Wolverhampton is home to 12 Tiny Forests, the most in the West Midlands, with each forest made up of 600 densely planted native trees covering a space the size of a tennis court.
The forests have been planted at locations across the city thanks to a partnership between the City of Wolverhampton Council, Severn Trent and environmental charity Earthwatch Europe. Further support for the sites has come from the OVO Foundation, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and MINI Electric.
To help track the benefits of the forests, and record the wildlife and nature found there, Earthwatch is encouraging local people to take part in its Biodiversity Week from Saturday 21 May to Sunday 29 May.
Anyone interested can find surveys to complete on Earthwatch’s website, and go along to their nearest forest to record the wildlife and nature they see there.
There are 3 Biodiversity Week surveys, a butterfly survey, pollinator survey and ground dweller survey. Each survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and residents can carry out as many or as few as they like.
Surveys can be completed on site using a mobile phone or downloaded and completed in paper form. Results will be gathered by Earthwatch and published online.
10 out of the 12 Tiny Forests in Wolverhampton have been planted by Severn Trent in celebration of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. As Birmingham 2022’s Official Nature and Carbon Neutral Supporter, Severn Trent, supported Earthwatch, has created 72 Tiny Forests across the Midlands – one for each of the nations and territories competing in the Games.
Councillor Steve Evans, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Environment and Climate Change, said: “It’s been great to see Tiny Forests appearing across the city, giving pockets of trees to improve biodiversity and for communities of all ages to enjoy.
“Earthwatch have created this special week to give anyone interested the chance to get into their local forest and see what is happening among the trees.
“By taking part in the surveys, people can spend some meaningful time outside – enjoy the fresh air and green space as well as provide important data for Earthwatch to help them understand the environmental challenges we face and look for solutions.”
Severn Trent’s Forest Delivery Manager Ricky Dallow added: “We really enjoyed planting our Tiny Forests in Wolverhampton. As a company that takes care of one of life’s essentials, we’re committed to making a positive impact on the communities and the environment where we live and work and these Tiny Forests are going to be a real asset to the region.”
Residents can explore Tiny Forests in the council’s parks and open spaces at Ashmore Park in Wednesfield, Heath Town Park in Heath Town, Coleman Street Open Space in Whitmore Reans, Haggar Street Open Space in Blakenhall, Warstones Green in Penn, Moseley Road Open Space in Bilston and Oak Street Open Space in Merridale. The forests are in enclosed areas of around 200sqm, about the size of a tennis court.
Other forests are at Smestow Academy in Castlecroft, Moseley Park Academy, Loxdale Primary School and Bilston Church of England Primary School in Bilston; these will be surveyed by pupils. The final Tiny Forest in the city is at Little Oaks Day Nursery in Oxley which will be surveyed by the nursery staff and pupils.
To find the surveys for Biodiversity Week and more details about the project, visit Earthwatch’s website.