to work with. With them came BTfL’s youngest tree planter, eight-month-old Iknoor, followed closely by Talin, (two) and Sajda, (seven).

A BTfL first today!

   

The Woodland Trust brought 24 volunteers from Lloyds. Members of the same team who hadn’t seen each other properly since the pandemic, so while the trees were planted there was also lots of chatter and catching up to do.

Then came what can only be described as 30 bionic children from Yenton Primary School. Full of energy and enthusiasm and itching to get some trees in the ground. Once again the prospect of us planting 1000 trees in a couple of hours or even less, left their jaws dropping. When we saw how fast and furiously they planted the trees – it left our jaws dropping.

‘What trees are we planting today? We like the ones with the red roots!’ That’s Dog Wood,’ we replied, ‘more of a shrub than a tree, but just as good for the wildlife and the environment, along with Crab Apple, Rowan, Oak, Hazel and Hawthorne.’

  

   

When one pupil spotted, an acorn hanging off the end of his tree, he was so excited.

‘This tree is going to grow into a big oak tree, isn’t it!’

‘Yes, all thanks to you.’ We replied.

We explained that the second-best tree planters in the country after Yenton Primary School of course, are squirrels.

‘Why because they gather acorns, bury them for a late snack, forget where they buried them and then the tree grows…?’

‘Yes,’ we replied. As one student retorted, ‘well good for us and the planet that squirrels have bad memories, else we would have half the oak trees we do now.

He’s completely right of course.

And it proves that while nature always works for us, the human race has some lessons to learn to stop working against it – so say the squirrels, Yenton Primary School and BTfL of course.

  As the groups spread out across Pype Hayes Park, there was a hive of activity of planting, digging, stomping, chattering, there was a production line of children collecting spades and trees, then more trees and more trees.

And while there was so much going on it left the amazing Woodland Team – the absolute nuts and bolts of the BTfL project finding it challenging to hand out trees fast enough.

We always say if only we cold bottle the excitement and energy that we see again and again with the school children and volunteers who plant trees with us!

While our dedicated committee members Geoff, Sue and Viv, rallied around the groups helping them plant the trees, talking to them about trees, all of us enjoying every minute at this planting event.

So this morning was a morning filled with energy, smiles, positivity, a collective challenge to clean up and green up the area with 1001 oxygen making, carbon dioxide zapping trees,  a strong sense of what community really means and when community really matters! Everyone became emotionally invested in trees -as if they weren’t already. A morning that everyone who joined us will go home and share with their friends and family this evening and tomorrow. A place everyone may revisit some time sooner – or later and point out the trees and claim proudly, ‘here are my trees!’ So a job well done – again.

And lets not forget a morning where our wellbeing was thoroughly worked on, as well left Pype Hayes Park feeling happier, healthier, more energised, revitalised and very proud.

See trees –  they never cease to amaze us more and more with each new day and for BTfL that’s a whopping 5478.633 days so far!

Please view the photograph album for todays event here 

A huge thank you to QGC, Birmingham City Council Cllr O’ Shea, The Deputy to the Lord Mayor, Hayley Caruthers, pupils and staff from Yenton Primary School, Green S Welfare, The Woodland Trust, Lloyds, Simon Needle, Geoff Cole , Sue Griffiths and Viv Astling from the BTfL committee, The Woodland Team and any of the public that took an interest  in what we were doing today.

Being Kind Is The Key – To Our Environment!

Well today we planted 500 whips at Dawberry Fields Park with local school Woodthorpe Junior And Infant School. 13 pupils  from years one to five who were all wearing an impressive and colourful array of boots and wellies came with kindness as their cause.

We also welcomed  the Green Team back into the BTfL fold. And 12 wonderful volunteers from the Green team at  Deutsche Bank came to help us plant the trees. We hadn’t seen them for two years and it was lovely to re-connect, enjoy the beautiful sunshine together and green up the local area. Quite a special year for both of us, and while we are getting ever nearer to our 100,000th tree planted in March, the Green team are also enjoying their the ten year anniversary, so lots to celebrate!

