Mayor of Solihull opens Soroptimist International Centenary Wood in Dorridge Park


Solihull Council’s ‘Planting Our Future’ team has been working with a global volunteer organisation - Soroptimist International Solihull and District club - to plant a new 100-tree woodland in Dorridge Park. The woodland is part of Soroptimist International’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

Soroptimist International works to enrich the lives of women everywhere. When the first Soroptimist group began in California in 1921, their first project was to protect Redwood trees from deforestation. Now, a century later, Soroptimist International has initiated a new eco-project – ‘Planting Trees for a Brilliant Future’. This fits in perfectly with Solihull Council’s ‘Planting our Future’ pledge to plant 250,000 trees in the borough over the next decade.

The woodland includes native trees such as Silver birch, Downy birch, Sweet chestnut, Common beech, Scots pine, Common oak, and the Common cherry. It also includes non-native trees such as Sweet gum and Norway maple which have been planted to bring more colour to the wood.

The Mayor of Solihull, Cllr Ken Meeson, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony for the young forest on Thursday 9 December. The ceremony was also attended by Solihull’s Soroptimist Club President, Margaret Lloyd; Leader of Solihull Council, Cllr Ian Courts; Deputy Leader of Solihull Council, Cllr Karen Grinsell; and members of Soroptimist International Solihull and District Club.

The Mayor said:

“The new wood will be a place for our local community to visit and enjoy nature in years to come. It will also symbolise the Soroptimist's campaign of providing places of sanctuary for women threatened by violence at home.

“Solihull is known as the town in the country, and preserving our green spaces is something our borough cares deeply about.

“Our commitment to planting areas such as this around Solihull contributes to the Council’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions in the borough by 2041.

“The impact of trees on environmental health should not be underestimated. Planting these small woodlands improves biodiversity, carbon absorption and air pollution levels while adding to the natural beauty of the area.

“Thank you to our Solihull Soroptimists - here’s to another successful 100 years!”

Margaret Lloyd, President of Soroptimist International Solihull and District Club said:

“The Soroptimist International Centenary Wood in Dorridge Park is a fantastic way of marking the centenary of our wonderful, global organisation.

“The Council and Mayor have supported us from the start and worked in partnership with us to enable the wood to be planted in the lovely community park.

“We hope that the wood will be a valued addition to the park for local residents.  In particular, we hope that women and girls will find peace and sanctuary here and look forward to a future where they can fully achieve their potential.”


If you would like to be involved with ‘Planting Our Future’ – or have some space for trees – email or follow @LoveSolihull on social media.

For more information on Soroptimist International, visit the Solihull & District Club website or follow @soropssolihull on Facebook and @SI_Solihull on Twitter.