Severn Trent Tiny Forests planted across the Black Country

Friday 8 April 2022

• 1,800 trees planted across three sites

• Tiny Forests planted at Bilston Church of England Primary, Smestow Academy in Wolverhampton and outside Milking Bank Primary School in Dudley

• Sites to play an important role in leaving an environmental legacy following Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Tiny Forests have been planted three sites across the Black Country in celebration of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.The sites are located at Bilston Church of England Primary, land outside of Milking Bank Primary School in Dudley, and Smestow Academy in Wolverhampton. Around 1,800 trees in total have been planted across the three sites.

This brings the total amount of Tiny Forests planted in the Black Country region to 24 since the project was launched in January with a week of planting days in Walsall. 

As Birmingham 2022’s Official Nature & Carbon Neutral Supporter, Severn Trent is creating 72 tennis-court-sized Tiny Forests across the region, one for each of the nations and territories competing in the Games. 

The initiative, supported by environmental charity Earthwatch Europe, has seen 65 Tiny Forests planted so far across the Midlands region. The sites will help to deliver a lasting legacy for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as well as boosting access to green space in urban areas, supporting environmental education and increasing regional resilience against environmental issues such as flooding, heat stress and nature loss.  

Jessie Chahal, Headteacher at Smestow Academy, said: “At Smestow Academy we are delighted to have been selected to host a Tiny Forest in collaboration with the Commonwealth Games by Severn Trent. The forest will greatly benefit our students and the wider community and will provide opportunities for learning and wider enrichment, as well as being a place of conservation for Wolverhampton.”

Dianne Winterbottom, Teacher at Bilston Church of England Primary, said: “Bilston Church of England Primary School is both excited and grateful to be part of the Severn Trent and Earth Watch Tiny Forest Programme. Groups of children across Years two to six took part in planting 12 species of trees and thoroughly enjoyed being outside doing something positive for both our local environment and the wider world around us. 

“Our Tiny Forest will enhance the school’s ability to develop our children’s understanding of the importance of trees in providing habitat for a wider variety of species, as well as providing much needed air cleansing in our urban area, and we look forward to nurturing this space and watching our Tiny Forest grow into a Tall Tiny Forest.”

Balvinder Heran, Deputy Chief Executive, Dudley Council, said: “We’ve been involved with the creation of five Tiny Forests and it’s been great to work with Severn Trent, school children, families, community volunteers and friends groups to make these happen. Community planting events are a way for people to feel involved and connected to their environment and their neighbourhoods. We look forward to watching these take root and hope that everyone involved takes pride in what they’ve achieved and see these shared spaces develop through the seasons.”

Severn Trent’s Forest Delivery Manager, Ricky Dallow, said: “We’ve really enjoyed planting these Tiny Forests at these sites in Bilston, Dudley and Wolverhampton. It’s been wonderful to see how school pupils, as well as local communities across the Midlands have embraced the Tiny Forests initiative.“As a company that takes care of one of life’s essentials, it’s brilliant to know that each site will become an inspiring outdoor classroom for children to learn about nature.

“These Tiny Forests will not only help to deliver a lasting legacy for the Games, but will also be a real asset to the Midlands.”

Jess Fidler, Head of Sustainability at Birmingham 2022 said: “It’s amazing to see so many trees planted at these schools and across the Black Country too. These Tiny Forests will make a big impact to young people across the West Midlands and we all look forward to experiencing these nature-rich green spaces across the West Midlands that future generations will enjoy. It is wonderful to see these Tiny Forests come to life and I can’t wait to see them grow.”

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 three years of planting.   

Louise Hartley, Senior Programme Manager at Earthwatch Europe, said: “Tiny Forests provide rich opportunities for connecting people with the environment and sustainability on their doorstep.  It’s vital that we give people the knowledge and skills to protect our natural world and inspire them to take positive action.  We are delighted to be working with Severn Trent to bring these opportunities to these Black Country schools, and communities across the region.” 

Information on volunteering for upcoming community planting days across the region can be found here.