Credit: IVN Natuureducatie

What is Tiny Forest?

Earthwatch Europe is pioneering Tiny Forest in the UK and is part of the global Tiny Forest Network. We are working in partnership with IVN Natuureducatie who are leading the delivery of Tiny Forest in Europe.

A Tiny Forest is a dense, fast-growing native woodland, the size of a tennis court. It is based on an established forest management method developing in the 1970s by Japanese botanist Dr Akira Miyawaki.

Tiny Forest brings the benefits of a forest – connecting people with nature, raising awareness of the environment, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, as well as supporting urban wildlife – right into the heart of our cities and urban spaces.

We work with partners – including businesses, local authorities, schools and communities – to plant, maintain and monitor their Tiny Forest.

Tiny Forest is an urban nature-based solution

Environmental issues such as flooding, heat stress and loss of biodiversity are increasingly affecting urban areas.

Creating thriving and climate-resilient urban areas that support economic growth, whilst also enhancing livelihoods and wellbeing, is a considerable challenge. Tiny Forest can play a part in facing this challenge.

We collect scientific data for each Tiny Forest to assess the environmental and social benefits of trees in urban settings, including carbon capture, thermal comfort, biodiversity, water regulation and connection to nature. We train volunteers as citizen scientists to help our researchers collect these data.

Photo: London's first Tiny Forest with Earthwatch, Fever-Tree and Hammersmith and Fulham Council, March 2021. Credit: Fever-Tree.

Tiny Forest is an outdoor classroom

Some children spend as little as 16 minutes outside a day; yet more and more of them are speaking out about their concerns for the environment.

Tiny Forest provides an outdoor learning resource to complement classroom education. Our learning and science experts deliver training sessions for teachers, as well as assemblies and classes for school children. This experience equips both teachers and children with the knowledge and skills to understand the natural world and take positive environmental action.

Photo: School bubble in Leicester get their hands muddy planting their own Tiny Forest, March 2021. Credit: Leicester City Council.

Tiny Forest is growing

Earthwatch planted the UK’s first Tiny Forest in March 2020 in Oxfordshire, with partner Witney Town Council. Since then we have continued to plant more and more Tiny Forests across the country in collaboration with a wide range of amazing partners. You can see how our Tiny Forest network has grown with our map of sites.

We are seeking more visionary partners to establish even more Tiny Forest this coming planting season. If you would like to help establish a Tiny Forest in your area, get in touch.

Photo: The UK’s first Tiny Forest in Witney, Oxfordshire six months after planting, October 2020. Credit: Earthwatch.

© 2018 Earthwatch Institute. All rights reserved. Earthwatch Institute (Europe) is a registered charity in England and Wales, no. 1094467.