A sad loss for Birmingham.

We are so sad to hear of the death of Councillor Ray Hassall who was instrumental in the formation of Birmingham Trees for life.  Councillor Hassall often joined BTFL staff and schools planting in city parks, and continued his support when undertaking his role as Lord Mayor. BTFL were privileged to be nominated as one of the 'Lord Mayor's Charities' during his tenure.

Planting trees with the charity he helped create, which has now planted nearly 70,000 trees across the city- what a wonderful legacy, and thousands of Birmingham schoolchildren who help plant those trees will have lovely memories of their tree planting. Birmingham will be a greener place because of his vision
Remembered fondly by all at Birmingham Trees for Life

Community members and Scouts put the 'green' in Acocks Green Recreation Ground.

The Friends of Acocks Green Rec, local residents and the 260th Birmingham Scout Group turned out today to help plant trees and hedging in Acocks Green Recreation Ground.  A small orchard area was created that will bring fresh fruit to this fairly barren open area, and a long line of hedging was planted to ultimately, over time, shield a very blank wall along one side of the site which is prone to being covered in graffiti.

Lots of lovely photographs today of everyone working together. Follow our link....

Clearing and planting at Lickey

What a glorious day we picked for our all day 'Woodland Resoration Workshop' on the Lickey Hills, where the plan was to help to complete the clearing of an area of woodland that had been thinned out, and then replant the same area with young trees, to restore the native deciduous woodland. To help with the task we had recruited a number of employees from one of our sponsors, Deutsche Bank, and staff and clients from Platinum Housing Care.

You can see the Woodland Manager checking out the area at the start of the day, but if you follow this link you will be able to watch its transformation. You will also see that we had the most amazing weather so we were able to eat our baked potatoes and beans in the sunshine (all cooked on site!).

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham arrived at the start of the day and spent some time helping to build and start our camp fire. (There is a pyromaniac in us all!)

The photographs in the link will show how hard all of our participants worked but the transformation was incredible and will rejuvenate this area of woodland allowing the bluebells and foxgloves to flourish.












Our thanks to Rangers Steve, Penny, Holly and Dave, and Debbie and Simon Needle for their organisation of this event on our behalf. On behalf of everyone, can we assure them that it was much appreciated.

Many of the people on site today have never experienced working outdoors, let alone cooking and eating out in such a beautiful woodland area.  Thank you all the Deutsche Bank staff and the clients and staff from PHC for embracing the physically challenging work today, but we are sure they will all agree that the result was worth it!  Well done everyone.

Chivenor Primary pupils plant in Javelin Avenue

Year 5 pupils from nearby Chivenor Primary School helped plant 10 new trees along the boundary of Javelin Avenue in Castle Vale, close to the nature reserve.

Chivenor have a 'Forest School' so there was no shortage of volunteers to help plant 5 beautiful Liquidambar (sweet gum) and 5 unusual hop hornbeams (Ostrya carpinifolia), which will bring colour to this open grassland area.



Several of the pupils live very close to this area and have promised that they will be checking on 'their' trees as they walk to and from school. Today they also uncovered lots of different treasures........ an old matchbox toy car - buried probably for 10 years+, since the blocks of flats on this site were demolished; plus a very unusual spoon and lots of slate and granite chunks. (Most of these items went back with them to school!). You can see them hard at work via this link.

Our thanks to all our helpers today and the pupils of Chivenor Primary for helping us to 'green up' Castle Vale. BTFL also provided 250 sapling trees to the Community Environmental Trust who planted them with local families at an event earlier in the year. 

Disposal of Broad Street Tree

Following the lost battle to retain the tree in Broad Street,  BTFL and other groups sprang into action to try and find a possible use for the trunk. Maybe as a sculpture? Suggestions came thick and fast so attempts were made to ensure the tree surgeons kept it, but unfortunately the contractor was a little too prompt in disposing of the trunk so the opportunity has been lost.  Oh well.....worth a thought!

BTFL working in partnership with The Woodland Trust at Cofton Park

What a marvellous morning we all had today at Cofton Park. We had close to 100 pupils and over 50 adults ranging in age from 3 to 80! (Well done to Jo for doing her sky dive to raise funds for tree planting).

Today's event was to formally launch the partnership between Birmingham Trees for Life and the Woodland Trust. Even though this has been operating for some months, this was the first opportunity we all had to get together and celebrate what we hope will be a long and mutually beneficial collaboration.

Our youngest participants came from the Nursery at Rednal Hill Primary, and next in age came pupils from Albert Bradbeer Primary Academy, followed by students from Turves Green Boys' SchoolPerry Beeches Academy and the more mature horticultural students from Birmingham Metropolitan College......and finally the staff and supporters from the Woodland Trust and Birmingham Trees for Life.

