MINI UK has committed to funding a minimum of 11 Tiny Forests across the UK, supporting ongoing community engagement and scientific research at the sites as part of an ongoing partnership with their fully electric model, the MINI Electric.
Tiny Forest is a tree planting initiative brought to the UK by Earthwatch Europe, designed to boost biodiversity in urban areas and create accessible green space for communities to reconnect with nature. The funding from MINI Electric is facilitating community engagement throughout the UK, so that local people can maintain and track the development of their Tiny Forests.
The mental health and wellbeing benefits of spending time in nature is well-documented, and Tiny Forest brings these benefits to communities in various ways. Schools can use the forests for outdoor education, so that children can create meaningful relationships with nature, and local ‘Tree Keeper’ volunteers can help look after the forests, building a sense of community ownership.
MINI Electric is also enabling vital scientific research. Local communities will gather scientific data about carbon absorption, flood mitigation, thermal comfort and biodiversity, which Earthwatch will use to assess the environmental benefits a Tiny Forest can provide. They’ll also assess the social and wellbeing benefits of having this new green space in an urban area.
David George, Director of MINI UK says,
“Creative use of space is at the heart of MINI, so the partnership between MINI Electric and Earthwatch Europe to plant Tiny Forests is a perfect fit. We’re really excited about how Tiny Forests can bring communities together and help educate on the important role biodiversity plays in sustainability.”
Louise Hartley, Tiny Forest Programme Manager at Earthwatch Europe, says,
“Tiny Forests provide rich opportunities for connecting young and old alike with the environment and sustainability. It’s vital that we give people the knowledge and skills to protect our natural world and inspire them to take positive action. We are delighted to be working with MINI Electric to bring these inspiring spaces to their local communities and undertake vital environmental research for the future of our planet.”
Photo credit: MINI Electric