Blooming marvellous hanging baskets


Solihull and Chelmsley Wood town centres are ready for summer with 88 colourful hanging baskets, thanks to a new partnership between Solihull Council and Newlands Bishop Farm in Catherine de Barnes.

Part of the Family Care Trust, the farm gives people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions the chance to learn work-based skills in a range of subjects including horticulture. Students at the farm have nurtured the plants from seedlings over the last few months, developing valuable skills in the process.

Leader of Solihull Council, Cllr Ian Courts, said: “I’m delighted that we are working with Newlands Bishop Farm to breathe colour into our town centres. The farm provides fantastic work experience for people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions who have a passion for horticulture. It’s great to work with a local farm on our door-step and it is so much better for the environment too as the plants have less far to travel than if we’d bought them from a large commercial grower.”

Daniel Adams from the Family Care Trust added: "Newlands Bishop Farm is thrilled to contribute to Solihull's vibrant summer landscape. Our partnership with Solihull Council showcases the incredible talents and dedication of our project workers who have learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Through nurturing these plants, they're not only brightening the town but also their own skills and confidence."

Sue Cummine, Solihull Contract Manager at Veolia said : “As Solihull Council's Environmental partner, we are delighted to support this initiative. The team at Newlands Bishop Farm did a fantastic job in planting up Solihull's hanging baskets, and I hope it fills them with pride when they see their work around the borough. It means so much to us to give back to Solihull with this project - to its community in aiding the Farm's horticultural programme, the local economy in sourcing from the borough, and environment through the carbon reduction in the miles saved in transportation. We hope to continue to support Newlands Bishop Farm and other local charities, as part of Veolia's drive towards Ecological Transformation and building a better future."

The hanging baskets will line Solihull High Street. They will also hang on the ‘Christmas Tree’ structure in Chelmsley Wood town centre and outside the Council House and Civic Suite.

Love Solihull, the council’s environmental campaign, is looking for sponsors for hanging baskets next year. To find out more, please contact