The first of around 6,500 trees have been planted in Wombourne as part of Severn Trent’s initiative to create 2022-acres of Commonwealth Forest across the Midlands. The 10 acres of new habitat is located at Severn Trent’s pumping station in the village.
As Birmingham 2022’s Official Nature & Carbon Neutral Supporter, Severn Trent is delivering a series of initiatives to leave a social and environmental legacy following the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. This work includes the creation of 2,022 acres of Commonwealth Forests, as well as 72 tennis-court-sized ‘Tiny Forests’ which are being created across the West Midlands.
Integral to both initiatives is Ground Control – a maintenance business and biodiversity expert committed to enhancing and improving the physical environment. The company has partnered with Severn Trent to prepare each Commonwealth Forest and Tiny Forest site for planting.
The carbon neutral company offers a wide range of services that include landscape construction, woodland creation, and grounds maintenance amongst others, and volunteers from the business joined the local community and volunteers from Severn Trent in planting trees at The Bratch on Monday and Tuesday.
Liv Garfield, CEO of Severn Trent, said: “Our Commonwealth Forest planting days have been a huge success so far and we are delighted to use our own land to host a 10-acre site that will create a new habitat for both communities and nature to enjoy.
“With Ground Control’s strong commitment to sustainability, they’re an ideal partner to work with for this fantastic project that will play a huge part in Birmingham 2022 delivering a carbon neutral legacy for generations to come.
“These new green spaces feature native UK grown broadleaf species and will live on long past the games for future generations to enjoy as a space where biodiversity and nature can thrive and flourish.”
Jason Knights, Managing Director of Ground Control said: “We are proud to be working with Severn Trent and local volunteers on such a poignant tree planting initiative. At Ground Control, we have set ourselves an ambitious target to plant one million trees by 2025. It’s initiatives like this that give me confidence we’ll reach our target sooner rather than later.
“Our work with Severn Trent is a prime example of a like-minded partnership and shared vision of leaving our environment in a better place than we found it. Having the opportunity to be part of making this happen by leaving a sustainable legacy from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, is a true honour. What we say here at Ground Control is this is human nature at its best!
“We understand that tree planting is a simple, yet effective way to remove carbon from the atmosphere, as well as create biodiverse habitats and support community wellbeing. I look forward to seeing the trees maturing in the coming years and leaving a positive legacy, long after the Games.”
Central to Birmingham 2022’s aim to make these the most sustainable Games yet, is the ambition to create a carbon neutral legacy. Focusing on a reduction first approach, the final carbon footprint will be balanced out by carbon offsets, including the Commonwealth Forest across the Midlands.
Over time, as the trees mature, they will remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and in doing so will offset a large part of Birmingham 2022’s projected carbon footprint. This process will be validated and verified by the UK Woodland Carbon Code – the best practice standard for UK woodland creation projects in the UK.
Land owners interested in being part of the Commonwealth Forest can find out more here: https://www.stwater.co.uk/legacy-forests/.