Around 600 tree saplings have been planted in Loughborough to create a ‘Tiny Forest’ in the town.
Charnwood Borough Council has worked in partnership with environmental charity Earthwatch Europe, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and MINI Electric on the project which has seen hundreds of native trees planted on Holt Drive in Loughborough.
A Tiny Forest is a dense, fast-growing woodland made up of 600 native trees planted in an area the size of a tennis court. They provide a range of benefits to the local wildlife and the community by connecting people with nature, raising awareness of the environment, and helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Cllr Roy Rollings, lead member for transformation with responsibility for the Council’s campaign to become Carbon Neutral by 2030 said: “The Tiny Forest initiative is a fantastic and innovative project which we are incredibly proud to be involved with.
“Trees have a positive impact on our local community and help to improve the quality of air. This project is a great way to help people to connect with nature and understand issues around biodiversity and sustainability.
“It forms part of the Council’s commitment to ensure 100,000 trees are planted in the borough by 2024 but also to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2030.”
The project has been funded by DEFRA’s Green Recovery Fund Challenge and MINI Electric. A total of 18 native tree species have been planted on site, including oak, elm, hazel, lime, rowan and birch.
The planting method used for a Tiny Forest, encourages fast tree growth by planting native trees closely together without the use of chemicals or fertilisers.
The Tiny Forest was planted by local school children and volunteers in the community.
Cllr Jenny Bokor, the Council’s lead member for Loughborough said: “We are immensely proud to be working in partnership with Earthwatch to bring a Tiny Forest to Loughborough.
“As well as creating an important place for wildlife to flourish in the town, this tiny pocket of nature will provide natural green space for the whole community to enjoy.
“A huge thank you to all of the school children and local volunteers involved in planting the Tiny Forest. We are committed to looking after our environment and open spaces for future generations and I can’t wait to watch it grow in years to come.”
The first Tiny Forest in the UK was planted in Witney, Oxfordshire in March 2020.
Earthwatch Europe’s Tiny Forest programme manager Louise Hartley said:
“Loughborough’s Tiny Forest will give the community an amazing opportunity to reconnect with nature on their doorstep. It will also play a vital part in our scientific research into how we can mitigate the effects of climate change.”
David George, director, MINI UK & Ireland said “Creative use of space is at the heart of MINI, so the partnership between MINI Electric and Earthwatch Europe to plant Tiny Forests is a perfect fit. We’re really excited about how Tiny Forests can bring communities together and help educate on the important role biodiversity plays in sustainability.”
Earthwatch is an official friend of the Queen’s Green Canopy which is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
The project invites people from across the United Kingdom to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’.
Loughborough’s Tiny Forest will be recognised as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy network.
For more information about the project please visit: www.charnwood.gov.uk/tinyforest