The Guinness Partnership is the first housing association to support this new initiative, where native trees and shrubs are densely planted in a small urban area to connect communities with nature, help mitigate the impacts of climate change and improve biodiversity.
Once a suitable housing development is identified, although the land will still belong to Guinness, an agreement is made with Earthwatch to give them licence to carry out the planting and development of the site.
Each Tiny Forest will be about the size of a tennis court and will be protected for 10 years.
Local community volunteers will help with the initial planting, and Earthwatch will then encourage local people to act as ‘citizen scientists’.
This involves training them to monitor the benefits these forests can provide, such as carbon absorption and improving biodiversity.
The data gathered will help scientists better understand the role nature can play in an urban landscape and will bring real benefits to the local community, through education and engagement.
Cecily Church, Sustainability manager at The Guinness Partnership said: “We are very proud to be the first Housing Association to sign up to this initiative, which reinforces our commitment to improving the environmental impact of our work.
“It will really make a difference in improving air quality for our residents, and for others living in the surrounding areas.”
Louise Hartley, Tiny Forest Programme manager at Earthwatch Europe said: “Housing associations are facing a huge challenge in delivering thousands of new homes whilst tackling the environmental impacts of the sector.
“So we are delighted to be working with the Guinness Partnership on Tiny Forest to bring nature-rich spaces to their new and existing developments.”
The first Tiny Forest at a Guinness development will be unveiled later in the year.
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