Volunteers plant innovative Tiny Forest at Peterborough community centre

Volunteers from PECT and the wider community have come together to plant an innovative Tiny Forest at a Peterborough community centre.

Wednesday, 9th December 2020, 4:17 am
Tony Cook from PECT with volunteers planting a 'Tiny Forest' at Nene Valley Community Centre, Candy Street, Woodston

The project was initiated by the Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) in partnership with Peterborough Football and Sports Development Foundation, Peterborough City Council and The Tree Council and the planting took place on Sunday and Monday (November 7-8).

The teams, alongside volunteers, planted a variety of wildflowers and around 600 trees as part of a Tiny Forest, which is designed to replicate the growing patterns of native woodland but on a miniature scale.

The idea comes first from Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, who has planted more than 1000 such forests across Japan, Malaysia and other parts of Asia since 1980.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Tony Cook from PECT with volunteers planting a 'Tiny Forest' at Nene Valley Community Centre, Candy Street, Woodston

At Nene Valley, a tennis court sized area was used to plant a variety of diverse and native plants and saplings close together in a small area. The advantages of using native plants to create layers that mimic a natural forest include greater variety of wildlife and a more resilient ecosystem.

PECT’s Natural Environment Lead, Tony Cook, said: “Tiny Forests are quite new in the UK but are like a diverse community all working together, with the benefit of the whole community growing better as a result.

“They create a place for the many different species to come together in an unusually small area and where they live throughout their lifecycle; short-lived trees and shrubs still only live their short lives but they do so supporting the establishment of the next generation of longer-lived trees and shrubs. This is how it works in nature.

“It was a fantastic effort from the community of tree planting volunteers; they planted 600 trees and over 20 different native species of tree and shrubs”

Volunteers planting a 'Tiny Forest' at Nene Valley Community Centre, Candy Street, Woodston

“It was wonderful to see the community of volunteers come together to plant a family of trees; what is amazing about this project is that the community of trees will grow better as a consequence of them being so close together.”

“What a great message this is, we all grow better when we are in a community that supports our growth.”

Moving forward, PECT have set an ambitious target of planting 230,000 trees in and around the city by 2030.

To find out more about PECT’s projects, visit www.pect.org.uk.