“Wouldn’t it be lovely if all the new housing estates that are being built had a tiny area of woodland in among the houses?”
Earthwatch Europe has devised a wonderfully clever idea:
Last month, it launched its first project in Witney, Oxfordshire:
UK’S FIRST-EVER TINY FOREST SEEKS TO DELIVER BIG BENEFITS FOR PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Our cities are under increasing pressure from extreme weather events such as floods and heatwaves, as well as biodiversity loss. These issues have serious and long-term impacts on the environment, economy and society, and are only expected to worsen in the face of climate change and rapidly growing urban populations.
However, Tiny Forests provide an innovative, nature-based solution to these challenges, with direct links to local government and businesses’ climate and biodiversity strategies. Despite their small size, they deliver significant tangible benefits, including flood mitigation, improved air quality, noise reduction near busy roads, havens for wildlife, and spaces for people to connect with nature.
Scientific modelling shows that just four years after planting, a single Tiny Forest will:
- Grow up to 5x faster compared to traditional monoculture tree-planting schemes
- Absorb up to 30x more carbon compared to traditional planting schemes
- Attract more than 500 species of animals and plants – in addition to those planted
- Process 30,000 litres of rainfall
- Improve air quality through dust reduction
- Provide up to 30x better noise reduction compared to traditional planting schemes
- Help with thermal comfort
The weekend i newspaper took us deeper into the new forests of Britain:
‘A whole community will be able to use the forest’: How scheme to plant hundreds of trees alongside housing developments is taking root
Whether its a tree in the back garden or volunteering to help plant a new forest, every little bit helps
“Wouldn’t it be lovely if all the new housing estates that are being built had a tiny area of woodland in among the houses?” says Tania Kirby, who helped plant the first of 100 ‘tiny forests’ planned for the UK last month. Together with dozens of fellow locals, charity worker Ms Kirby helped plant 600 native trees, including oak, birch, elder, crab apple and blackthorn – all in an area the size of a tennis court on a housing development in Witney, a town near Oxford. “I was really shocked when I saw how small it was but it has a massive impact. Not only in its capacity for oxygenation but in the way it can instantly take people out into nature. “A massive community of people will be able to use the forest – sitting on the benches, being within the trees – and yet they’re in the middle of a housing estate,” she said.
Tiny forests are at the smaller end of a wide spectrum of tree planting projects planned for the UK in the next three decades…