Dear Editor, Councillor Peter Douglas-Osborn should be congratulated on bringing forward a brilliant proposal to surround our city with greenery (Plan to circle Birmingham with trees to protect green belt, Post September 29).
Not only will the trees protect the green belt but they will reduce pollution, provide habitat, and give the city a great leisure amenity. Involvement of the Woodland Trust should mean that the planting will be undertaken carefully and using native species that will mature over decades.
May I suggest a couple of ideas to enhance this project. Firstly, the planting should extend into the city. Our suburbs should be planted with trees that will mature into large canopies over time – the view across the rooftops of our older suburbs is sea of green interspersed with chimney pots which is testament to the vision of our Victorian forefathers.
We desperately need more green spaces in the city centre, too. Streets and squares or quiet corners with magnificent trees providing shelter and shade.
The second idea could help fund the scheme and solve a problem for the city council – parts of this woodland could be memorial woodland.
The city’s cemeteries are struggling for space so instead of burials, families could instead have a cremation and buy a new tree for the woodland with which they could bury the ashes.
The tree could be dedicated and a plaque erected so visitors can pay their respects, tend the sapling and spend time in peace and tranquility.
There would be no headstone to buy or maintain and Brummies could be proud that over the years, their loved ones would have built up a fantastic legacy whilst doing their bit for the environment.
Matthew P Bott,