Tree-mendous donation to Lichfield canal trust

Published on: Tue, 06/04/2021 - 14:57

Jane and Brian Taylor, who have donated 50 trees to Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust

A couple have celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary by donating 50 trees to Lichfield's Canal Trust to help create a wildlife corridor in the city.

Jane and Brian Taylor were present on Brian's 85th birthday to see the first four trees planted at Falkland Road in Lichfield.

Jane has been a member of Walsall Spinners, a group dedicated to the crafts of spinning and weaving, for 34 years and began doing hand-spinning demonstrations at the Huddlesford Heritage Gathering, a biennial event organised jointly by Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust and Lichfield Cruising Club.

Meeting members of the Trust combined with a family tradition of organising events to raise money for charity led to the donation of the trees, Jane explained.

“It is nearly 60 years since my mother began the tradition of a thank-you get-together meal  ,” she said.

“Whenever we had a family, friends, neighbours, carers, spinners, scouts, and colleagues gathering, which was at least five times a year, we provided a buffet and we chose a charity for donations from suggestions by the participants .

“These donations were always put in 'the golden pot' and the tradition has spread to other celebrations as well.

“We have more than enough bits and pieces and you can only eat so much chocolate, more preferable to share our good fortune, so Jane's 'big party' as it is called continues.

“It was therefore tree planting for nature, global warning and everyone's pleasure in the future which was our choice as a thanks for the blessing of friendships over the years.

“We have planted memorial trees and put a bench to remember our much-loved mentors in Walsall Spinners in recent years on the canal side past the sand wharf (at Summerhill)  and held our 20th Spinners anniversary at The Boat years ago.

“The amount of work you all do and the volunteering you encourage deserves support. We may not be Lichfield residents but enjoy the city's ambience and are in its diocese!

“It is an honour to have been made life members and we wish you all every success in your endeavour.”

The trees donation complements the funding of a row of new hedge planting along the line of the Lichfield Canal at Falkland Road, thanks to South Staffs Water.

The hedging is being funded through the South Staffs Water PEBBLE Fund – Projects that Explore Biodiversity Benefits in the Local Environment.

Caroline Cooper, Strategy & Regulation Director at South Staffs Water, said: “We want to protect and enhance the environment for our customers, communities and for future generations.

“Hedges provide important ecosystems, as well as shelter and protection for other plants and animals, so we’re really happy to be supporting the canal trust’s project.”

Chris Bull, chairperson and environment director at Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust, said: “We’re so grateful to South Staffs Water for this grant.

“It means we can quickly establish the hedging along this section of the canal, so that it starts to provide biodiversity benefits as soon as possible.”