Once again as part of the QGC celebrations every tree planted is part of the Queens Platinum Jubilee we had the local Deputy Lieutenant join us, Elizabeth Foster, Deputy Lieutenant who made history by being the first female DL to have a uniform to perform the duties in. Elizabeth explained to the children that the Queen didn’t  want gifts for her platinum jubilee, but for anyone who can – to plant tree. Well we gifted 500 to the Queen today as well as to the local area, local wildlife, local people and local air supply! So its a win win!

The children dug deep and plotted the trees in the five large circles outlined for them to plant in, native trees, at least three feet apart, there was lots measuring the area in the super cool wellies and carefully planting the trees to ensure they at comfortably and securely in the ground.

  

This half-term pupils have been adopting kindness to everything and everyone. Today, of course it was their local park’s turn to enjoy some of the kindness. As the headteacher explained, kindness is something we enocourage all the time,  but not just to people to our world too. By being more sustainable, learning how to care more for our environment and what bette way to do this than to plant some trees today – together!

All of the children are local to the area and  regularly enjoy their lovely green space, Dawberry Fields. They were so happy to be planting the trees today and were so happy to tell everyone when they got home and they were asked by their parents what did you do today, maths…, english…, they could reply we planted lots  and lots of trees!

    

Most of the children use the park and were eager to bring their parents to the park to show them where they trees had been planted and eager to visit and watch them grow over the years.

As Deutsche Bank and the children worked in great teams of threes and fours, student Willow working with Tim from the Green Team seemed to be gelling really well – ‘we are dad and daughter,’ Tim explained.   I only realised today that I would be planting trees with my daughter – so it’s really lovely. It was a wonderful coincidence. Tim and Willow promised to come back and look out for their trees when they regularly visit the park.

Finding an acorn on one of the trees sign planted one student was very excited and this led to a discussion about how squirrels are the best tree planters on the planet, burying their acorns and forgetting where they are leaving the acorns to grow into,  you guessed it – mighty oaks.                                       The discussion moved on to how boats used to be made of oak and how Henry VIII’s fleet of ships were all made of oak.  Then how Shackleton’s ship Endurance which had sunk in January 1915 in Antarctica has now been discovered and almost perfectly preserved under the sea, and why because it is made of oak!

While we were discussing trees and history a few local residents walking their dogs and babies in the park asked us what we were were doing. After BTfL explained all locale residents were very happy to have more trees in their park. A we understand it the message about the importance of trees is spreading even wider and even stronger with every new day.

   

And talking of Dogs we had a special guest at our planting today, Darwin, a 15-year-old Collie belonging to Simon and Debbie Needle. Darwin brought a smile to all our faces and was exceptionally behaved.

 

And after a lovely morning, we all feel a bit kinder, a bit calmer, a bit prouder, a bit more connected –  and of course all those wonderful boots were a bit muddier – all signs of a great tree planting!

We would like to say a huge thank you to pupils and staff from Woodthorpe Junior and Infant School, the amazing Green Team from Deutsche Bank, Deputy Lieutenant, Liz Foster, Simon Needle, Geoff Cole and Stevie Prior and Leon from the Woodland Team.

Please view the photos from this planting here

 

 

A Busy, Bustling, Beautiful Vibe At Our Community Tree Planting Today!

Today BTfl made their way to Selly Oak Park for our community tree planting and what a wonderful group of people came to join us to replace Hawthorn trees along the side of Gibbons Road. But before we started as always  we surveyed our previous plantings near to the Scout hut in the park. We were pleased to see that our Walnut trees planted ten years ago are doing exceptionally well. And just for a few moments we took some time to love and admire all the beautiful trees in the park. After that we swiftly moved on to welcoming 19-students from years seven, eight and nine and three members of staff arrived from Bishop Challoner Catholic College, local Councillor Tristian Chatfield, the wonderful Selly Oak Park Friends group who do such an amazing job of keeping the park looking fantastic and six member of the Dawat-E-Islami MIDLANDS Community Group to our event. Considering we had four trees to plant and a cascade of enthusiasm from everyone, the holes were dug, the trees placed in the holes and bedded down before  we could say, ‘plant a tree and get air for free!’ But as todays tree planting showed us in particular and like all our other tree plantings show us, tree planting events aren’t always just about planting trees. No – talking trees, sharing stories, feeling empowered, re-living history together and taking pride in all all we do to help the environment – is just as important.

