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Five special trees for 500 Volunteer Doulas

Myra Shay recreation ground will soon be humming to the sounds of active children and families, and wildlife, thanks to a project delivered in collaboration with Better Start Bradford’s Better Place project, Get Out More CIC, local schools and Bradford Council. The project is creating a playable landscape particularly with pregnant women, 0-3’s and Forest School Play provision at its heart.

The playable landscape will also be home to five extra special trees dedicated to the amazing work of the Bradford Doulas. The five native Hornbeam trees will represent 500 plus women and babies the doulas have supported over the last ten years, together with the 100 plus volunteers that have given hours of their time to support families through their pregnancy.

Aliya Fazil, Bradford Doulas Project Manager, said: “These five trees will symbolise the growth and nurture that runs through the very backbone of the support that we provide as Doulas.”

“We are delighted that so much work is being put into beautiful green spaces for Bradford families to use as their babies grow. It has been wonderful to be able to work with Better Place, Better Start Bradford and Bradford Council and not only have five trees planted in honour of us, but to get involved with the spring bulb and wildflower planting at Myra Shay.”

“The Bradford Doulas will also be planting an additional 500 trees on Thursday 25 November at Newhall Park to create a “Doula Dell” with the fantastic Trees for Cities Project”

Alex Spragg, Programme Director, Better Start Bradford, said: “The collaboration between our projects and Bradford Council on the Myra Shay Recreation Ground is fabulous. From Better Place to Bradford Doulas to consultation with Get Out More CIC to create a space for Forest School Play provision, it is so heart-warming to see these projects work together to leave a lasting legacy for families, babies and toddlers to enjoy for years to come.”

“The planting of these five Hornbeam trees is a wonderful way to celebrate ten years of the work of the Bradford Doulas and their milestone of supporting 500 plus families with over 100 volunteers.”

The Myra Shay project has taken a piece of the recreation ground and added some very special elements to it to improve the air quality, give shade and shelter, help reduce our carbon footprint and offer natural resources for play and learning.

The five Hornbeam trees will be planted amongst Beech, Rowan, Larch, Birch and Pine trees, all native to this area of the Southern Pennines, bringing year-round delight to the space. There have been many community planting days, where local schools, projects and members of the community have come together to plant woodland flowering bulbs, native wildflowers and long grass that will bring a touch of the playful wild landscapes of the surrounding area, into the city, for all of the community to enjoy.

There will be places to sit, meet, feed young babies and children, and grassy mounds to play on and roll down. There are places where a canopy can be erected to give shelter from the elements, so that bad weather will never stop play and learning through Forest School activities that will be taking place on the site.

Work on site began in October 2021 and by December 2021 the area will be completed, ready to settle in for the winter and then burst into life come Springtime 2022.

National Tree Dressing Day is celebrated in the first week of December every year, with Bradford Doulas planning to celebrate by dressing their five trees from December 2022.

Better Start Bradford was set up to help children get the best start in life and is made possible thanks to a £49 million National Lottery grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

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