School children help plant a Tiny Forest for the future

Photo left to right Cllr Will Simpson, Cllr Naheed Mather, resident Tyler Hawkins and Cllr Musarrat Khan

Kirklees has a brand new Tiny Forest thanks to our partnership with OVO Foundation, the charity arm of OVO Energy. The district’s first Tiny Forest has been planted at Harpe Inge Open Space, Dalton.

What is a Tiny Forest?

These densely packed native woodlands, featuring approximately 600 trees and shrubs, are built into urban spaces the size of a tennis court.

When was it planted?

Kirklees’ first Tiny Forest was planted on Wednesday 8 December by council park rangers on behalf of environmental charity Earthwatch Europe. With the help of members of the community, local school children from Netherhall St. James Church of England Infant and Nursery and Councillors’ Naheed Mather, Will Simpson and Musarrat Khan.

The Tiny Forest will provide benefits to all local school children who will be able to visit their growing trees, see the wildlife it attracts and collect data for Earthwatch too, all from the dedicated outside classroom.

Local residents will also benefit as volunteers are sought from the local community to help with looking after this fast-growing Tiny Forest as official Tree Keepers.

There will also be community events run by Earthwatch giving residents the opportunity to learn more about the forest and take part in scientific monitoring.

Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Environment said:

“I’m delighted to be involved with such a visionary project that has brought the first Tiny Forest to Kirklees. “I was thrilled to take part in the community planting and I look forward to watching the trees grow and seeing the positive impact they will bring to the community in Dalton.”

Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees said:

“This is a fantastic project which is bringing a forest, usually associated with the countryside into a much more urban environment.

“Trees provide a wealth of benefits for people and the environment and have an important role to play in mitigating the impacts of climate change. Additionally, this Tiny Forest will bring about learning opportunities for local residents and school children.

“Created for the whole community, I hope residents will cherish the Tiny Forest and enjoy watching it grow and spotting the wildlife it will hopefully attract.”

Gaby Sethi, Head of OVO Foundation, said:

“We’re passionate about educating the younger generation on how to reduce their carbon footprint, protect the physical environment, and limit their impact on the planet.

Tiny Forests help children learn about the environment and sustainability in a really accessible way.  By planting Tiny Forests in urban communities across the UK with Earthwatch, we will help connect children with their local green spaces and show them how they can protect it for future generations.”

Louise Hartley, Programme Manager at Earthwatch Europe, said:

“Tiny Forests provide rich opportunities for connecting young people 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 from a young age. We are delighted to be working with OVO Foundation and Kirklees Council to bring these inspiring spaces to Kirklees, and other communities across the UK.”

If you are interested in being involved in the Tiny Forest, please email gill.logan@kirklees.gov.uk