Littlemore Tiny Forest wins NHS Forest award - Earthwatch

Littlemore Tiny Forest wins NHS Forest award

We are thrilled that the Littlemore Tiny Forest, located by the Littlemore Mental Health Centre in Oxford, has won an NHS Forest Award for ‘pioneering use of green space by healthcare professionals’.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with Earthwatch Europe and MINI Electric, planted its first Tiny Forest at Littlemore Mental Health Centre on December 6, 2021. The Littlemore Tiny Forest is home to approximately 600 saplings of 18 different tree species, which will help boost biodiversity on the site and create a green space for staff, patients and visitors to reconnect with nature and find quiet sanctuary.

As part of regular monitoring of the Tiny Forest, staff and patients joined Science Days to find out more about how the project can have a positive impact for patients, staff and visitors to the hospital. Both the Learning Disability and Child & Adolescent Mental Health services have used the Tiny Forest as part of patient therapy.

The Tiny Forest science days include learning about:

• Wildlife in the forest including butterflies, bees, and bugs
• How trees can capture and store carbon from the air we breathe
• The forest’s ability to store water
• The cooling benefits of the trees
• The restorative power of nature

When planting this Tiny Forest, Earthwatch Tiny Forest Project Manager, Ben Williams, expressed his hopes for the future use of this forest:

“We hope that hospital staff, patients and visitors will be using the Tiny Forest in years to come to help out with their own clinical journeys, as well as for leisure and recreation.”

Ben Williams, Tiny Forest Project Manager

And in the two years that passed since then, the feedback from patients and staff has been fantastic. Staff shared:

“Patients really look forward to visiting the Tiny Forest each week. They enjoy taking part in the surveys and Science Days. This has made them feel valued”.

“I enjoy going there not just with the people we support but also going on my own. I like going round there as I find it relaxing, it takes you away from other things and lets you focus on nature”.

Littlemore Mental Health Centre staff

Learn more about our Tiny Forest programme and how to get involved.

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