Skip to content
Archived news

Select a month and year to view archived news stories.

Leicester’s network of Tiny Forests continues to grow

Pupils helping to plant the new Tiny Forest

LEICESTER’S network of Tiny Forests is continuing to grow thanks to a partnership between the city council and a leading environmental charity.

Over the last three years, Leicester City Council has been working with environmental charity Earthwatch Europe to bring their Tiny Forest programme to life at 25 local schools, and now at the first city park.

At each of the sites, pupils, staff and other volunteers have helped to plant hundreds of new trees in small plots no bigger than a tennis court. Each Tiny Forest has 600 trees – including Wych Elm, Oak, Silver Birch, Hawthorn, and Broom – and is designed to attract over 500 animal and plant species within the first three years.

They also provide outdoor classrooms and accessible green spaces to help allow local communities and schoolchildren to connect with nature.

Leicester was one of the first cities in the UK to take part in the programme, when its first Tiny Forest was planted at Queensmead Primary Academy, in Braunstone, three years ago.

The latest Tiny Forest to take root will be at Willowbrook Park, in Thurnby Lodge, with children from two local schools lending a hand with planting the new trees.

Five new schools and colleges will also be planting a Tiny Forest on their grounds, including City of Leicester College, Gateway College, Inglehurst Junior School, Judgemeadow Community College, and Tudor Grange Samworth Academy.

This will bring the city’s total number of Tiny Forests to 26.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on transport, clean air and climate emergency, said: “The city’s Tiny Forests are a huge boost to the city’s green infrastructure and have tremendous educational and environmental benefits.

“I am really proud that Leicester now boasts 26 Tiny Forests across the city – that represents the planting of thousands of new trees in the heart of local communities.

“As well as creating an important habitat for wildlife, Tiny Forests provide a tremendous resource, building on the environmental education provided as part of our citywide Eco-Schools programme. It is a very tangible way of helping young people connect with vital issues around biodiversity, sustainability and the climate emergency.”

Ben Williams, Senior Project Manager for Earthwatch Europe, said: “We’re so pleased to be back in Leicester working with the community to create and care for more Tiny Forests. The way the community here have embraced the Tiny Forest movement has been truly inspiring. Each of Leicester’s 26 Tiny Forests provides the benefit of a natural forest in the heart of the city – they’re fantastic for wildlife and they give people the opportunity to connect with nature on their doorstep.”

Tiny Forests are based on an established forest management method developed in the 1970s by Japanese botanist Dr Akira Miyawaki. To create new Tiny Forests, Earthwatch identifies suitable sites in locations where nature is most needed, working with partners, local councils, community groups and schools to plan, design, prepare, plant, maintain and monitor their local forest.

By 2030, Earthwatch aims to have planted 500 Tiny Forests across Europe.

Leicester’s latest six Tiny Forests have been planted with support from the Local Authorities Treescape Fund.