Grass Roots tree planting

Grass Roots is an initiative to make being ‘wild’ accessible to all communities in Birmingham and Solihull. By developing activities with the community, people have the power to create long term change and they can enjoy the many benefits of having a cleaner, greener place to live.

The aims of the Grass Roots initiative are:

  • Improve people’s wellbeing directly through improving the environment
  • Build and support a network of social champions and activists
  • Signpost to other opportunities that improve wellbeing, and develop the offer to the community

To achieve these aims, they will be:

  • Increasing planting and litter picking to improve local environments in key Active Communities areas
  • Partnering with local groups or organisations interested in getting involved
  • Developing sustainable networks to maintain planting

Tree planting

Globally 15 billion trees are cut down every single year. Despite some forest getting replanted, if we keep going at this rate, we’ll have no trees in about 200 years.

The government is committed to planting 22 million trees by 2022 to help tackle this. We fully support large scale rewilding programmes but also want to inspire urban tree planting in cities like Birmingham and placing the community at the heart of the process so they can really enjoy the benefits on their doorstep.

For this reason, Grass Roots will be planting 1000 trees in collaboration with local organisations across Birmingham and Solihull, particularly over the planting weekend of 28th February – 2nd March. We need individuals and community groups to come forward and get involved in order for this to happen. We need people to help with planting, suggestions of where to plant, and groups to maintain the planting and care for the trees long term.

But why should you get involved? What are the benefits of having more trees?

  • Improve your mood: spending time in nature reduces stress hormones and releases hormones linked to happiness and feeling calm
  • Reduce climate change: trees are like vacuums- absorbing the harmful gases like carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen for us to breathe
  • Boost your immune system: trees and plants emit phytoncides which enhance our body’s ability to fight disease
  • Reduce obesity: children living in areas with good access to green spaces spend less time watching TV and using digital devices and have 11-19% lower likelihood of obesity compared to children with limited or no access to green spaces
  • Free up your creativity: one study found a 50% improvement in creative problem solving after time in nature
  • Increase biodiversity: a single tree can be home to hundreds of species of insect, fungi and mammals
  • Provide food: some trees grow fruit such as apples, plums and cherries
  • Aid recovery: people with a view of greenery tend to recover quicker than those with a view of only buildings

… and many more!

If you would like to help Grass Roots plant trees across Birmingham and Solihull, please get in touch with Marcus on 07784302283 or email [email protected] before Monday 10th February. The main tree planting weekend is 28th February- 2nd March, and we can help with providing tools, trees and advice on planting on request.

Rachel Hall
Author: Rachel Hall