Forty years ago - Greening the City

From its inception in 1961 the group that was later to become the Lichfield Civic Society tried to improve the environment of the City. A report on "Trees and Planting" was presented to the executive committee by Rowland Kent in November 1961 and he was able to report that some trees were being planted in Weston Road.

In 1964 trees were planted by the Society between the City Station and the Fireman's Houses on Birmingham Road and a forward looking Tree Planting Plan was prepared.

When Rowland Kent moved to Yorkshire in 1965 his place as convener of the sub-committee was taken by Mrs Clayton-Smith and the following January the County Forestry Officer, Mr Levington, commented at a Society meeting that "Lichfield had an almost unique long term plan for tree planting around the boundaries of the City".

In 1967 trees were planted opposite the Windmill Inn in Wheel Lane and Crocus bulbs in front of the City Railway station. The Society Minutes report that a Sycamore tree was planted in Wheel Lane in 1968 and in 1969 the plans included tree planting at Greenhill and Swallow Croft.

At the 12th AGM, in February 1973, it was proposed that a "Tree Planting Fund" should be set up, and at the following committee meeting the secretary was asked to write to the local papers inviting subscriptions to this fund and to discuss the idea with the Town Clerk.

In June 1973 the Secretary reported that the City Surveyor had set aside a site opposite the Civic Hall for Civic Society Trees and would consider suggestions for tree planting in other parts of the Town (sic). In September Mr Bradshaw forwarded a list of suitable trees from which the committee chose 4 x Lime Trees.

At the 13th AGM, in February 1974, the Chairman reported that: "A start has been made on a tree planting fund and 5 Lime Trees have been purchased and planted in Levetts Square near the new Civic Hall. Members have planted some of their own young trees and shrubs in Beacon Park.

In 1974 Cyril Horton was appointed convener of the sub-committee and the following year he reported plans to plant 50 trees on Eastern Avenue, with larger ones near Ketch Plastics and "about 120 in private houses". In December 1975 it was reported that 60 trees had been planted on Eastern Avenue.

Twenty years later over 750 trees and 12,000 Daffodil and Crocus Bulbs had been planted around the city by Civic Society members, assisted by pupils from the three secondary schools in the City.

Bulb and Tree Planting

This photo montage of the Society's planting activity was prepared by Maureen Hanson and Ivor Mitchell and displayed in the window of the former Britannia Building Society in Market Street during April 1994.

Bulb and Tree Planting by the Civic Society

Photo - Lesley Bushell, 2019