The first Tiny Forest supported by OVO Foundation was planted by Earthwatch in Oxfordshire, January 2021. Since then Earthwatch, supported by OVO Foundation, has planted Tiny Forests in Bristol and Glasgow; Birmingham will be the first forest in the Midlands. Plantings are also planned in Wolverhampton, Leicester and Kirklees ahead of the end of the tree planting season.
The Tiny Forests, supported by OVO Foundation, will provide benefits to local children, who will be able to visit their growing trees once schools return. The benefits will include:
- Educating 9,000 children on global and local environmental challenges across 24 schools in some of the most deprived areas of the UK.
- Supporting 1,200 young people aged 18 to 25 in conducting scientific monitoring of each Tiny Forest.
- By 2023, the Tiny Forests will collectively have an average annual uptake of up to 7.2 tonnes of carbon.
Earthwatch is pioneering Tiny Forests in the UK, and is partnering with visionary organisations like OVO Foundation, as well as business and local government, to achieve its ambition of planting over 100 Tiny Forests in urban areas in the next two years.
As well as connecting schools and communities with nature, Earthwatch will draw on its unrivalled experience of engaging members of the public – citizen scientists - in science to collect data and assess the benefits of Tiny Forests in urban spaces. With the help of young people from local schools, Earthwatch will collect data on: carbon absorption, flood mitigation, thermal comfort and biodiversity, as well as assess the social and wellbeing benefits.
Clara Stevenson, Programmes and Partnership Director at Earthwatch Europe, said:
“Tiny Forests provide rich opportunities for connecting young people 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 from a young age. We are delighted to be working with the OVO Foundation and Birmingham City Council to bring these inspiring spaces to Birmingham, and other communities across the UK.”
Caroline Silke, Head of OVO Foundation, said:
“We're passionate about educating the younger generation on how to reduce their carbon footprint, protect the physical environment, and limit their impact on the planet.
Tiny Forests help children learn about the environment and sustainability in a really accessible way. By planting 12 Tiny Forests in urban communities across the UK with Earthwatch, we will help connect children with their local green spaces and show them how they can protect it for future generations.”