New Commonwealth Forest at Woodgate Valley Country Park

Volunteers pose with cut out of Perry the Commonwealth Games mascot as they gather at Woodgate Valley Country park to plant 6,000 trees Published: 1st Apr 2022

A new Commonwealth Forest at Woodgate Valley Country Park has been planted as part of Severn Trent’s plan to create 2022-acres of Commonwealth Forest across the region

Volunteers from organisations sponsoring the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games teamed up with Severn Trent this week to help plant 6,400 trees at Birmingham City Council’s Woodgate Valley Country Park.

Tuesday’s planting day saw volunteers from PwC, Domestic & General, GL Events UK, as well as Severn Trent unite to plant trees at the 10-acre site as part of Severn Trent’s initiative to create 2022 acres of Commonwealth Forests.

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 Midlands.

Liv Garfield, CEO of Severn Trent, said:

With Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games quickly approaching it’s been great to bring volunteers from the Games’ sponsorship family together for a day of planting at Woodgate Valley Country Park.

What’s good for nature is also good for water and as a company taking care of one of life’s essentials, we’re passionate about making a positive impact on the communities and the environment where we live and operate. We’re extremely grateful to Birmingham City Council for committing 10 acres of land to this wonderful project that will have a huge role to play in Birmingham 2022 delivering a carbon neutral legacy for generations to come.”

The trees were planted on the former Quinton Playing Fields site that is located adjacent to the Country Park. The fields fell out of use many years ago and the Commonwealth Forest will now be incorporated into the park, expanding the woodland habitat at the local nature reserve.

Craig Cooper, Commonwealth Games Programme Director, Birmingham City Council, said: “We are delighted to work with Severn Trent to plant the first Commonwealth Forest in Birmingham.

“Birmingham is proud to be internationally recognised as a Tree City of the World for the work we have been doing on the managing and future planning for our Urban Forest and this new forest further recognises Birmingham’s bold ambition to be a leading city of nature.

The Commonwealth Forest at Woodgate Valley Country Park demonstrates our promise to deliver a bold legacy for the future of our city thanks to 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.

Each Commonwealth Forest features 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.

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.

Interested land owners can find out more about being part of the Commonwealth Forest.