Severn Trent's first Tiny Forests take root in Walsall in celebration of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Monday 10 January

Volunteers from Severn Trent and the Walsall community joined forces today to plant the first two Tiny Forests as part of the project to celebrate Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The sites at Walsall Arboretum and Barr Beacon Nature Reserve are the first to be planted as part of Severn Trent’s plan to create 72 Tiny Forests across the region.

A total of nine Tiny Forests will be planted in Walsall, with planting taking place at Mill Lane, William Street, Bloxwich Community Orchard Group, Swannies Field, Cook Street, Kingshill Park and Willenhall Memorial Park this week. 

The creation of 72 tennis-court-sized Tiny Forests, one for each of the nations and territories competing at the Commonwealth Games in 2022, will boost access to green space in urban areas, increasing regional resilience against environmental issues such as flooding, heat stress and nature loss. 

Environmental charity, Earthwatch Europe, is supporting Severn Trent in the delivery of the Tiny Forests, which can attract over 500 animal and plant species within the first three years of planting. 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 Queen’s Green Canopy, a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee in 2022, will also benefit from the project, with the trees planted all contributing to the Queen’s Green Canopy map.

As Birmingham 2022’s Official Nature & Carbon Neutral Supporter, Severn Trent is working to support Birmingham 2022 in its pledge to leave a carbon-neutral legacy.

Severn Trent’s Forest Delivery Manager, Ricky Dallow, said: “We could not be more excited to be working with Walsall Council to start planting these nine sites. Tiny Forests might be small but their impact will be mighty, not only will they help to deliver a lasting 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 Oliver Butler, Portfolio Holder for Clean and Green said: “I’m fully behind this plan and the wider vision to support a lasting environmental legacy from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games by developing Tiny Forests at nine local sites around Walsall, each of which will have 600 trees.

“Tiny Forests form a part of our commitment to increase the number of trees planted in Walsall and are going to be a real asset to our parks and green spaces by increasing tree cover and improving the bio-diversity of our local environment. 

“It’s great to see our schools and communities getting behind the project, by planting and caring for tomorrow’s Tiny Forests, which I know will bring so much life and greenery to our borough.”

Jessica Fidler, Head of Sustainability, Birmingham 2022 said: “These Tiny Forests will provide nature-rich habitat areas in Walsall and reconnect people with nature. Part of our sustainability pledge was to leave a positive social and environmental legacy of sustainability for generations to come and we look forward to seeing these forests grow to create green spaces and outdoor classrooms for many to enjoy.”

Further information on volunteering for upcoming planting days in Walsall and the wider region can be found here