Mandela Memorial in Handsworth


Placing Roots for Lasting Peace

Birmingham Trees for Life (BTFL), the local tree-planting organisation for Birmingham, planted 10 trees in Handsworth Park to create a new Nelson Mandela Memorial Plantation. The three Councillors of Lozells and East Handsworth Ward, Cllrs. Hendrina Quinnen, Mahmood Hussain and Waseem Zaffar MBE were all on hand to help to plant the trees, ably assisted by 13 students from Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy.


The event was funded from BTFL’s Big Tree Plant grant, a national Government programme, with an additional contribution of £500 from the Ward’s Community Chest fund. This is the fourth year that the Big Tree Plant grant has funded tree planting in Handsworth Park, aiming to both replace trees that have had to be felled for disease or safety reasons, and to enhance the selection of trees in order to be able to create a new tree trail in the park with many interesting trees of different varieties.


The Nelson Mandela Memorial Plantation commemorates the visit of the late South African President to Birmingham and to Handsworth Park in 1993.


Among the selection of trees planted are two Davidia involucrata, commonly known as the Peace Tree, to mark Mr. Mandela’s commitment to lasting peace and reconciliation. The trees are planted among daffodils on the Hinstock Road side of the park.


Since it was created in 2006, Birmingham Trees for Life (BTFL) has been involved in planting over 40,000 trees all over the city in partnership with local communities. BTFL is a partnership between the City Council and the Birmingham Civic Society – all trees are planted on public land owned and managed by the Council, and the Civic Society is a Registered Charity working to preserve and enhance the natural and built environment in the city.


Local Councillor and Chairman of the Districts & Public Engagement Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Waseem Zaffar MBE said, “Birmingham Trees for Life is an amazing organisation working with volunteers from across the city planting thousands of trees every year. `They ensure that our communities and most importantly, local school children, increase their connection to local parks which are integral to our neighbourhoods.”


Ward Committee Chair, Cllr Hendrina Quinnen said, “I thank Trees for Life team for this plantation to remind us, about peace and reconcillation that Nelson Mandela called for.”


Perry Barr District Chairman and Former Lord Mayor, Cllr Mahmood Hussain said, “This project is important as it educates the children of today and the leaders of tomorrow of the importance of protecting our environment. We are proud to have supported Birmingham Trees for Life over many years and will continue to do so.”


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