Severn Trent launch exciting opportunity for schools and community groups in the West Midlands to have their own Tiny Forest as part of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games legacy
Friday 9th July
Severn Trent has officially launched its Land Portal enabling schools and community groups to express their interest in hosting one of the 72 Tiny Forest sites planned to be created across the West Midlands.
As Birmingham 2022’s Official Nature & Carbon Neutral Supporter, Severn Trent is responsible for delivering a series of initiatives that will help offset the carbon generated by the Games and leave a positive social and environmental legacy of sustainability in the Midlands.
Environmental charity, Earthwatch Europe, will be supporting Severn Trent in the delivery of the Tiny Forests. Tiny Forest follow the methodology of Japanese botanist Akria Miyawaki and will see 600 native trees planted densely in each tennis court sized plot of land, helping to maximise the biodiversity benefits per square metre of land.
The forests will play an important role in supporting environmental education across the Midlands. As part of this, citizen scientists, from the local community, will be invited to help collect data and assess the benefits of the Tiny Forest in their area, including carbon absorption, flood management and the benefit on biodiversity.
Earthwatch will provide training and resources for the school to help use the Tiny Forest as an inspiring outdoor classroom, with hands-on workshops allowing children to learn first-hand about nature and the environment.
Liv Garfield, CEO of Severn Trent said: ‘’Ever since we launched our partnership with Birmingham 2022 back in March we’ve been asked how people can get involved, so we’re absolutely thrilled to reach the really exciting stage of the project where we’re ready to hear from schools and community groups who are interested in hosting one of the Tiny Forests.
“The last 18 months have highlighted how important access to nature is, and we hope that each of these areas will not only help to deliver a legacy for the games but also provide 72 green spaces for communities to enjoy long into the future.”
Local schools and community groups in the West Midlands can now express an interest in hosting a Tiny Forest through Severn Trent’s Land Portal. Applications require permission from the land owner, once the site has been registered a member of the Forest Delivery team will be in touch within 72 hours.
Liv added: “Our role in helping to make Birmingham 2022 the most sustainable games ever allows us to build on our existing work and ambitions to deliver lasting social and environmental change, and partnering with specialists such as Earthwatch will be vital to ensuring the project is a success.”
Ian Reid, Chief Executive Officer, Birmingham 2022 said: “Part of the pledge that we made in March, was to leave a positive social and environmental legacy of sustainability, so we’re really excited to work together with Severn Trent and Earthwatch Europe on the Tiny Forest project.
“This standout initiative is part of a wider plan to help us deliver the first ever carbon-neutral Commonwealth Games, which will set a benchmark for future international multi-sport events and provide a tangible environmental benefit to our local communities.”
Maria Pontes, Programmes and Partnerships Director at Earthwatch said: “This partnership with Severn Trent is hugely exciting for Earthwatch. Tiny Forest – and the work we do alongside it to inspire school children through outdoor education – offers exciting ways of bringing communities together and connecting thousands of people with the nature on their doorstep. We are delighted to play a role in building this legacy of environmental sustainability in the Midlands.”
Land applications can be made using the Land Portal link here.
Severn Trent’s Forest Delivery Team are also available to answer any questions and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org