This is the first time that BTP have attempted a community engagement outreach like this event, a year after we organised a fruit orchard planting in the same location; we were welcome back to Birmingham Central Mosque, on Monday 26th June, with open and hospitable arms. This Mosque was opened in the 1970’s, and Birmingham’s street tree planting programme is the oldest in the UK, dating back to the 1870’s; we want to bridge cultures and build relations, spanning decades… so let’s talk about trees.
After the initial setup, the day kicked off immediately with the arrival of Ivy House School pupils and staff, creating the vibrant and intrigued atmosphere that we surely hoped for. Some of our BTP Trustees and Staff – Simon, Deb, Mac, Justine, Julianne, Steve and Katy – worked hard to give the community precious knowledge about trees, leading to several interests in volunteering with us in the near future.
Mac and Justine gave a joint introduction and throughout the day gave interesting talks; Steve gave a talk on wood rings and tree dating, and there was much interest in the displays (especially the cones!) in the community meeting room. It was an overall thrilling and busy experience, and many people learned facts about trees that they didn’t know the day before. You learn something new every day – why shouldn’t it be about trees?
Many thanks to the staff from the Mosque who made us feel at home, and we want to humbly thank every individual who visited; the community, the National Trust attendees, Cllr Sam Forsyth (Quinton), and Helen Harvey from BOSF.
Photographs provided by Justine Marklew and Ian McDermott with permission from Birmingham Central Mosque.