Birmingham named as Queen’s Green Canopy “Champion City”

Published: Thursday, 10th March 2022

Team England athlete Hayley Carruthers today helped plant a series of Jubilee trees in Pype Hayes Park to celebrate Birmingham’s status as a Queen’s Green Canopy “Champion City”.

The Birmingham-based marathon runner, who is aiming to compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games later this summer, joined Cllr Mike Sharpe (Birmingham Lord Mayor’s Deputy), Cllr John O’Shea (Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks at Birmingham City Council) and members of the local community including Yenton Primary School to plant one thousand new trees at the park in Erdington with Birmingham Trees for Life.

Birmingham City Council has been awarded Queen’s Green Canopy “Champion City” status, which is given to outstanding cities who have trees and woodland as a central part of their plans for green spaces. The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Hayley Carruthers, Team England athlete said: “It’s fantastic Birmingham has been named a Queen’s Green Canopy “Champion City”. I’m really honoured to have been invited to Pype Hayes Park to help plant new trees with the local community. Birmingham is a great place to train as a marathon runner as there is so much green space and beautiful parks.”

Cllr Mike Sharpe, Birmingham Lord Mayor’s Deputy added: “I have been a long-time supporter of tree planting and of the wonderful work Birmingham Trees for Life have been doing across the city in our communities.

“The recognition of this award to Birmingham is a very fitting tribute and an honour in Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee year.”  

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks, Birmingham City Council said: “To be awarded QGC “Champion City” status in this Jubilee year further recognises Birmingham’s bold ambition to be a leading city of nature.

“The city has over one million trees - that’s about one for every person who lives here but this is not enough.

“We know that to meet the challenge of climate change, we need to plant more trees and plant them where they are needed most.

“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. Community tree plantings are a vital part of our work across the city and will be a long-lasting tribute to Her Majesty.”

Geoff Cole, Tree Committee Chair of Birmingham Trees for Life added: “I have had the pleasure of overseeing the project from its beginning in 2006. The partnership between Birmingham Civic Society and Birmingham City Council has provided opportunities for almost 14,000 people to be able to plant trees with nearly 7,000 of these being school children.

“This year will see the 100,000th tree planted. It is fantastic to celebrate the achievements of the BTFL Project and Birmingham City Council by dedicating this year's tree plantings to The Queen’s Green Canopy and even more special to be awarded “Champion City” status.” 

Background notes

A selection of photographs to download from the tree planting event can be found on the Birmingham City Council Flickr page.

Queen’s Green Canopy

As part of its work to highlight urban greening initiatives, The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) invited cities from across the United Kingdom to apply for “Champion City” status.

The initiative seeks to celebrate UK cities which have trees and woodlands as a central part of their plans for green spaces, for example in the form of a dynamic green recovery plan or green city charter, as well as community-oriented environmental projects.

Other UK cities which have been awarded QGC “Champion” status so far include Greater Manchester, Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Chester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Greater London, Leicester, Newcastle, Preston, Swansea, Southampton and York.

The Queen’s Green Canopy is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, which invites people from across the UK to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”. Further information about the QGC is available:



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