THE FIRST trees have been planted in Solihull as part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games Legacy Forest.
Athletes joined Solihull Mayor, Councillor Ken Meeson, Birmingham 2022 officials and Severn Trent at Hope Coppice to plant the first saplings of Severn Trent’s initiative to create 2,022 acres woodland.
Table tennis star, Anna Hursey, who at just 15 will be representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games, attended the planting.
Anna holds the record for being the youngest athlete to compete in the Commonwealth Games, and has been appointed as a United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework ‘young champion’.
The 15 acre site at Hope Coppice will be open to the public to explore and is expected to have around 9,400 trees.
As Birmingham 2022’s official Nature and Carbon Neutral Supporter, Severn Trent is delivering a series of initiatives to leave a legacy following the Games.
The legacy forest will increase woodland cover in South Solihull as will benefit existing public rights of way.
The woodland will also complement the Arden Historical Landscape and trees planted will be consistent with species already there.
There will also be areas retained as open ground for future community events on site.
“This is a special honour for the borough during a very special year,” said the Mayor.
“Solihull Council has committed to planting 250,000 trees in ten years as part of its Planting Our Future campaign.
“The new Commonwealth Forest will improve the local environment and provide new habitats for wildlife.
“I hope this new woodland will become a valued and beautiful place for the enjoyment and comfort of visitors for generations to come.”
Liv Garfield, chief executive at Severn Trent said: “Our Commonwealth Forests are going to be a fantastic asset for the region, not only putting a ‘green hug’ around the West Midlands but also leaving a lasting legacy following on from the Games.”