Applications open for free tree scheme
Solihull residents and local groups are invited to apply for free trees as part of a scheme to promote the planting of traditional native trees in the borough.
The Arden Free Tree scheme is run by Solihull Council in partnership with Birmingham Airport and is open to individuals or groups who would like to create hedgerows or small woodlands on their own land within Solihull. The deadline for applications is the end of August and successful applicants will receive their free trees in time for the planting season (December – February).
Liz, who lives in Knowle, first applied for the scheme in 2017 and again in 2019. She has received around 250 trees in total, creating hedgerows and a small copse. She said: “When I heard about the scheme I knew it was a great opportunity I couldn’t pass up on. The first thing I recognised were the potential benefits it has for the local ecosystem in the area.
“The application process was really straightforward and I was told in the autumn that I’d been successful. It wasn’t long before all the trees, planting stakes and tree guards were delivered. Adam from the Ecology team at the Council came to assess the site beforehand and offer advice on planting. We now have the makings of a beautiful hedgerow, including my favourite species the alder blackthorn which attracted lots of wildlife since it was planted. “
The aim of the popular scheme is to protect and enhance the rural character of Solihull, restoring features typical of the wider local landscape while also reducing carbon in the atmosphere. Last year 4528 native trees across 15 projects were planted through the scheme.
Landowners in the borough who wish to plant new hedgerows and trees can apply by sending in a location map, sketched plan and list of species. A Solihull Council ecologist will then visit the site to discuss the plan in person. The scheme can cater for small scale planting right the way up to 1,000 trees.
For further details and to discuss the scheme please contact the Landscape Architecture, Ecology and Urban Design Team firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.solihull.gov.uk