Earthwatch Europe, with the support of several partners, has planted 18 Tiny Forests across the UK so far in the 2021-22 planting season (bringing the UK total to 35). A further 20 are planned for January-March 2022, bringing accessible, nature-rich, pockets of green space to even more communities. Planting season is when trees are dormant, and therefore unlikely to be damaged in the planting process. This is typically from October to March.
Planting season started with four Wee Forests taking root in Glasgow, providing an incredible living legacy for the COP26 climate conference hosted there in November 2021. These forests were the result of a collaboration between Glasgow City Council, Earthwatch Europe, NatureScot, Glasgow Science Centre and supported by BlackRock, Bloomberg LP, Vaillant Group and Whyte & Mackay.
Image: Lateral North, Glasgow Govan Road planting day
Last year we successfully secured a grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Green Recovery Challenge Fund. This grant has supported a further eight Tiny Forests in 2021 across the UK. We’ve worked with Nottingham City Council, Charnwood Borough Council, Frome Town Council, Wirral Council, Bradford Council with Bowling Park Primary School, West Berkshire Community Hospital Trust and City of Wolverhampton Council to get these Defra-supported forests in the ground for all of these communities to enjoy. MINI Electric has also committed funding to these forests to facilitate community engagement and scientific research as part of an ongoing partnership with their fully electric model. MINI Electric also supported the planting of a Tiny Forest in Littlemore, close to MINI Plant Oxford, marking the 10th MINI Electric Tiny Forest in the UK.
Image: Sam Chick, Junction Eleven, Littlemore planting day
The Wirral, Edinburgh, Kirklees and Nottingham also became home to Tiny Forests supported by OVO Foundation, the charity arm of OVO Energy, as part of their Climate Changers programme to engage children and young people in tackling the climate crisis. The Kirklees forest, in Harp Inge, was also supported by Kirklees Council and we worked in partnership with Edinburgh City Council, Wirral Council and Nottingham City Council. The Edinburgh forest marks the 10th Tiny Forest supported by OVO.
BlackRock supported another Tiny Forest in Edinburgh, bringing the Earthwatch Tiny Forest Scotland total to 7. Earthwatch has also supported NatureScot, Scotland’s Nature Agency, and Local Delivery Partners to deliver a further 20 Tiny Forests across Scotland this planting season by March 2022.
Image: Edinburgh City Council, East Pilton planting day
This year we also established an exciting partnership with Severn Trent to support them in creating 72 Tiny Forests in urban areas across the West Midlands to celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Looking forward to the 2022 half of the planting season, we expect to see forests planted in Doncaster, Wakefield, Hinckley, Chippenham, Crewe, London, Blackpool, Swindon, Cambridge, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and all across the West Midlands as part of our Severn Trent partnership. These forests will be supported by even more remarkable organisations working towards our goal of 150 forests across the UK by 2023.
Louise Hartley, Tiny Forest Programme Manager at Earthwatch Europe, said “Tiny Forests provide rich opportunities for connecting everybody with the environment and sustainability, often in locations where green space can be hard to come by. 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 so many partners and land owners to bring these inspiring spaces to more and more communities across the UK.”
Image: City of Wolverhampton Council, Moseley Road, Bilston planting day.