Care for Hazel

Commissioned by Place Prospectors, Birmingham as part of A Level Playing Field to host activity to support a community tree planting of a new hazel tree at Idminston Croft, Druids Heath – in front of a row of independent shops including a well loved community cafe.

The planting of the tree was to replace the hazel tree that had previously been removed, and to join the line of up four other hazel trees in the public space.

The planting was initiated by a local resident who had gone to great efforts to tidy up the area. The planting was to finish the work off, and also to commemorate this act of care, and also support others in caring for the space going forward, and that included the young new tree, if they wanted.

Hand drawn illustrated posters were produced and put up on the already existing hazel trees prior to the planting of the new one.

Posters were also distributed at the local community cafe with colouring pencils, for children to colour in, and hopefully learn along the way!

On the day of the planting itself we hosted a hazel tree raffle. The raffling containing offerings produced the hazel tree: from whittled wooden gifts, Cadbury’s wholenut bars, hazel-nuts-as-lucky-necklace-pendants, to visualisations of mythical stories relating to hazel nuts!

Three of the wooden gifts – a wattle, walking sticks and whistles were hand carved from hazel wood, by a local resident generously made for the raffle.

Passersby on the day of the tree planting were all offered a free ticket and the opportunity to win an offering from the hazel tree. With each ticket people also received a portion of Nutella (another cheeky offering from the tree) along with a lino print of the area.

A decorated community watering can was stationed at the community cafe, along with a stockpile of Nutella portions – to aid in the watering of the tree – with one of the biggest contributors to tree mortality being lack of water.

On the day, we were also on the look out for young people who might want to become hazel tree ‘caretakers’ to help after the tree.

Following the drawing of the raffle, we hand delivered the gifts to the local winners.

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