It’s Almost Tree Week

Now that planting season is upon us and Tree Week approaches, we are focusing our attention on five low-canopy cover wards in Birmingham. This will take place throughout the last week of November and the first week of December. These wards are Nechells, Bromford and Hodge Hill (under the Heritage Fund grant for the UFA project), and Newtown and Highters Heath (under the Trees for Cities grant).

If you missed the biweekly flyer, click here to find out what Katy has been doing in Nechells recently!

We want to raise awareness of the myriad benefits of existing and future trees, parks, and green spaces. That’s why we are currently seeking local figures, Green Champions, and environmental or well-being groups to plant with us. If you are interested in the upcoming planting and Tree Week celebrations, please contact us and get involved.

Our charity wants to cultivate community relationships, with our vast and growing network of urban forest volunteers. This is to carry forward residential involvement in specific ward-level planting and maintenance, and draw attention to the health and welfare aspect – through the exploration of social prescribing – that nature provides us.

People's feet during the tree walk

The new trees will contribute towards Birmingham’s long-term goals for increasing canopy cover under the Urban Forest Master Plan, and the Urban Forest Accelerator. Our great Tree City keeps growing and giving every day, through a nurturing, mutual relationship with nature. This is what makes Birmingham beautiful.

Hodge Hill Common Tree Walk

The Tree Walk on the 18th saw us teaming up with Friends of Hodge Hill Common. Katy, Lisa and Genny lead an enthusiastic and diverse group of local residents around the Common. We identified trees, their myths, and remained mindful around nature.

Mindfulness around Hodge Hill Common amongst the trees was a great success, run through Friends of Hodge Hill Common and Birmingham TreePeople. We explored various trees and engaged with texture, sound, colour, and appearance. It was great to find out more about them, and practice mindfulness amongst the sounds of the trees.

Lisa Hodge, FOHHC

The session began with grounding mindfulness amongst the sycamores. We discovered mushroom rings of clouded funnel in the autumn foliage. The group discussed the silver birch’s ‘hisstling’ (thank you Lisa) sounds, and the defensive adaptation of holly’s spiky leaves. We took photos and talked about the vibrancy of colour in the autumn leaves. One walker recalled the planting, fifty years ago, of the golden teardrop hornbeams. We wrote a group poem about the unusual shapes of nature we took notice of. Attendees formed a circle and chanted for the revival of the ash trees, due to dieback and the borer, like rainmaker ceremonies of old. Walkers felt the textured leaf of an elm, and truly connected creatively and imaginatively with the nature on our urban doorsteps.

We were also joined by Sima, from Birmingham Open Spaces Forum. She filmed the experience of the Tree Walk, spoke to some of the tree walkers and FOHHC about the event, and what volunteering means to us all. Many thanks for documenting the wonderful day.

The group of adults and children went back to Genny’s house, member of FOHHC, who kindly hosted with leafy teas, coffee, cake, and samosas. This was whilst Katy discussed the local planting initiative with the residents, where a unanimous decision of species was made.

Final Words

We wanted to thank all those who attended the Tree Walk and becoming a part of nature. This event was under the Urban Forest Accelerator project that will increase the cities canopy cover. A huge thanks to Katy from BTP and Lisa, Genny, and other members of the FOHHC for a warm, welcoming, riveting day. We look forward to the next one, and planting trees in Hodge Hill!

The walkers having a nice tea and coffee, cake and samosas, after the hodge hill tree walk