This first Scottish Tiny Forest is part of Earthwatch Europe‘s efforts to kickstart the Tiny Forest planting season this year - creating densely packed native forests no bigger than a tennis court in underused urban spaces. It will soon be followed by another Tiny Forest in Glasgow next month, as well as forests in Birmingham, Leicester, Wolverhampton, London and other cities.
The forest is funded by OVO Foundation, OVO Energy’s charity, and the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund. The OVO Foundation’s £1m Climate Changers Programme will see 12 Tiny Forests established in some of the most deprived areas of the UK. The Tiny Forests 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 in conducting scientific monitoring of each Tiny Forest.
As well as connecting schools and communities with nature, Earthwatch will draw on its unrivalled experience of engaging members of the public – citizen scientists - to collect scientific data to 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.
The Seven Lochs Project is an ambitious initiative to create a new heritage and nature park that spans the Glasgow City / North Lanarkshire council boundary between Easterhouse, Coatbridge and Stepps. Supported by a £4.5million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will improve places for people and nature, and help more people learn about nature on their doorstep. The Easterhouse Tiny Forest is next to three primary schools and 2 additional support needs schools, and will be used by pupils for a range of outdoor learning activities.
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.”
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 Glasgow City Council to bring these inspiring spaces to Easterhouse and other communities across the UK.”
Councillor Maureen Burke, Chair of the Seven Lochs Partnership said:
“I’m delighted to be working with Earthwatch to bring a Tiny Forest to Easterhouse and the Seven Lochs. It will be an excellent opportunity for local children to learn about the importance of trees and forests in fighting climate change. It’s also great that this project is going ahead in the year that the COP26 climate conference is coming to Glasgow, and I hope that this will be the first of many Tiny Forests in the city”.