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Peterborough to plant first Tiny Forest

22 February 2024

Peterborough City Council is to plant its first Tiny Forest in the city, following a successful funding bid application to the Forestry Commission’s Local Authority Treescapes Fund (LATF).

The Tiny Forest, which will be on part of the John Clare Recreation Ground, off Hallfields Lane in Gunthorpe, is being planted in a partnership between Peterborough City Council and environmental charity Earthwatch Europe. It is part of the Council’s wider aspiration to provide a 25 per cent canopy cover of trees over the city by 2035, which would mean the planting of an additional 37,400 trees over the next 11 years.

A Tiny Forest consists of 600 fast-growing native trees planted densely in a tennis-court size plot. According to data from Earthwatch, each Tiny Forest can attract over 500 animal and plant species within the first three years.

But Tiny Forests are not only great homes for butterflies, birds, bees and other wildlife, they also provide a place for local people to connect with, and learn about, nature. Since 2020, EarthWatch has worked with partners and communities across the UK to plant over 200 Tiny Forests.

Councillor Gavin Elsey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Climate Change, said:

“We’re delighted to have secured the funds to enable us to plant our first Tiny Forest in Peterborough and look forward to working with Earthwatch to get the trees in the ground. Not only will it encourage wildlife into our city, but it will also provide a fantastic place for our communities to get closer to nature and take time out away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

“The planting of the Tiny Forest will also be a great opportunity to get local communities involved in the planting of new trees encouraging them to get to know and use the site from day one. I’m really looking forward to seeing our new Tiny Forest flourish.”

The new Tiny Forest will be part of 4,400 trees planted by Peterborough City Council, across the city this current planting season 2023/24.

This first Tiny Forest will be planted on Friday 22 March 2024 and will be a planting pilot to explore further opportunities elsewhere across the city.

Earthwatch is supporting the Council’s specialist tree team on the project.

Louise Hartley, Tiny Forest Programme Manager at Earthwatch Europe, said:

“Tiny Forest provides rich opportunities for connecting young and old alike with the environment and sustainability. It’s vital that we give people the knowledge and skills to protect our natural world and inspire them to take positive action. We are delighted to be working with Peterborough City Council to bring these inspiring spaces to Peterborough.”