New ‘Tiny Forest’ created in Westerhope Park

Tiny Forest planting in Westerhope Park

Thursday 15 February marked the beginning of an exciting new project in Westerhope Park that will see the creation of a new ‘Tiny Forest’ in the city’s green space.

Part of The North East Community Forest (NECF) initiative – a multi-million pound collaborative partnership between local authorities, combined authorities, and national, regional and local charities and agencies to plant tens of thousands of trees over the next 30 years – the Tiny Forest in Westerhope Park will provide local wildlife and people in the city with a new area of woodland to enjoy.

Pupils from Beech Hill Primary School in West Denton joined us, Earthwatch Europe, and the North East Community Forest team, to begin planting the 600 trees. When complete, the Tiny Forest will be approximately 200m2 – the size of a tennis court.

In total more than 5,000 new trees will be planted in Tiny Forests across the region.

Carol Pyrah, Chief Executive of Urban Green Newcastle, said: “Providing opportunities for people to enjoy and benefit from the amazing green spaces we have in the city is central to the work we do at Urban Green Newcastle. That’s why we’re delighted to be part of this exciting project with partners from across the region.

“The Tiny Forest initiative not only allows communities to participate in the planting, it’s also an area where local people can continue to care for and maintain the trees, which really helps communities feel connected to their local park and green space.”

Each Tiny Forest is based on the ‘Miyawaki Method’, which uses species of trees that would occur naturally in an area and that work together to create a diverse, multi-layered forest community. The trees are densely planted to encourage growth.

Local communities can help maintain and monitor the forest over time, helping connect people to nature and raise awareness of climate change.

Cllr Marion Williams, Cabinet Member for a Connected, Clean City, Newcastle City Council said: “It is fantastic to see the Tiny Forest project get underway. The involvement of the local community in the planting and maintenance of these forests are key to their success and it was great to see so many people out in support of it. The long-term goal is to give local communities a new area of woodland to enjoy as well as support wildlife and help improve air quality.”

Ben Williams, Senior Project Manager at Earthwatch Europe said: “We’re excited to plant two Tiny Forests here in Newcastle this week together with North East Community Forest and our partner local authorities – creating accessible green spaces that people of all ages can enjoy for decades to come. Tiny Forests are amazing community assets and provide an opportunity for people to make a real positive impact by supporting nature and biodiversity on their doorstep. Helping the trees take root and watching them flourish creates a very special connection with the forest and the wildlife that calls it their home.”

Urban Green Newcastle is just one of a number of partners helping to create these exciting new spaces for nature and people in our region. Tiny Forests is led by Earthwatch Europe and the North East Community Forest in partnership with the local authorities in Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside, and Sunderland, further supported by Living Woods and the Freemen of Newcastle upon Tyne.

If you’d like to find out more about the Tiny Forest in Westerhope Park and support with its ongoing maintenance and upkeep, please email info@urbangreennewcastle.org.