Partnering with you to create Tiny Forests in the UK
What is a Tiny Forest?
A Tiny Forest is a dense and fast-growing native woodland the size of a tennis court. They are an oasis for plants, insects, birds and small mammals and serve as an inspiring space for outdoor learning and a social point for the community. Trees provide a wealth of benefits for people and the environment, and they have an important role to play in helping mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Each Tiny Forest is planted with over 600 varieties of local species of trees, shrubs and plants to encourage wildlife back to the area, as well as helping process rainfall and capture carbon. All trees and plants are specially selected to suit the site conditions. The tree-planting methodology encourages rapid growth and minimises maintenance so that the forest can be quickly established and easily looked after by a team of local volunteers.
Why is Vaillant partnering to create Tiny Forests?
Here at Vaillant UK, we’ve always taken our Corporate Social Responsibility seriously. We’ve supported many charitable causes, from donating heating products to hospices, to supporting customers and staff in their fundraising activities. But we want to go further and make sure we’re supporting every aspect of the communities where we operate.
Climate change has been a huge issue for several years and now with 310₁ local councils declaring climate emergencies, something needs to be done. We have partnered with Tiny Forests to help mitigate climate change, create well-being spaces in urban areas and bring hundreds of plants and animals back to the area. A Tiny Forest can process up to 30,000 litres of rainwater, helping areas prone to flooding, and they can absorb up to 600kg of carbon making them perfect for built up environments.
We also understand the importance of engaging with communities. Tiny Forests are designed to be useful spaces for the community that will use it. They could form a nature pathway, an educational area for local schools and a general well-being area for locals to get away from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives. A Tiny Forest is planted by the community and is looked after for the first two years by 10 local volunteers whilst it is establishing itself, so a Tiny Forest can become the heart of the community.
Steve Cipriano, Commercial Director at Vaillant, said: “Supporting the local communities in which Vaillant operates has been a long-standing commitment for the business and we are always looking for new ways to make a tangible change.
“If there is one point that has come out of the past year, it is how important green spaces are to our well-being. This first Vaillant Tiny Forest aims to make a real difference to those living in the area, providing them with a space to create, maintain and enjoy. Looking ahead, we’re already excited about future Tiny Forests and working with social housing providers, local authorities and specifiers to create even more urban greenspaces across the country.”
Planting our first Tiny Forests
Approximately 570 trees and shrubs featuring 21 different species have been planted in our very first Tiny Forest in the Winter Gardens in Glasgow Green, Scotland. Each species has been selected to create a fast-growing, native woodland, with the eventual space comprising of the four forest layers: shrub, understory, subcanopy and canopy. The cell-grown saplings have all been locally sourced from Alba Trees in East Lothian, meaning they are hardy enough to thrive in even the harshest Scottish winters, and include alders, oaks, and pines to form the uppermost level through to hawthorn, hazel, and rowans in the lower shrubbed areas.
To ensure the planting session was a complete success, the Vaillant team was joined by volunteers of all ages from across the region to position each plant following a carefully designed layout that will ensure that it will quickly become established.
Going forward, the Tiny Forest will continue to provide much needed city-centre green space for educational and well-being activities. It will also provide a location for schools and local communities to assess the scientific impact of having biodiverse areas, like this one, incorporated into an urban landscape. The Tiny Forest will also contribute towards Vaillant’s Corporate Social Responsibility and the local council’s carbon footprint reduction.
Due to its central location, out first Tiny Forest also forms part of Glasgow City Council’s COP26 Sustainable Glasgow Storymap, showcasing sustainable projects across the city.
Interested in planting your own Tiny Forest?
Get in touch to see how we can help you with your own Tiny Forest