Severn Trent calls for Cole Valley Commonwealth Forest planting volunteers

9th December 2022

Severn Trent is on the lookout for green fingered volunteers to help plant 17,000 trees across two sites at Cole Valley on Wednesday 14 December between 09:00 – 16:00, as the company continues to help leave a carbon neutral legacy for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

As Birmingham 2022’s Official Nature and Carbon Neutral Partner, Severn Trent is creating 2,022 acres of Commonwealth Forest across the West Midlands. The 17 acres across Cole Valley set to be the latest site planted as part of the initiative, with other planting days across the West Midlands to be announced for the planting season until the end of March 2023. 

A total of 95 acres of forest has already been planted at sites in South Birmingham, Solihull, Wombourne, Walsall and Newark, with Cole Valley’s Commonwealth Forest being the second planted in conjunction with Birmingham City Council.

Dr Jodie Rettino, Severn Trent’s Catchment Management and Biodiversity Lead said: “We’d love to see as many people as possible join us in Cole Valley for a fun day of planting. These sites will be incredibly important – not only will they provide a carbon neutral legacy following the Games, these new green spaces will feature native UK grown broadleaf species and will increase resilience across the region against the threats of climate change and nature loss.

“If you can’t make this planting day, please do still register to be notified of upcoming planting days taking place early next year – we’d love to see you there.”

About the Cole Valley planting day:

-          The Cole Valley Commonwealth Forest planting day will take place on Wednesday 14 December, please register here for free.

-          Please remember to wear suitable clothing and footwear for being in the outdoors, such as wellies/walking boots, warm clothing and waterproofs. We will provide planting gloves on the day but please feel free to bring your own.

-          The planting day will run between 09:00 – 16:00, volunteers are welcome to join for a short while or for the whole session, please come early to avoid missing out.

-          Teas and coffee will be available on the day. Please bring your own flasks or keep cup if possible, so we can reduce single use cups.

Cllr Majid Mahmood, Cabinet Member for Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: "Trees have such a key role to play in the health and well-being of people in our city.

"Projects like this are fantastic because they are enhancing our green infrastructure and showing just how the wonderful Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games were about much more than just 11 days of unforgettable sport."

Severn Trent is also offering landowners the chance to contribute to the Commonwealth Forest through its free Commonwealth Forest Offer.

Jodie said: “If you’re a landowner with 10 acres of land or more, we’d love to hear from you. We’re offering a fully funded and managed tree planting scheme using native species; consultation, design and planting of your forest in line with the UK Forestry Standard; and management of your forest alongside you for 35 years – all for free. For sites over 20 acres, we also pay you £80 per acre per year for 10 years.

“This will leave such a special legacy for future generations - not only will you see a forest planted on your land for free, but we’ll also organise it all for you, so please get in touch.”

Landowners can register their interest in a Commonwealth Forest here or can contact if they have any questions.