We heard many amazing stories today while planting trees. The story of the legendary Selly Oak Tree that was planted at the junction of Oak Tree Lane and the Bristol Road around 1830 possible to celebrate the Coronation of King William IV. The tree was damaged during construction of local houses and was deemed to danger to leave standing so in 1909 it was felled. The Selly Oak tree stump was then placed in Selly Oak Park with a brass plaque to record it’s legacy.

Then the amazing work that Dawat-E-Islami MIDLANDS Community Group  explained that they are doing, not just tree planting in the West Midland, but all over the world. Working with local communities and school children across the globe, planting two million trees last year. Yes we said two million trees! The six volunteers from the group told us all about their work, we were all ears and wowed by the numbers. We felt very honoured that they had chosen to join us today and will do at future plantings.

The planting of a tree is regarded in the classical Islamic tradition as an act of continuous charity, the most desirable sort of good deeds. The Prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace, said that if one plants a tree then whatever is eventually eaten from it whether by humans or animals counts for the planter as a an act of charity.

 

As BTfL distributed our BTfL badges to the students form Bishop Challoner Catholic College two young students began reminiscing about the last tree planting they had been to with BTfL at St Ambrose Barlow School  in Newey Goodman Park in Hall Green in November 2019. One of the wettest, coldest and muddiest BTfL tree plantings on record! But with grins the two students explained even with the worst weather imaginable they loved every minute of it – here here!

 

Not only that all the students from Bishop Challoner Catholic College today are part of the school Eco Group, growing flowers, plants, herbs, fruit and vegetables to provide food for their garden kitchen, making strawberry  jam to sell to raise funds for school projects and to grow raspberries so that any student who walks passed the fruit can look, admire, pick and enjoy organic home grown fruit, raspberries, strawberries and apples – and if we have been privileged enough to be able to pick fruit we’ve grown ourselves we all know how magical and satisfying the feels! Their next project to plant some trees on school premises – via whips from the Woodland Trust.

So today as always was a brilliant day all round and it proves two very important things – trees always, but always bring people together and – it really is good to talk!

Please view the photo album for this planting here 

 

Forest Tree Flowers and Fruits – look out for them on your walks

We all enjoyed the amazingly beautiful ornamental cherry blossom in April. But forest trees also have flowers and fruits, sadly not edible like cherries and apples. The yellow flowers of the purple Norway Maple turn into ‘helicopter wing’ seeds, the pollen from the Oak catkins contributes to creating acorns and the Ash produces hundreds of ‘keys’. The forest tree which is the most famous for its flowers is the Horse Chestnut, with its amazing candelabras of usually white flowers which always look breathtaking.

Planting Trees – What a Great Way to Make Amazing Memories!

Well, things haven’t panned out as any of us would have imagined. Who knew that our Friends and Family tree planting event just over a week ago would be our last tree planting and last tree planting blog of the season. This event happened before we were all told to socially distance ourselves from each other.  A day for people to come and plant a tree to celebrate, remember and create a memory or two – and we certainly did.

At the Lickey Hills Country Park a large group arrived bit by bit, some with spades, some without, some with wellies, some without, but everyone arrived with a smile and the intention of enjoying every minute of the morning.

 It was a short walk down the steep hill from the Lickey Hills Visitor Centre, passed the children’s playground, following the path to a large clearing surrounded by trees. After a brief introduction to the trees that were going to be planted, Lime, Field Maple, Oak and Hazel and a short spade safety talk people dispersed over a wide area to a spot they liked the look of and started planting. There was a quiet hum of cheery chatter amongst the group as they planted whip after whip.

