Council’s climate change work recognised with two national awards


Two of Solihull Council’s teams have been awarded prestigious Green Apple Environment Awards – which recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world - for their work in tackling climate change.

The Planting Our Future team – which also picked up two regional awards earlier this month – was given an International Green Apple Environment Award in recognition of its tree planting successes and community engagement, education and environmental awareness work. Over the last two years, with the support of over 400 volunteers, they have planted 51,000 trees and are on target to plant another 25,000 this season.

The Council’s Highway Infrastructure team and partners Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP) were also presented with the prestigious Green Champion Award for Carbon Reduction in recognition of their work on improving and creating walking and cycling routes throughout the borough. During the Council’s £16.8 million Wildlife Ways project – part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund – the team improved 69 km of existing paths and cycle routes and created 23 km of new footways.

Cllr Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said: “Commitment to the environment and to meeting our carbon net zero target is at the heart of our work at the council, but we can’t achieve this on our own. The Planting Our Future team works hard to raise awareness of the importance of tree planting and has worked with hundreds of local residents, businesses, schools, colleges and voluntary groups to locate and plant new areas. Their award not only recognises the team itself, but all the volunteers who have rolled up their sleeves, often on cold and windy days, to support this vital work. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in planting 51,000 trees in the last couple of years. Congratulations to Planting Our Future and all our volunteer tree planters.”

Cllr Ken Hawkins, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure, added: “I would like to thank staff in our Highway Infrastructure team and our partners Balfour Beatty Living Places who continued to build and improve extensive cycling and walking routes during the pandemic. Their work means that people have many more ways to travel in the borough without using cars. The more people can walk and cycle, the better placed we will be in reaching our net zero carbon target and combatting climate change. There are also huge health benefits with improved air quality and the exercise that walking and cycling provide. Congratulations to Highways and Balfour Beatty Living Places.”

For both teams, the work continues. The Highway Infrastructure team is continuing to create walking and cycling routes across the borough and the Planting Our Future team has lots of tree planting events planned for National Tree Week (26 November – 4 December) which marks the start of the tree planting season. This includes planting the first of nine trees sponsored by 608 Vets to celebrate their 90th year and planting the first of 15 trees sponsored by Esther Broomhall & Partners. The team is also partnering with Birmingham Dogs Homes and Watertight Flood Resilience to plant 3,000 trees in the grounds of the Dogs Home and is starting a three-year partnership with Blythe Valley Business Park, which will see 3,000 trees planted in Blythe Valley Park this year.

For more information about Planting Our Future see –

For more information about Council projects which are combating climate change and creating a more sustainable borough, sign up to ‘Your Future Solihull - Climate Change and Sustainability News’ here – Solihull Council (

The Green Apple Environment Awards were launched in 1994 by The Green Organisation and have become well established as one of the most popular environmental campaigns in the world. To find out more see -