SI Solihull and District
100 TREE WOODLAND PRESENTATION
100 years ago when our organisation was founded one of the first projects the founding club in Oakland California chose to work on was the huge number of Redwood Trees being felled by the major Lumber Companies.
This was a huge project to take on board. It was in the days before COP26 and summits on Climate Change, but even then those founding ladies knew they needed to take action and reduce the huge numbers being felled. After putting forward their argument and recommendation to the Lumber Companies and the government, an agreed plan of the number of trees felled was agreed. This agreement is still in place today. What a fantastic testament to these remarkable ladies.
To mark the Centenary of our organisation, clubs in our Federation and around the world were asked to look at planting trees. Our theme … Plant trees for a brilliant future
To date over 67,000 trees have been planted in our Federation alone. With more, like ours, to be confirmed and planted. Planting season for trees is November to March.
100 years on we now understand even more the importance of trees for our planet and our climate. When the Centenary Group met we discussed the different suggestions put forward by members, and all agreed planting trees was important to us as a Club. I agreed to take on this project.
At the sametime, Solihull Council also launched their plans to plant 250,000 trees in the Borough in the next 10 years as part of their project ………
Planting our Future
Speaking to Councillor Ian Courts I asked if we could work together on both our projects, and look at planting a 100 tree woodland in the Borough to not only mark our Centenary, but to also mark the work of Soroptimists in the Borough – past, present and future. And so began our discussions – all be it via email due to lockdown restrictions etc.
After various suggestions, Dorridge Park was agreed. Isobel and I met with Councillor Courts and a representative from the Council to look at the possible site, and talk more about the proposed woodland.
After presenting this suggested plan to club, the Council then contacted local groups and local Councillors to advise them of the plans, and to hopefully get their support. Groups included the Friends of Dorridge Park. I am delighted to say that this support was given by all.
The next stage was to agree the trees to be planted. I asked if Blossom Trees could also be included in the planting, as I had also seen that the Council were eager to plant more Blossom Trees in the Borough, and this too was agreed. The trees to be planted will be 80% native and 20% non native. Dawny Birch
So what about the maintenance of the wood….
We were asked if we could provide Tree Wardens who would regularly check on the trees to ensure they were still alive and thriving. I am delighted to say that we have 8 members who all very kindly agreed to take on this role, on a rota basis.
Reports of any trees dieing or being damaged will be reported to the Council, who will then look to replace or restake. In the early days of planting the Council will also ensure the trees are watered to survive.
So what about the future of our wood…..
The Council have also said we can plant daffodils and bluebells in the wood if we so wish… all the bulbs provided by the Council. I personally think that would be lovely. The blue and yellow colours acknowledging the brand colours of Soroptimist International. We can also look to fundraise and have a bench or benches installed in the wood so visitors/residents can sit and enjoy the wood all through the year.
Thank you to Solihull Council, and in particular Councillor Ian Courts for supporting our wish to plant a 100 tree woodland.