Category: Wildlife

Time for trees

Tree Dressing Day:A tree is not just for Christmas, but for … 

We have over 130 mature trees in the Gardens. Most of which are important enough to have Tree Preservation Orders on them.  Caring for them and keeping them in good shape – literally – is a responsibility we are proud to be able to undertake.

Although it’s financially expensive and time consuming for a small Charity like ours, without the trees framing our views, shielding us from the winds, sheltering our beneficial bugs and birds and yielding us fruit, we would be much poorer in spirit.

This year we’ve been drawn to the custom of Tree Dressing as a way to express our positive relationship with trees …. a little ‘thank you’.

Celebrated in the first weekend of December the custom was revived in 1990 by the group who re-invented Apple Day; Common Ground.

“Trees have long been celebrated for their spiritual significance. The simplicity of tying strips of cloth or yarn to a tree is universal and timeless. The old Celtic custom of tying cloth dipped in water from a holy well to a ‘clootie tree’ echoes the practice in Japan of decorating trees with strips of white paper, or tanzaku, bearing wishes and poems. The twenty-first century trend of ‘yarn bombing’ in Europe and North America transforms the local landscape with bright fabrics and yarns, like the Buddhist tradition of tying ribbons around the trunk or the annual Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan when coloured strings are tied onto trees and plants to call upon the power of nature to protect loved ones.

These deep and diverse cultural associations provide a rich basis for tree festivities across the world. The act of dressing a tree binds us to it and celebrates the unique role that trees have in our local neighbourhoods.”

Some of us went down to visit one of our lovely walnut trees that supplied us with shade during the summer family activities and supported our community art work ‘the knit knot tree’.

With paper lanterns, twig dreamcatchers and wool apples we decorated the tree. A ring of colour on the bare branches.

Why not come and visit it add your own decoration perhaps. So when you are decorating your Christmas tree this year, think about adding one of your decorations to a living tree on your street.

For more information and free  resources about Tree Dressing Day, see here Common Ground  and Charter for Woods, Trees and People

 

 

by Felicity Hallam & Glynis Powell

 

 

 

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Batty Day….#WildaboutGardens

Learn about bats and how to welcome them to you Garden.. with BrumBats.

As well as our regular half term activities we welcome, BrumBats, the Birmingham and Black Country volunteer group, who support bat care and conservation. They will be around to talk about and show us2010-brumbats-logo the wonders of our night time fliers.

This week is the annual #wildaboutgardens week for RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and the Wildlife Trusts. The theme this year is ‘Stars of the Night’, working together to create a ‘batty’ neighbourhood.

Bats (and pumpkins) will be our them all week, but we’re lucky to have our local conservationists BrumBats on Thursday 27th.

Come down between 12 and 3 for batty info, stories, crafts and maybe (maybe….) even a real, sleepy bat.

Everyday during half term we’ll have some outdoor and indoor craft activities for young people and their grownups. Our themes are pumpkins and bats… we have plenty of both.

12 – 3pm Monday to Friday. £2 each for everyone over 5 years of age

(£8 family day ticket, Free to Season Pass holders)

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Bee there! Get close up with bugs and bees

Leading UK bee expert, Steven Falk, returns to take us on another bug hunt and bee walk around the Gardens.

On Sunday 21st August, 12.30 – 4.30 Steven will check up on our solitary bee boxes and take you on a journey through their life cycle. On his last visit we spotted 19 different wild bee species.28593803401_f21a91daf6_z

Since his last visit, our specially planted solitary bee flower area has begun to blossom and bloom, the surrounding apple trees have been pollinated and are bearing fruit. We’re keen to hear how our bug and bee population is doing

Pop along, follow Steven roud the garden searching for bugs and bees and learn how to get close up and friendly with our valuable friends.
Suitable for children and adults alike

Normal entry prices 
Cafe open for light refreshments

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Bee there – close up

Sunday 21st August, 12.30-4pm

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hmmm what have we got here? …

Leading UK bee expert, Steven Falk, returns to take us on another bug hunt and bee walk around the Gardens.
We spotted 19 different wild bee species last time. Will our new solitary bee nest and flower area have encouraged more?
Suitable for children and adults alike
Normal entry prices
Cafe open for light refreshments

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