Tiny Forest & GoodGym - Linda's story - Earthwatch

Tiny Forest & GoodGym – Linda’s story

GoodGym member, Linda Gatley, shares her experience of volunteering as a Tree Keeper and arranging “community missions” in her local Tiny Forest in Lewisham, London.

Stronger together… the Tiny Forest and GoodGym partnership

Tiny Forest brings the benefits of woodland right into the heart of our cities and urban spaces: connecting people with nature, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, as well as providing nature-rich habitat to support urban wildlife.

Launched in 2020, our Tiny Forest movement wouldn’t have had such an incredible impact without the support of our wonderful community volunteers and partners. This includes GoodGym, “a community of people who get fit by doing good”. Last year, GoodGym and Earthwatch announced a wider partnership in association with the National Lottery to work with 60 communities across the UK.

We are grateful to GoodGym members like Linda, who have felt inspired to do more for their local Tiny Forest by joining our network of Tree Keepers.

Linda and fellow GoodGym volunteers in the Ladywell Fields Tiny Forest

Becoming a Tree Keeper: Linda’s experience

“Earthwatch Europe’s Tiny Forest programme was something I was aware of and keen to get involved in because of its environmental importance. After doing a Masters in Climate Change, I wanted to make sure what I do in both my work and volunteering aligns with my values. I’m also interested in the physical and mental wellness benefits of being outdoors in nature, and doing good things together with other people. When I met the Coordinator of the Ladywell Tiny Forest’s “Tree Keeper Group” during a GoodGym session, this seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to contribute.

I’m interested in the physical and mental wellness benefits of being outdoors in nature, and doing good things together with other people.

First we arranged a group run to help with weeding and mulching, and then gradually I started listing more community missions myself. Last autumn, the Tree Keeper Group wanted to expand the Tiny Forest by a third, planting 200 more saplings, so we worked together to plan a series of tasks including digging and fence building. By the time we reached planting day, I was on a real high! It felt great to work hard as part of a team with local residents – everyone had smiles on their faces and it was clear the massive difference it made having GoodGymers in attendance.

This was an ambitious, grassroots initiative which felt significant environmentally, contributing to a larger nationwide project.”

This is an excerpt taken from a blog on the GoodGym website. Read the full blog.

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