Over 6,000 trees planted at Woodgate Valley Country Park as part of Severn Trent's plan to create 2022-acres of Commonwealth Forest across the region
Friday 1st April 2022
• Commonwealth Games sponsors PwC, Domestic & General and GL events UK unite with Severn Trent to plant trees at Birmingham City Council site
• 10-acres of forest created at Woodgate Valley Country Park in Birmingham as part of Severn Trent initiative
• Commonwealth Forest at Woodgate Valley follows planting at sites in Solihull, Walsall and Wombourne
Volunteers from organisations sponsoring the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games teamed up with Severn Trent this week to help plant 6,400 trees at Birmingham City Council’s Woodgate Valley Country Park.
Tuesday’s planting day saw volunteers from PwC, Domestic & General, GL events UK, as well as Severn Trent unite to plant trees at the 10-acre site as part of Severn Trent’s initiative to create 2022 acres of Commonwealth Forests.
As Birmingham 2022’s Official Nature & Carbon Neutral Supporter, Severn Trent is delivering a series of initiatives to leave a social and environmental legacy following the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. This work includes the creation of 2,022 acres of Commonwealth Forests, as well as 72 tennis-court-sized Tiny Forests which are being created across the Midlands.
Liv Garfield, CEO of Severn Trent, said: “With Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games quickly approaching it’s been great to bring volunteers from the Games’ sponsorship family together for a day of planting at Woodgate Valley Country Park.
“What’s good for nature is also good for water and as a company taking care of one of life’s essentials, we’re passionate about making a positive impact on the communities and the environment where we live and operate. We’re extremely grateful to Birmingham City Council for committing 10 acres of land to this wonderful project that will have a huge role to play in Birmingham 2022 delivering a carbon neutral legacy for generations to come.”
Nick Hatton, Midlands Place & Purpose Leader at PwC UK, the Official Supplier of Professional Advisory Services to the Games, said: "At the heart of our purpose is how we can contribute to society and empower the communities in which we work in a diverse and inclusive manner.
“As a supporter of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, we're proud to play a role in getting the city and region ready for the Games, which will be a fantastic celebration of culture, sport and community.
"We're pleased that our people can continue to support these opportunities to enrich the region and create forest land to be enjoyed by wildlife and people for generations to come."
Simon Browning, Operations Lead at Domestic & General, the Official Warranty Provider of the Games, said: “The day was very rewarding. It was hard work, but well worth it. The chance to network with people from Domestic & General and other businesses was fantastic. Plus, we had a chance to do something great for the environment. On the day we planted around 3,200 trees over five acres which was such an achievement.”
Rachel Baker, Director of Marketing & CSR at GL events UK, said: “As Official Overlay Supporter for Birmingham 2022, GL events is fully committed to supporting the Carbon Legacy and sustainability strategy of the Games. Joining together with Severn Trent Water and other members of the Sponsor Family to play a small part in the planting of the Commonwealth Forest was a genuine privilege, and we had a great day.”
The trees were planted on the former Quinton Playing Fields site that is located adjacent to the Country Park. The fields fell out of use many years ago and the Commonwealth Forest will now be incorporated into the park, expanding the woodland habitat at the local nature reserve.
Craig Cooper, Commonwealth Games Programme Director, Birmingham City Council, said: “We are delighted to work with Severn Trent to plant the first Commonwealth Forest in Birmingham.
“Birmingham is proud to be internationally recognised as a Tree City of the World for the work we have been doing on the managing and future planning for our Urban Forest and this new forest further recognises Birmingham’s bold ambition to be a leading city of nature.
“The Commonwealth Forest at Woodgate Valley Country Park demonstrates our promise to deliver a bold legacy for the future of our city thanks to the Games.”
Central to Birmingham 2022’s aim to make these the most sustainable Games yet, is the ambition to create a carbon neutral legacy. Focusing on a reduction first approach, the final carbon footprint will be balanced out by carbon offsets, including the Commonwealth Forest across the Midlands.
Each Commonwealth Forest features native UK grown broadleaf species and will live on long past the games for future generations to enjoy as a space where biodiversity and nature can thrive and flourish.
Over time, as the trees mature, they will remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in doing so will offset a large part of Birmingham 2022’s projected carbon footprint. This process will be validated and verified by the UK Woodland Carbon Code – the best practice standard for UK woodland creation projects in the UK.
Jess Fidler, Head of Sustainability at Birmingham 2022 said: “While we are working hard to reduce the Games’ carbon footprint, we know there will be emissions we cannot avoid. Our strong partnership with Severn Trent to implement a credible carbon offsetting project will also provide a sustainable legacy for generations to come. It is really exciting to see even more trees being planted as part of our pledge to create a carbon neutral legacy for the Birmingham 2022 Games.
“Not only will these green spaces support our ambition to deliver the most sustainable Commonwealth Games yet, they will help reconnect people with nature, provide habitats that support urban wildlife and support outdoor learning for local communities.”
Land owners interested in being part of the Commonwealth Forest can find out more here: https://www.stwater.co.uk/legacy-forests/.
Severn Trent’s Forest Delivery Team are also available to answer any questions and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org