Over 6,000 trees set to be planted in Wombourne as part of Severn Trent’s plan to create 2022-acres of Commonwealth Forest across the region
Tuesday 22 March 2022
• 10-acres of forest set to be created at The Bratch as part of Severn Trent initiative
• The new habitat is located at Severn Trent’s pumping station in Wombourne
• The Bratch Commonwealth Forest follows planting at sites in Solihull and Walsall
• Three Tiny Forests also planted in Pattingham, Wolverhampton and Kidderminster
The first of around 6,500 trees have been planted in Wombourne as part of Severn Trent’s initiative to create 2022-acres of Commonwealth Forest across the Midlands. The 10 acres of new habitat is located at Severn Trent’s pumping station in the village.
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 West Midlands.
Integral to both initiatives is Ground Control – a maintenance business and biodiversity expert committed to enhancing and improving the physical environment. The company has partnered with Severn Trent to prepare each Commonwealth Forest and Tiny Forest site for planting.
The carbon neutral company offers a wide range of services that include landscape construction, woodland creation, and grounds maintenance amongst others, and volunteers from the business joined the local community and volunteers from Severn Trent in planting trees at The Bratch on Monday and Tuesday.
Liv Garfield, CEO of Severn Trent, said: “Our Commonwealth Forest planting days have been a huge success so far and we are delighted to use our own land to host a 10-acre site that will create a new habitat for both communities and nature to enjoy.
“With Ground Control’s strong commitment to sustainability, they’re an ideal partner to work with for this fantastic project that will play a huge part in Birmingham 2022 delivering a carbon neutral legacy for generations to come.
“These new green spaces feature 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.”
Jason Knights, Managing Director of Ground Control said: “We are proud to be working with Severn Trent and local volunteers on such a poignant tree planting initiative. At Ground Control, we have set ourselves an ambitious target to plant one million trees by 2025. It’s initiatives like this that give me confidence we’ll reach our target sooner rather than later.
“Our work with Severn Trent is a prime example of a like-minded partnership and shared vision of leaving our environment in a better place than we found it. Having the opportunity to be part of making this happen by leaving a sustainable legacy from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, is a true honour. What we say here at Ground Control is this is human nature at its best!
"We understand that tree planting is a simple, yet effective way to remove carbon from the atmosphere, as well as create biodiverse habitats and support community wellbeing. I look forward to seeing the trees maturing in the coming years and leaving a positive legacy, long after 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.
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: “It’s really exciting to see the Commonwealth Forest come to life with the planting of these trees as part of our pledge to create a carbon neutral legacy for the Birmingham 2022 Games. Our strong partnership with Severn Trent to implement a credible carbon offsetting project will also provide a sustainable legacy for generations to come and these green spaces will help reconnect people with nature, provide habitats that support urban wildlife and support outdoor learning for local communities.”
Green fingers were also at the ready at three other sites. Tiny Forests were planted at St George’s CE School in Kidderminster, Little Oaks Day Nursery in Wolverhampton, and the other in the village of Pattingham in South Staffordshire, with 1,800 trees being planted in total.
Victoria Mills, teacher at St. George’s CE School, said: “At St. George’s CE School we were so excited to have been awarded a ‘Tiny Forest’. We are having a real focus on getting the children outside post-pandemic and this will definitely enhance our outdoor learning provision. The children will be able to watch and nurture the trees that they have planted to see the grow and flourish just like our school vision – ‘Nurture, Learn, Succeed’.”
Pattingham and Patshull Parish Councillor, Nick Hill, said: “The Tiny Forest project has allowed us to do a number of things in one go. We’ve been able to bring the community together to celebrate the Commonwealth Games, we’ve been able to work with South Staffordshire District Council in their efforts to tackle climate change, and we’ve been able to create some lasting memories for the children of the village.”
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