Lewisham's second Tiny Forest planted in Ladywell Fields - Earthwatch

Lewisham’s second Tiny Forest planted in Ladywell Fields

  • Innovative planting scheme to considerably speed up tree growth
  • Fantastic legacy for school pupils to be able to plant 600 tiny trees creating this new urban forest
  • New partnership between Earthwatch Europe and STEM Learning for local schools in collaboration with community groups, Lewisham Council, Bloomberg and the Queen’s Green Canopy.

Cllr Louise Krupski, Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr James-J Walsh and Cllr Andre Bourne were joined by enthusiastic pupils from Prendergast Ladywell School this week to help plant Lewisham’s second Tiny Forest of 600 new trees.

Situated in Ladywell Fields, this is an exciting and innovative planting scheme, in partnership with environmental charity Earthwatch Europe, to significantly speed up tree growth and bring nature to urban communities.

The planting of Lewisham’s second Tiny Forest launches Earthwatch Europe’s exciting new partnership in Lewisham with STEM Learning and Prendergast Ladywell School and is supported by long-term Tiny Forest partners Bloomberg and the Queens Green Canopy.

Tiny Forests are dense, fast growing native woodlands which are designed to bring woodlands right into the heart of urban spaces and communities. There are over 150 Tiny Forests throughout the UK, and this second Tiny Forest in Lewisham will bring London’s Tiny Forest total to 10. Tiny Forests tend to be about the size of a tennis court and are an attractive location for both wildlife and people to provide a range of benefits in the fight against climate change. This planting method encourages accelerated forest development and uses no chemicals or fertilisers.

The children and community members planted 600 trees including Elm, Oak, Silver Birch, Hawthorn, and Dog Rose. In total, 100 of the trees were tagged for future research into and the area was finished off with a mulching layer. The forest was designed to attract over 500 animal and plant species within the first three years, providing an accessible green space and outdoor classroom for local urban communities to connect with nature.

The ENTHUSE Partnership between Earthwatch and STEM Learning officially launched at Prendergast Ladywell School with the planting of this Tiny Forest. They are the first of the group of 6-10 schools who will be involved in the ENTHUSE Partnership, improving children and young people’s perceptions and knowledge of environmental STEM careers.

Lewisham’s award-winning parks were recently ranked as “outstanding” and the new Tiny Forest adds to the 24,000 trees which have been planted in Lewisham in recent years to enhance biodiversity in the borough and is capable of attracting over 500 animal and plant species within the first three years.

This project is part of Lewisham Council’s delivery of its new five-year Parks and Open Spaces Strategy, which aims to make our local parks and green spaces even better by placing a greater focus on creating local havens for biodiversity, improving volunteering opportunities and supporting residents – including young people – to be more closely involved.

In 2021, Bloomberg partnered with Tiny Forest to create a lasting, local legacy in Glasgow – the host city of COP26. This year, Bloomberg is partnering on a number of projects to engage local community and youth groups in London, including working with the Mayor of London on the London Schools’ Climate Kick-Start – to inspire local climate action.

Cllr Louise Krupski, Cabinet Member for Environment and Rushey Green ward councillor said:

“The Tiny Forest is a brilliant addition to Ladywell Fields! Thank you to the pupils at Prendergast Ladywell School for all the enthusiastic planting! The Council has worked in partnership with Earthwatch, Bloomberg and our fantastic local community groups on this project and will continue to work together with partners to look after our new Tiny Forest for the community including watering and monitoring until the trees are established.
Increasing tree cover is an important part of Lewisham’s Parks and Open Spaces Strategy (2020-25) and Climate Emergency Action Plan and our aim is to support nature, promote biodiversity, improve air, soil and water quality and aid flood protection.”

Cllr James-J Walsh, Cabinet Member and Rushey Green ward councillor said:

“Huge thanks to Ladywell Fields User Group’ (LFUG) for all their enthusiasm and energy to bring this wonderful Tiny Forest to Ladywell Fields for the community. We have enjoyed working with all our brilliant partners to bring this exciting project to life. Our new Tiny Forest brings exciting future outdoor learning opportunities for Lewisham school children!”

Cllr Andre Bourne, Cabinet Member for Parks and Leisure said:

“Ladywell Fields was identified by the Council’s Parks Team and the Ladywell Fields User Group as an ideal location for the borough’s second Tiny Forest. In addition to the support and commitment of the enthusiastic park user group and the proximity of Prendergast Ladywell School, the park is of a size that can accommodate the planting area without impacting on recreational space and provide a valuable boost to local biodiversity.”

Ben Williams, Tiny Forest Programme Manager at Earthwatch, said:

“We’re so pleased to see so many members of the local community come out to help create this fantastic forest. Each Tiny Forest that we plant has a positive impact on its community and we’re looking forward to working with the local community in Lewisham to care for their new Tiny Forest.”

Dr Ajay Sharman, STEM Learning’s Regional Network Lead for the South East, said:

“STEM Learning is delighted to be working closely with Earthwatch through the ENTHUSE Partnership programme. Improving the quality of teaching in the classroom through subject knowledge enhancement CPD, along with pupil enrichment and engagement with STEM Ambassadors – STEM professionals from research and industry – will ensure this incredible outdoor learning experience will make a real impact to teachers, pupils, the schools and the wider community.”

Caroline Rowley, Corporate Philanthropy UK & Ireland Lead at Bloomberg said:

“Through our work with communities across London, we know that there is strong appetite for local action on climate change. We’re proud to deepen our collaboration with Earthwatch Europe and the Queen’s Green Canopy, and to work with new innovative partners to plant a Tiny Forest that will benefit the local community and will provide a unique educational resource for young people in Lewisham and the surrounding areas.” 

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