Planting a Legacy
Ground Control and Severn Trent have engaged local communities, volunteers, and schools in creating 72 ‘Tiny Forests’ and planting 2022 acres of ‘Legacy Forests’.
- Tiny Forests included the creation of 72 ‘tennis-court-sized’ forests that are planted and linked with local schools and each represent a territory competing in the Games.
- Legacy Forests are 2022 acres of woodland planted across multiple sites in the West Midlands to support the carbon sequestration aims, and to plant a legacy that can be enjoyed by the community.
The project collaborated with local schools to align each Tiny Forest with a different school. Pupils joined Ground Control for educational planting days to get ‘hands on’ experience with native species and to learn about the importance of biodiversity. The long term aims of this, is that these schools, such as the Four Dwellings Academy in Birmingham and Chadsgrove School in Bromsgrove, continue to access their outdoor classroom in future years to understand how the forest grows, establishes, and develops. This education will encourage and inspire positive action in future generations and support the aims of a lasting legacy across the West Midlands
To maximise the positive biodiversity impact per square metre of forest, every Tiny Forest comprises of selection of native trees and shrubs with supporting preliminary works and soil preparation to mitigate issues like compaction, and to optimise the water capacity of the soil.
The planting of native species such as English and Sessile Oak, Dony and Silver Birch and Hawthorn increases the chances of successful establishment, reduces the amount of maintenance, and can importantly act as food, shelter, and pollinators for local wildlife.
To achieve Severn Trent’s aims as the ‘Official Nature and Carbon Neutral Supporter’ of the
Commonwealth Games, and to leave a legacy in the West Midlands, 2022 acres of broad leaf,
mixed woodlands have been planted across multiple locations. The end results will be a series of woodlands, all of which is suitable for the climate they are planted in to’, and in most cases in areas that communities can enjoy. It also allows for local wildlife and biodiversity to flourish.
The engagement of local communities in the planting days will be essential to the long-term
success and leaving a ‘lasting legacy’. Family friendly planting days have allowed for communities to be engage, with volunteers who said;