Borough’s first Tiny Forest planted in Queens Park

Published Friday, 28 January 2022

The borough’s first Tiny Forest has been planted in Hinckley’s Queens Park with help from youngsters from three local schools.

The Borough Council has worked with Earthwatch Europe - which is pioneering Tiny Forest in the UK - to plant the new tennis court sized forest in the park, with plans underway to introduce more Tiny Forests to other parks and open spaces across Hinckley and the wider borough throughout this year. 

Over 20 native tree species, including oak, wild service, birch, alder, hazel, blackthorn, rowan, and lime have been planted by youngsters from St Peter’s, Dorothy Goodman and St Mary’s schools, borough councillors, local volunteers and contractors at a special planting session this week. 

The Tiny Forest will provide an oasis for wildlife and connect people with nature in their local area. This Tiny Forest is funded by the Defra Green Recovery Challenge Fund.

Ben Williams, Tiny Forest Project Manager at Earthwatch explained:

We are delighted to be planting the Queen’s Park Tiny Forest with the schoolchildren. Tiny Forest is like an outdoor classroom, equipping both teachers and children with knowledge and skills to understand the natural world and take positive environmental action. 

With the ongoing help of the local community, we will also collect data from the Queen’s Park Tiny Forest, contributing to our scientific understanding of the environmental and social benefits of Tiny Forest in the UK, including carbon capture, thermal comfort, biodiversity, water regulation and connection to nature.

Ms Alison Parry, Year five and six class teacher from St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Hinckley said:

The children have been learning about sustainability, recycling and growth as part of our Food for Life initiative so planting trees and getting out into the fresh air is a good way of improving their understanding. They will all enjoy watching the trees grow and mature in the future.

Executive Member for Green Spaces at the Borough Council, Councillor Bill Crooks said:

I’m really pleased that Queens Park was selected as the first site for this great new initiative. Planting trees has enormous benefits for future generations so it was good to come along and join the youngsters getting involved in planting these trees. The trees are important habitats for wildlife and they also help mitigate the impacts of climate change by providing shade and absorbing carbon acting as the lungs of our planet. Spending an hour tree planting is not only good fun but it is an investment in our future. My thanks to Earthwatch and everyone who volunteered their time to help. I’m looking forward to seeing more Tiny Forests springing up around the borough this year.