A ‘tiny forest’ is to be planted in North West Leicestershire, as Leicestershire County Council continues to work towards its goal of helping to plant 700,000 trees across the county.
The council is working in partnership with North West Leicestershire District Council and Earthwatch UK to plan the miniature woodland on the Hermitage Recreation Ground in Whitwick, as part of a wider project by the district council to develop an eco-park on the site.
The tiny forest will be made up of around 600 trees and will increase and support the natural habitat and biodiversity of the area. It will be a vital part of the eco-park, which will also feature natural footpaths, and activity areas to encourage families to visit.
The trees will all be native species and will be planted close together to encourage growth. Once established, the tiny forest will help to absorb carbon and provide a home for wildlife.
Community involvement is a key part of the tiny forest project, with the local community and young people being encouraged to get involved in the planting of the trees and their ongoing care. Several sessions have already been held to give people of all ages – including a session specially for children and young people – the opportunity to get involved with the development of the site and to identify improvements they would like to see.
The tiny forest is being funded by a grant from the Forestry Commission’s Treescapes Fund, which is being used for a number of other planting initiatives across the county, plus an in-kind contribution of £7,000 from North West Leicestershire District Council.
It is being developed as part of the wider eco-park project, which is being led by North West Leicestershire District Council to create a visitor destination, increase biodiversity and improve accessibility in the area.
The creation of this new tiny forest on the Hermitage Recreation Ground will be the first in Leicestershire that we as a council have been involved in, and will be a wonderful addition to the area.
It will provide the local community with a green space for walking and exercising, as well as supporting wildlife and biodiversity, improving air quality, and helping to make Leicestershire a cleaner and greener place to live and work.
It is a perfect example of partnership working, and will also give a big boost to our goal of planting a tree for every person in the county.
Person:Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for the environment and the green agenda
Councillor Michael Wyatt, portfolio holder for Community Services at North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “It’s great to be working in partnership with Leicestershire County Council and Earthwatch UK on the tiny forest as part of our plans to develop an eco-park at Hermitage Recreation Ground.
“By involving the community, we hope that the project will leave a lasting legacy and continue to teach children about the importance of biodiversity.
“Planting the tiny forest is just one of the many ways we are committed to working towards being a net zero carbon district by 2050 and creating more community green spaces.”