We were also joined on site by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham who was awarded super star treatment by all the pupils who wanted their photographs taken with him and also his autograph!

BTFL,Woodland Trust Staff, volunteers, pupils and parents would like to thank the Lord Mayor for his patience! If you link to our album you will see that he was well and truly mobbed!



BMet's more mature horticultural students just got on with the task and soon completed the area they had been allotted, so began checking the whole planting site to make sure no spare whips remained.





Perry Beeches Academy were delayed by traffic but arrived just in time to take over from the departing Nursery pupils and check the standard of their planting. (It appears it was very good!)

Turves Green Boys' School (below) and Perry Beeches have been on several sites this year with BTFL so we were confident that they would do a good job!

 Our thanks to John Tucker, Director of Woodland Creation at the Woodland Trust and all  the Woodland Trust staff who travelled some distance to take part in this launch event at Cofton Park.

There are lots of lovely photographs on our Google Album which you can access via this link

 Here's to many years of working in partnership with The Woodland Trust


(Thank you to Kate for her imaginative photograph of the BTFL team on site today!)

The final month of this year's plantings coming up....

Tomorrow, March 1st, is the first event of the final month of plantings for this season.  We will be at Cofton Park celebrating our new partnership with the Woodland Trust, and once again the Lord Mayor will be joining us.

Remaining tree planting events for the 2016-17 season are as follows:                                                           8th March - Javelin Avenue, Castle Vale                                                                                              9th March - Lickey Hills Country Park -  Woodland Workshop with Deutsche Bank                                     11th March - Acocks Green Recreation Ground                                                                                          16th March - Heybarnes Recreation Ground, Bordesley Green                                                                   25th March - 'Plant a Tree for Life' sponsors' planting at the Lickey Hills - the final event of this season


Final farewell to the main trunk!

Our thanks to a member of our committee who happened to be up high enough to catch this sad final act!

A sad day for us all.....

Today we lost our fight to save the last remaining 100 year old plane tree in Broad Street.  As well as our campaign and the petition, Councillors Fiona Williams and Karen Trench had been working within the Council to try to save the tree, but were told late yesterday that the tree was to be felled this morning.  A hundred years to grow, but just a few hours to cut down.  Few of us will see a young tree grow to this size in our lifetime.  What price history?

The evidence of its demise can be seen in these photos

We hope that this loss is not in vain as we continue to put pressure on the Council to strengthen and actually implement meaningful tree protection policies.  For a Council that claims to be green and that has so recently been criticised for poor air quality, this really is a poor demonstration of how to treat a valuable environmental asset, as well as proving that citizens' concerns can so readily be ignored.  One of our city's youngest residents came to show their support - what legacy are we leaving the city's children? 

And all this for a fancy water feature that will probably be turned off in a few years because the Council can't afford to maintain it (ref. the Floozie in the Jacuzzi, Brindley Place fountains....etc etc). 

Broad Street Tree battle ....lost!

Today it has been announced that, following extensive investigations, Birmingham City Council will be removing the Broad Street Tree tomorrow, Saturday.

Please come along and help us show that many residents of Birmingham are unhappy with this decision. There will be a protest at the tree from 10am tomorrow Saturday the 25th February.

The protest is not to prevent what is now the inevitable felling of this tree, but to show that this battle was still in the forefront of many residents minds. The newly designed Centenary Square will have a number of new trees within it but they will not have anything like the capacity to remove polutants via their immature canopies that this tree does.

Be at the Tree in Broad Street near the Hall of Memory at 10am , tomorrow- Saturday 25th February.

Sunshine in Bournville

Todays school couldn't get much closer to the park, as it was the turn of Bournville Junior School and their team of 'Pollinators' to plant 10 beautiful Alder trees along the brook in Bournville Park.

They were helped on site today by members of the recently formed 'Friends' group and local Councillors, who have lots of ideas for future tree planting projects.  







We were lucky today with wall to wall sunshine, as you will see from our photos.........here!


Hard digging in Newtown!

The main discussion today, at this very urban open space, was what on earth had  been on this site before it became an open space.....as most of it was still there, just below the surface! Bricks, tiles, reinforced concrete. Our volunteers today had to cope with it all!



Lucky for us we had a good strong team of 'planters' from PHC and Deutsche Bank Birmingham, who still managed to dig the holes and plant 10 standard trees in just about an hour.




Today's trees will add some Spring and  Autumn colour to the views of residents from the surrounding tower blocks, with both beautiful blossoms and Autumn berries.

Lots of hard work today,captured on our Google Album.