 One lady commenting, ‘I thought I would be coming here to plant one tree, but I’ve already planted ten – it’s wonderful. The beauty of the Friends and Family tree planting event is that we are honoured to hear the many wonderful stories of why and who the trees are being planted for.

There was Dillon, a babe in arms, his family were planting trees to commemorate his birth. Even though Dillon was a year old his family helped him grab the spade with both tiny hands and while his Mum gently dug down into the earth he held onto the handle tightly, proving you are never too young to plant you first tree. Then there was the couple who loved the Lickey Hills and brought their Chow Chow dog for walks there every day. A friend had decided that planting trees to celebrate their engagement would be a wonderful gift.

  
Other people were planting trees in memory of a lost loved one. Whole families celebrating the life of their lost relative by planting trees that will grow into beautiful adult trees and remain there for decades to come.

Then we spoke to a group of wonderful women from the Birmingham branch of Soroptimist International, an organisation, empowering and transforming the lives and human rights of women across the world. The group were planting trees in memory of eight group members that had passed away and as a legacy to the amazing work Soroptimist International, Central Birmingham have done for 92-years!

There was also a 50th wedding anniversary celebration, while other people had come to plant trees to offset their carbon footprint. By the end of the morning we had achieved a wonderful legacy, planting a woodland of 600 native trees that will grow into a beautiful wooded area for people to visit and enjoy generation after generation.

Every tree planted that day was a memory, an emotion, a celebration of someone or something and we always feel privileged that we were part of that special moment! We thank everyone who came that morning to plant trees and we thank everyone who has planted trees with us this season, and we hope to see you all again next year!

Please see the photo album of this event here

If you would like to plant a tree in memory of someone or something or to celebrate an occasion please visit our website and click, sponsor tree planting

Thank you

If Only BTfL Could Bottle The Enthusiasm For Trees At Our Planting Events!

Well we had scorned the wet weather, then we hoped for better weather, then we got dry weather! The seemingly endless rain had blighted some of our previous planting plans – but not today and the lovely sunshine got us back out where we belong – outside, planting trees.

Not only did we combat the mud to plant 1000 whips at Sycamore Recreation Ground along the River Cole we did it with 26 super-enthusiastic children from Waverley Junior School and four members of school staff, along with 40 wonderful volunteers, six from Lloyds Bank, six from HSBC UK, seven from HMRC, nine from the West Midlands Combined Authority, five Birmingham University, and seven from the Green Welfare Force. We were also joined by the BBC Radio Four Open Country radio show that recorded a programme about our urban tree planting – great company, we know!

After much anticipation, the sodden ground was sodden, but not so sodden it stopped us in our tracks! After the dedicated Woodland team had mole ploughed along the Recreation Ground we all took our spades and grabbed a handful of whips and in pairs planted, a soon to be beautiful woodland.

The reason the woodland is being planted is to improve the environment for the local community, improve the city’s tree canopy cover and reduce flooding on the recreation ground which is a flood plain. Only a few weeks ago the area was like a small lake due to the amount of rain that had fallen. Denying footie matches, dog walking, jogging, walking, kick abouts’, pondering, games of tag and nature trails.

       

Many of the children from the Waverley school group use the recreation ground regularly and they showed so much enthusiasm we wondered how we might be able to bottle it. Led by a wonderful team of four school staff members, in pairs the children began, in earnest to plant.  ‘I love being outside it makes me so happy to be doing this,’ said Atif a wonderful year four student working hard with his spade in hand. ‘I know when we plant these trees were leaving a positive mark on our community and our environment.’

Another student, Aisha remarked, it’s good to be outside in groups.’ Pointing to Atik, Aisha said, ‘we are in the same class and never talk to each other, but out here working together we are getting to know each other which is a nice thing to do.’ Aisha is right. We always consider every tree planting we undertake as a social occasion where a dynamic mix of different people get together and share a wonderfully productive hour or two!

