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

On Tuesday 29th March, GL events UK, Severn Trent Water and other sponsors of the Games united to plant trees across this 10-acre site, as part of Severn Trent’s ambitious initiative to plant 2,022 acres of Commonwealth Forest over a three-year period.

Severn Trent Water is Official Nature & Carbon Neutral Supporter for the Games and is delivering a series of projects that will leave a social and environmental legacy. Amongst the creation of the Commonwealth Forest, there will be 72 tennis-court sized, Tiny Forests 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.”

Rachel Baker, Director of Marketing & CSR at GL events UK, said: “As Official Overlay Supporter for Birmingham 2022, GL events is fully committed to supporting the Carbon Legacy and sustainability strategy of the Games. Joining together with Severn Trent Water and other members of the Sponsor Family to play a small part in the planting of the Commonwealth Forest was a genuine privilege, and we had a great day.”

GL events UK, along with several other sponsors, planted trees on the Quinton Playing Fields site. The field is located adjacent to the Country Park and fell out of use many years ago. The Commonwealth Forest will be incorporated into the park, expanding the woodland habitat and the local nature reserve.

Joining Severn Trent Water to play a small part in the planting of the Commonwealth Forest is a genuine privilege.

Rachel BakerDirector of Marketing & CSR - GL events UK

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.”

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games aim to be the most sustainable Games to date, with a prominent ambition of creating a carbon-neutral legacy. With a focus on carbon reduction, the final carbon footprint will be offset, by the Commonwealth Forest, which will span across the Midlands. Trees planted by GL events UK and other sponsors will contribute to the carbon reduction, as over time, they will mature and reduce carbon dioxide from the surrounding atmosphere.

Verified by the UK Woodland Carbon Code, the Commonwealth Forest project meets the best practice stands, for the UK Woodland Creation Projects, in the UK and each Commonwealth Forest will be home to native UK grown broadleaf species, all living past the Games where all future generations can enjoy the space, where biodiversity and nature thrive.

Jess Fidler, Head of Sustainability at Birmingham 2022 said: “While we are working hard to reduce the Games’ carbon footprint, we know there will be emissions we cannot avoid. Our strong partnership with Severn Trent to implement a credible carbon offsetting project will also provide a sustainable legacy for generations to come. It is really exciting to see even more trees being planted as part of our pledge to create a carbon neutral legacy for the Birmingham 2022 Games.

Not only will these green spaces support our ambition to deliver the most sustainable Commonwealth Games yet, they will help reconnect people with nature, provide habitats that support urban wildlife and support outdoor learning for local communities.”

Find out more about GL events UK’s commitment to sustainability in relation to Birmingham 2022, here.