Tiny Forest is a project run by Earthwatch Europe. Building and monitoring small woodland plots in inner-city spaces across the UK; it aims to bring people closer to nature, providing a diverse habitat to support urban wildlife while helping mitigate the impacts of climate change.
On Thursday 4 November, Vanessa, Project Manager for the Tiny Forest programme, introduced locals and our Prime volunteers to the Perry Common site. Planted in March 2021 in collaboration with Birmingham City Council, the plot features an outdoor classroom area, over twenty species of trees and brand-new monitoring equipment funded by the Prime Foundation.
This funding was generated through Prime’s work delivering a new specialist facility at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as well as a new multi-storey car park for the City Hospital Birmingham.
Neil Bailey, Director of Philanthropy at Earthwatch Europe, said, ‘We are most grateful to the Prime Foundation for engaging early on with Tiny Forests and for their generous support in providing essential teacher resources which empower educators to provide inspiring environmental and outdoor learning. These crucial resources provide hands-on STEM and cross curricular activities to engage teachers and students in the climate and biodiversity crises and to take positive action for the planet. We also value our ongoing connection with the Prime Foundation and hope to be working with them again as we engage more communities and companies with Tiny Forests over the coming years.’
For the community engagement session that day, we were shown how to gather data on flood management, thermal comfort and soil properties. This data was then uploaded to Earthwatch Europe’s database, which will be compared to data across the UK taken from other Tiny Forest sites, and benchmarked year on year giving the team valuable information to use in their work assessing the environmental benefits of trees in urban settings.
According to Macarena, our scientific guide for the day, the biodiversity of the area is set to change and develop over the next year – with 600 trees already in the ground, and the possibility of attracting over 500 animal and plant species within the next three years, there’ll be plenty more activities to get involved with as time goes on.