Join us in the Second Edition of Growing Backhouse Park!

We're thrilled to announce that this year marks the launch of the second edition of our tree-planting initiative! In November 2023, we're gearing up to plant a variety of tree seedlings at Backhouse Park, and we're counting on your valuable support to make this happen.
Together we are creating a vibrant and family-friendly park in the heart of Sunderland.

Knowing the benefits that nature has on mental health and wellbeing ICOS has established and sustained a relationship between the local community, working closely with Friends of Barley Mow and Backhouse Park.  Around six years ago we started organising our first clean-ups, together with volunteers from the local community. At that time the park was in a state of disrepair, overlooked on the map of Sunderland despite its rich history and abundance of wildlife. These first few clean-ups very quickly turned into an initiative with aiming at restoring a safe, attractive and thriving green space for the community, led by the community. Through our work, we delivered workshops, events, training, and volunteering opportunities under the East Rangers project.

Thanks to amazing supporters like you, Backhouse Park has gone from being abandoned and wild to a lively place where the local community enjoys coming to.

Looking for a green and sustainable present?
Gift a tree and receive a personalized certificate that you can share.

A tree can be a beautiful and unique gift for many occasions - birthdays, weddings, the birth of a child, wedding anniversaries, graduations or as a memento in memory of a loved one.


A large, deciduous tree was found growing throughout North America. Common oak trees can typically reach heights of 20-40m and are known for their broad crown with sturdy branches beneath. Oak forests provide a great habitat for many different life forms such as insects, mammals, birds, and butterflies.


The cherry tree is one of the most popular and beautiful trees in gardens. Beautiful blossoms and a bounty of bright red fruit are enjoyed by gardeners and wildlife alike. Mature trees can grow to 30m and live for up to 60 years. The cherries are eaten by birds, including the blackbird and song thrush, as well as mammals such as the badger, wood mouse, yellow-necked mouse and dormouse. The foliage is also a primary food source for caterpillars of many moth species.


Grey willow is a tree found in damp, shady woods. It grows to a height of 10 meters and has grey-brown bark that develops diamond-shaped fissures with age. Grey willow is a popular tree for caterpillars, providing food for a number of different moths. Grey willow also acts as a food plant for the purple emperor butterfly.


The Rowan Tree is a magnificent and mystical tree with a long history. Native to Europe and North America, it can grow up to 15m tall and live for up to 200 years. After successful pollination by insects, the flowers develop into red fruits which are dispersed by birds. The wood is strong, hard and tough. The berries are edible to humans and they are rich in vitamin C.


Pretty, pale flowers adorn the silver-white bark of this common tree. Gardeners who appreciate its delicate flower displays often favour this choice for its ability to add a touch of beauty to their landscapes. The birch tree, one of the most widely recognized and popular trees in the world, has a long and colourful history. In early Celtic mythology, the birch represented renewal and purification. It is also used as a symbol of love and fertility.

To continue our wonderful mission at Backhouse Park we need your support!

Your support will be vital to our funds to continue further work in the Backhouse Park and:
  • Make a significant positive impact on the well-being of the local community
  • Preserve nature for future generations to enjoy
  • Bring the beauty of nature right to our doorstep.
  • Contribute to making the natural world a better place for all.

    We will be receiving 105 tree seedlings from the Woodland Trust in November and have decided to find these trees guardians.
    That's why we come with a unique opportunity for every wildlife lover. You can become a guardian of one of 5 tree species - a distinguished oak, a beautiful willow, a mystical rowan, a purifying birch or a luscious wild cherry.
    If you decide to adopt one (or more) of these magnificent trees we will email you an adoption certificate and a QR Code with the location of your tree in Backhouse Park (you will receive the location after the sapling is planted in November).

    You choose how much you want to support our project in Backhouse Park. You can become a tree guardian for as little as £15. If you choose to donate more we would be very grateful and can assure you that every pound you give us will be spent wisely and will go towards further developing the park and the East Rangers project. If you decide to donate more than £200 to this worthy cause in addition to a certificate we will offer you a beautiful wooden plaque with a dedication of your choice.
    As long as the sapling is small the plaque will be driven into the ground next to your tree. When the tree has grown we will be able to gently mount this plaque on the trunk. On this plaque, we will place the words of your choice, the date and, if you wish, your name or the name of the person you wish to dedicate this beautiful gift too.

  • If you have any questions please contact Daniel at daniel@icos.org.uk







    Adopt a tree in Backhouse Park