The children were eager to point north, east, south and west, exclaiming that they lived one road away, around the corner, up the road from where we had planted this wonderful woodland. Some of the children were eager to let their friends and family know that they had planted trees today. ‘When I tell my sister that I’ve help plant 1000 trees today she won’t believe me because that’s huge!’ one beaming student explained.

     

All our volunteers worked with the children and by their huge grins we knew they were enjoying themselves, ‘it’ so good to get out in the fresh air…, what a lovely way to spend a morning…, when can we do this again…?’

We love it when our volunteers exude so much passion for this wonderful cause to make Birmingham greener, then greener and then a little bit more green! And as we all stood proudly for a photo call at the end of the planting everyone shouted trees – not cheese! And as we share in a biscuit and a lovely cup of tea we all chatted excitedly about this tree planting and the next one!

As ever would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that attended. Your company, your enthusiasm, your hard work and your tree planting legacy are never taken for granted. And who knew, getting muddy, pulling muscles we never knew we had, ankle deep in dirt, really can be a whole lot of fun!

A huge thanks to the Halpin Trust for funding this tree planting 

 

Please check out the photo album for this planting, here

National Tree Week Begins – What Can You Do? Pledge to Plant a Tree or Two!

Well, today is the first day of National Tree week 23rd November – 1st December

Apart from celebrate this wonderful occasion what else can you do – pledge to plant a tree or two!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look around you wherever you go, outside your front door, the local park, a city street, your nearest school, or community space, your garden, your neighbours garden.

Trees are never far from your eye-line wherever you go or wherever you are.

Imagine just for a moment, a world without trees, not only would we lose their huge environmental value and impact, but their positive affect on our wellbeing, a home and food source for wildlife, and their majestic beauty!

But we need more and more and more trees. By the end of the tree planting season 2019-2020 Birmingham Trees for Life will have planted 90,000 trees in 16-years. But we’re not about to stop any time soon.

One mature tree can absorb 48lbs of CO2 per year. Multiply that by 90,000that’s epic!

 

 

We spread the message every day that trees do matter – they absorb carbon dioxide, toxins and smells, they produce oxygen, reduce flooding, increase shade, contribute to our overall health and well-being and improve the aesthetics of the landscape.

Throughout the tree planting season of November – March we work with school, communities Friends of Parks, businesses and volunteers to plant more trees.

What we and every individual or community we work with do is -create a tree legacy!

Planting a tree and watching it mature over years is a wonderful experience.

So today Birmingham Trees for Life is asking you for a small, but wonderful pledge!

Ask what you can do?  Plant a tree or two!

You don’t have to plant a huge old oak tree, you don’t need a large space, you don’t even need to be a green fingered guru – you just want to make the world a better place!

Here is a list of of some beautiful, low maintenance, small trees to plant in your garden.

Your own tree legacy in the making….

Rowan – beautiful autumn colour, beautiful flowers in spring which are great for bees, producing berries in late summer which are a good for birds. Many smaller varieties are suitable for gardens.

 

Crab Apple  – lovely blossom in spring and small apples in autumn which are great food for birds

 

Cherry – blossom in spring and then small fruits for the birds in autumn, beautiful autumn colour.

 

Hawthorn – lovely blossom in May for the bees and berries in autumn/winter for the birds.

 

Holly – there is a nice variegated variety which doesn’t have very spiny leaves

 

These are just a few examples of beautiful trees you can plant to improve your environment, make your garden look stunning and attract a wide variety of wildlife.

Always check the eventual height and spread of a tree before buying it for planting in your garden, to check it is an appropriate size for the space they have for it! There is lots of advice on how to plant a tree is available online – click here

Keep young trees regularly well watered for the first two years while in leaf (March-Sept) until they have established a good root spread.

Happy pledging! Happy planting!

 

 

 

 

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

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.