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“Wee Forests” created in Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council, Earthwatch Europe, NatureScot and Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust have kickstarted planting “Wee Forests”, a project building densely packed native forests in urban spaces.

A Wee Forest is made up of 600 densely packed native trees in a space the size of a tennis court and is capable of attracting over 500 animal and plant species within the first three years. It also provides rich opportunities for engaging young and old alike with the environment and sustainability.

These forests have been made possible through support from the BlackRock Charitable Trust, the OVO Foundation, and the Scottish Government.

Edinburgh’s first three “Wee Forests” were planted recently at East Pilton Park, West Pilton Park and Mount Vernon. Supported by the help of local residents and primary school pupils – the tiny forests will work as attractive locations for wildlife, people, and provide a range of benefits in the fight against climate change.

Wee Forests in Scotland are part of the global family of “Miyawaki Forests” or “Tiny Forests”. Following the method – with its emphasis on community engagement, co-design and careful soil preparation – means that Wee Forests meet a consistent global standard so their benefits can be measured and shared.

Culture and Communities Convener, Cllr Donald Wilson, said: “These new Wee Forests will allow residents to be directly involved in tackling the nature and climate crises by being involved in the planting, maintaining and development of the forests in their own community.

“The Wee Forests will also help us work towards our goal of being a Million Tree City by 2030 and contribute towards the Queen’s Green Canopy in celebration of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year.”

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