Team Doncaster has reached an agreement in principle with Earthwatch and Saltersgate Infant School, Scawsby, to be a pilot site for Doncaster’s first-ever ‘Tiny Forest.’
A national initiative led by Earthwatch Europe, Tiny Forests are a small area of densely planted trees – 600 saplings of a diverse range of native trees in an area the size of a tennis court. The planting is based on a forest management technique developed in Japan in the 1970s, which encourages rapid growth and supports a high level of biodiversity, mimicking a mature forest on small scale within 10 years.
Doncaster Council Mayor, Ros Jones, said: “Saltersgate Infant School already have a commitment to the Forest School approach run by Doncaster College, so this makes an ideal partnership.
“This is something that Team Doncaster are wanting to see replicated as part of the wider tree planting within the climate strategy.
“This will afford Team Doncaster the opportunity to learn from, and promote, the ‘Tiny Forest’ model across Doncaster as an achievable, affordable initiative that could be taken up by other schools, parish / town councils, businesses or, realistically, any organisation with a small area of green space available.”
Among community-based projects, the Tiny Forest model offers a good approach to promote community and neighbourhood engagement in local environment improvement and climate action.
Louise Hartley, Tiny Forest Programme Manager at Earthwatch, said: “It’s vital that we encourage people to protect our natural world and especially to inspire children to take positive action from a young age. Tiny Forests provide rich opportunities for connecting local communities with the environment and sustainability, and we are delighted to bring these inspiring spaces to Doncaster, with the support of Doncaster Council and Saltersgate Infant School.”
As part of a wider objective, Team Doncaster’s Environment Strategy aims to protect and enhance woodland and green spaces, plant more trees and to protect and enhance biodiversity to support resilient ecosystems.
This will be delivered through a number of elements including trees on Doncaster Council’s land assets, the Biodiversity Net Gain requirement in the Planning system, private landowners’ involvement carbon off-setting forestry, and more community-based projects of which Tiny Forest is an example.