Earlier this year Scotland’s first ‘Tiny Forest’ was planted at Avenue End Rd in Easterhouse on the outskirts of Glasgow. Earthwatch Europe worked with the Seven Lochs Project and Glasgow City Council (GCC) to create the forest, which will be looked after by local schoolchildren and volunteers from The Conservation Volunteers Scotland.

What is a Tiny Forest? 

This Scottish forest is part of Earthwatch Europe‘s efforts to kickstart Tiny Forest planting across the UK. Tiny Forests are densely packed native forests no bigger than a tennis court, generally planted in underused urban spaces using a method developed by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki in the 1970s. They bring the benefits of a forest – reconnecting people with nature and raising awareness, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, as well as providing nature-rich habitat patches to support urban wildlife – right into the heart of our cities and urban spaces. 

As well as the Easterhouse project, Earthwatch have planted Tiny Forests in Birmingham, Leicester, Wolverhampton and London. The programme, which is funded by the OVO Foundation’s £1m Climate Changers Programme, will see 12 Tiny Forests established in some of the most deprived areas of the UK.  As well as planting Tiny Forests the project will involve 1,200 young people in monitoring the Forests. These young ‘citizen scientists’ will collect data on carbon absorption, flood mitigation, thermal comfort and biodiversity, as well as assessing the forest’s social and wellbeing benefits. 

Wee forests across Scotland

This idea of planting small forests in underused urban space has now been picked up through a new ‘Wee Forests’ initiative led by NatureScot. Working with a range of Scottish Local Delivery Partners Nature Scot plan to deliver 10 demonstration Wee Forests from Ayrshire to Aberdeen.  In partnership with Glasgow City Council and the Green Action Trust, this project will plant three new wee forests in Glasgow’s urban landscape as part of the legacy from the COP26 climate conference.

NatureScot estimates that, working with a Local Delivery Partner, each Wee Forest costs about £20K - £25K.  As well as the trees themselves, this includes the costs of infrastructure like paths, a fence, benches and information board; but more importantly, staff time to encourage and support the involvement of local schools, communities and residents, as well as organising the preparation, planting and maintenance of the Wee Forest itself. This all takes time but is a crucial part of the method. 

Mighty forests from tiny forests grow

Importantly Easterhouse’s Tiny Forest is also part of the Clyde Climate Forest project. Spanning the Glasgow City Region this project aims to plant 18 million trees across Glasgow City Region as part of a new urban forest. Each Tiny Forest that takes root in the region helps achieve this target and we hope to see many more of them popping up across the area. 

Supporting the Clyde Climate Forest

You can help the Clyde Climate Forest grow mighty by making a crowdfund donation on MyParkScotland.