First tiny forest in borough helps fight climate change
The community has joined together to help plant Haringey’s first tiny forest as part of council efforts to tackle climate change.
Local volunteers were joined by Deputy Leader Cllr Mike Hakata, Earthwatch Europe and American Express colleagues to transform a plot the size of a tennis court in White Hart Lane Recreation Ground yesterday (27 October).
Around 600 native saplings from Hornbeam, English Oak and Silver Birch to Hazel, Hawthorn and Willow were planted in the fast growing and dense forest. The space was finished off with a mulching layer, and several benches are being installed.
Tiny forests store carbon in trees, mitigate flooding and heat stress, attract wildlife, improve air quality and provide an accessible green space and outdoor classroom for local communities to connect with nature.
Co-designed with the council’s tree and nature conservation team, and funded by American Express, the L-shaped tiny forest is the 150th established in the UK by charity Earthwatch Europe and only the 10th in London.
The council has set out targets to increase tree canopy cover to 30 per cent in all wards and plant at least 10,000 trees by 2030 to kick start this process.
Plans are well advanced to plant 2,000 new trees this year alone as part of council efforts to tackle the climate emergency and become a net zero borough.
Cllr Mike Hakata, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Environment and Transport, said:
“We’re proud that this 150th milestone is being celebrated here in Haringey. It’s been great to see the community come together to establish this amazing tiny forest within White Hart Lane Recreation Ground and I’m excited to see it grow and flourish over the coming years. This pocket of nature will bring huge benefits to the whole area – a fantastic place where people can relax, watch wildlife and learn more about nature and climate issues. We aim to increase tree canopy cover to 30 per cent in all wards so this tiny forest is an important addition in Woodside Ward and will play a pivotal role in creating a greener and healthier future for generations to come.”
Hannah Lewis, UK Country Manager at American Express said:
“We are committed to supporting climate action through community giving and engage thousands of colleagues globally in sustainability. In the UK, we’re delighted to be involved in Earthwatch’s programme and the creation of the 150th Tiny Forest. Despite being small, these thriving and climate-resilient areas can make a huge impact, reconnecting people in the communities where we live and work with nature, and providing nature-rich habitats for urban wildlife.”
Louise Hartley, Senior Programme Manager at Earthwatch Europe said:
“Today is a celebration of reaching the 150 Tiny Forest milestone, and we’re grateful to all our partners like Haringey Council and American Express for helping us to hit this target early. Each Tiny Forest that we plant has a positive impact on its community and we’re looking forward to working with the local community in Haringey to care for their new Tiny Forest. We’ve achieved so much in just two years and we’re looking to build on this success so that many more communities can benefit from our Tiny Forest programme.”
Tiny forests are based on an established forest management method developed in the 1970s by Japanese botanist Dr Akira Miyawaki.
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