Published on February 7th, 2015 | by Gaelle Finley



Birmingham Trees for Life (BTFL), the local tree-planting organisation for
Birmingham, planted 10 trees in Handsworth Park on 4th February 2015 to
create a new Nelson Mandela Memorial Plantation. The three Councillors of
Lozells and East Handsworth Ward, Cllrs. Hendrina Quinnen, Mahmood
Hussain and Waseem Zaffar MBE were all on hand to help to plant the trees,
ably assisted by 13 students from Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy.
The event was funded from BTFL’s Big Tree Plant grant, a national
Government programme, with an additional contribution of £500 from the
Ward’s Community Chest fund. This is the fourth year that the Big Tree Plant
grant has funded tree planting in Handsworth Park, aiming to both replace
trees that have had to be felled for disease or safety reasons, and to enhance
the selection of trees in order to be able to create a new tree trail in the park
with many interesting trees of different varieties.
The Nelson Mandela Memorial Plantation commemorates the visit of the late
South African President to Birmingham and to Handsworth Park in 1993.
Among the selection of trees planted are two Davidia involucrata, commonly
known as the Peace Tree, to mark Mr. Mandela’s commitment to lasting
peace and reconciliation. The trees are planted among daffodils on the
Hinstock Road side of the park.
Since it was created in 2006, Birmingham Trees for Life (BTFL) has been involved in
planting over 40,000 trees all over the city in partnership with local communities. BTFL
is a partnership between the City Council and the Birmingham Civic Society – all trees
are planted on public land owned and managed by the Council, and the Civic Society
is a Registered Charity working to preserve and enhance the natural and built
environment in the city.
Local Councillor and Chairman of the Districts & Public Engagement Scrutiny
Committee, Cllr Waseem Zaffar MBE said: “Birmingham Trees for Life is an amazing
organisation working with volunteers from across the city planting thousands of trees
every year. `They ensure that our communities and most importantly, local school
children, increase their connection to local parks which are integral to our
Ward Committee Chair, Cllr Hendrina Quinnen said: “I thank Trees for Life
team for this plantation to remind us, about peace and reconcillation that
Nelson Mandela called for.”
Perry Barr District Chairman and Former Lord Mayor, Cllr Mahmood
Hussain said: “This project is important as it educates the children of today
and the leaders of tomorrow of the importance of protecting our environment.
We are proud to have supported Birmingham Trees for Life over many years
and will continue to do so.”

With thanks to Waseem Zaffar.

(Inside Handsworth is interested in positive things happening in Handsworth from any angle, but also in examining the reasons why positive things fail to happen. On this occasion we weren’t able to get to the event ourselves and so relied on a press release. It is not our normal policy but we welcome the debate which has resulted).

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