• Friends of Reddings Lane Park’s tree planting session with local primary school


    We are thrilled to share this inspiring story about The Friends of Reddings Lane Park, a group of dedicated volunteers who are making a positive difference in their local community. Recently, they joined forces with their esteemed Birmingham Park Ranger, Jan Tomlinson, and the enthusiastic primary school children from The Olive School for a special tree planting event in their local park. 

    With the generous support of the Woodland Trust, The Friends of Reddings Lane Park received a donation of thirty saplings. The excitement was contagious as the children from The Olive School eagerly embraced their role as responsible citizens, learning firsthand about the importance of caring for the trees that adorn their surroundings. 

    Read our Q & A below with Farina Ahmed from The Friends of Reddings Lane Park, as we delve deeper into this incredible tree planting project. Discover their motivations, challenges, and the joy they find in nurturing their park and community through volunteering. 



    Can you give a brief introduction to the Friends of Reddings Lane Park (FORLP) and any conservation volunteering projects/regular volunteering sessions that you currently have on the go?

    Friends of Reddings Lane Park are a made of volunteers who promote conservation, improvement and suitable education of the physical and social environment in Reddings Lane Park. We work with the community to aesthetically improve and enhance the park and its immediate surrounding areas and promote recreational activities.


    How did the FORLP volunteers get involved in the tree planting project?

    As part of the Woodlands Trust drive to encourage tree planting, we applied for a number of trees in October 2022 and were donated a variety of tree saplings. We thought why not get our local schools involved in planting these in the park, whilst instilling the benefits of tree planting with our young tree champions. We hope to engage with other schools in the vicinity too.


    What types of saplings were donated to the FORLP?

    Silver Birch, Wild Cherry and Rowan.


    What was the process your group went through, were there any challenges or obstacles faced during the tree planting project, and how were they overcome?

    We approached The Olive School and we had the assistant principal engage with us. We met with Humaira to explain the process regarding scheduling a suitable date, parental consent, the process of planting the trees and the ideal class size, and we couldn’t quite forget health & safety! We then triangulated on a date with the local Ranger Jan and were delighted to have 30 young tree champions plant thirty saplings. Scheduling was the biggest obstacle between three parties, however, on the third attempt we fixed a date. The tree planting itself was very enjoyable for the kids. This was supported by three teachers from the school as we set of in 3 groups.


    What is the significance of planting trees in the community?

    We have some beautiful trees in the park that currently are ideal for the community to use simply for resting after a walk or a run in the park. We find most park users commenting on the bird song and we hope by planting more trees, in years to come, this will provide many health benefits such as enhancing our mood to simply having a good chat under a tree, building a stronger sense of community. 


    Was there any support that you received from Parks staff that helped the process?

     We have been working very closely with our local park ranger Jan. She was very instrumental in facilitating the educational session with our young tree champions and equally provided us support on suitable equipment and tree care.


    Is there any advice you can give other Friends Groups that might like to host tree planting session with local schools in their local parks / open spaces?

    Engage, engage, engage! Work closely to build a rapport with your local ranger. Have fun and share good news!


    What are the future plans for FORLP’s involvement in tree planting and youth participation initiatives?

    The school would love to join up with FORLP on future activities around conservation and litter picking activities. We are in the process of planning these activities. This could range from involving some arts organisation to make conservation interesting to various children of all ages. We also hope to further engage with other conservation organisations locally and invite other local friends group.


    How can individuals or organisations support FORLP in your efforts to promote environmental conservation?

    Talk about it more, share more information on socials. Please come and attend our volunteering sessions and get more of your ideas in. We hope organisations can support us with time and resources where possible. We love to have a chat and look at the art of the possible.


    Are there any upcoming events or opportunities for community members and young people to get involved with the FORLP and your projects?

    We are in the process of planning a volunteer session to give the community a sense of what volunteers can offer and how flexible and adaptable this can be, and ideally how people can be involved. We would love for BOSF to be involved too.


    Is there is anything else you would like to mention about the FORLP?

    We are a small group of volunteers and would love to attract more volunteers in the area. We also get involved in bidding for funds to assist with adhoc projects, so if you have a great idea in mind, please contact us. We are soon to implement some key changes in the park in improving the aesthetics in the park and provide new facilities for more recreational activities. We would be interested in knowing if anyone would be willing to offer free or paid services. The key objective for us this year is the improvement of park facilities. We have concluded this piece with the Parks Manager and Phase 1 will be delivered this year. You can find out more about those plans, here. 


    Posted on 16th June 2023