The sites at Ashmore Park in Wednesfield, Heath Town Park in Heath Town, Coleman Street Open Space in Whitmore Reans, Haggar Street Open Space in Blakenhall, Warstones Green in Penn, plus Moseley Park School and Loxdale Primary School in Bilston, are part of Severn Trent’s plan to create 72 Tiny Forests across the West Midlands region in celebration of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
As Birmingham 2022’s Official Nature & Carbon Neutral Supporter, Severn Trent, supported by environmental charity Earthwatch Europe, is creating 72 tennis court sized Tiny Forests to boost access to green space in urban areas and increase regional resilience against environmental issues such as flooding, heat stress and nature loss.
Severn Trent’s Forest Delivery Manager, Ricky Dallow, said: “We’re really excited to have been joined by the local community this week to plant the 7 sites in Wolverhampton. As a company that takes care of one of life’s essentials, we’re committed to making a positive impact on the communities and the environment where we live and work and these Tiny Forests are going to be a real asset to the West Midlands. Not only will they help to deliver a legacy for the Games but they will also increase access to green space in urban areas, benefiting both local communities and nature for generations to come.”
Councillor Steve Evans, cabinet member for city environment and climate change at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “It’s been fantastic to be part of the planting of these Tiny Forests in Wolverhampton. Each tree planted brings us closer to a cleaner, greener city and they are an important boost for our future generations.
“Our partnership with Severn Trent Water, Earthwatch Europe and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is a very important one. People are becoming much more aware of the benefits that trees can provide to the environment.
“But not only that, trees give us the chance to get out into nature and experience a boost to our own emotional health and wellbeing. Our city's Tiny Forests will provide a long lasting, positive impact for our communities.”
Kerry Hughes from Loxdale Primary School’s emotional health and wellbeing team, said: “We are very excited and honoured to be part of such a fabulous project. We were very lucky to move into a brand new school in September 2019 and the planting of the Tiny Forest at Loxdale will be a fantastic legacy. The children will be able to see the forest mature and flourish, just as they grow and develop from children into responsible citizens of the future. This will be an incredible resource to be used by generations of children to come and we are very proud to be involved.”
Jessica Fidler, Head of Sustainability, Birmingham 2022 said: “The Tiny Forest project, led by Severn Trent, is really gaining momentum as the planting continues and it’s exciting to see it come to life. The 7 Tiny Forests in Wolverhampton will help reconnect people with nature and provide habitats that support urban wildlife. We can’t wait to see these Tiny Forests grow into green spaces to provide outdoor learning for local communities.”
Earthwatch Europe, the environmental charity pioneering the Tiny Forest movement in the UK, is supporting Severn Trent in the delivery of the Tiny Forests, which can attract over 500 animal and plant species within the first 3 years of planting.
Louise Hartley, Tiny Forest Programme Manager at Earthwatch Europe, said: “It’s fantastic to see people start to get involved with their local Tiny Forest, kicking off the amazing legacy that these forests will have for the area.”
The forests will play an important role in supporting environmental education across the Midlands. As part of this, citizen scientists, from the local community, will be invited to help collect data and assess the benefits of the Tiny Forest in their area, including carbon absorption, flood management and the benefit on biodiversity.
The trees planted will also form part of The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee in 2022 which invites people from across the UK to "Plant a Tree for the Jubilee". Severn Trent's Tiny Forests are being marked on the interactive QGC Map, joining the growing network of Jubilee trees across the nation.
Further information on volunteering for upcoming planting days can be found at Severn Trent x Earthwatch Europe.