A TINY forest planted in Solihull is home to some of the thousands of trees planted to celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The 600 trees in Hope Coppice were put into place as part of Severn Trent’s bid to help deliver a carbon neutral legacy for the games that saw athletes travel to the region from across the globe.
As part of a drive to make Birmingham 2022 the most sustainable Commonwealth Games yet Severn Trent, alongside Games organisers, signed up for the Commonwealth Forest project – a bid to create 2,022 acres of new woodlands.
The water company has now reached a green milestone by planting over 300,000 trees at its own sites and through partnerships with private landowners.
Separately it has also created 72 Tiny Forests, including in communities and at schools, with both schemes helping towards a Severn Trent target of planting 1.3m trees by 2025.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Forests have been planted at Severn Trent sites across the region, as well as multiple other sites including Woodgate Valley County Park in Birmingham, Hope Coppice in Solihull, Aldridge Airport in Walsall.
Each forest features predominantly native UK-grown broadleaf species trees which, over time, will remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – helping offset part of the Games’ projected carbon footprint. This process will be verified by the UK Woodland Carbon Code.
Adrienne Bennett, forestry creation project manager at Severn Trent, said: “We have planted 301,000 trees for our Commonwealth Forests over 465 acres which is a fantastic achievement so far. It is something to be really proud of.
“But planting the trees is only a small part in the process of creating a new woodland. There is a lot of work involved to get to that stage – and even more afterwards to maintain and care for the new woodlands which boost biodiversity.
“But we are well on the way to doing what we wanted to achieve – create a lasting legacy from the Commonwealth Games and offsetting its carbon footprint.”
Severn Trent is calling on more landowners with at least 10 acres to come forward to sign up for the scheme, with the aim of creating many more Legacy Forests in the future.
The company say the fully-funded scheme will be co-managed over the following 35 years by Severn Trent.
For more about the Commonwealth Forests, visit https://www.stwater.co.uk/legacy-forests/