Micro-forests set to be planted across Plymouth as part of special project


A handful of micro-forests are set to be planted right across Plymouth thanks to some special grant funding.

It comes as the Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest was successful in its bid to deliver what is hopefully the first of many Miyawaki Forests, funded by the King’s Coronation Living Heritage Fund.

The Council have been granted £50k for the project from a special pot administered by DEFRA to celebrate King Charles III love of nature.

The money will be used in conjunction with local community interest company SocieTree CIC to plant up to six ‘Miyawaki’ Forests in Plymouth.

Miyawaki Forests are small trees planted very densely over an area the size of a tennis court. They encourage rapid growth, improves biodiversity and in the appropriate location, can help with flood management.

Cllr Tom Briars-Delve, Cabinet member for the Environment and Climate Change, said: “I welcome all funding for more trees in Plymouth but I think this grant is really special.

“It will go towards planting in a way we haven’t experienced in Plymouth before, and we look forward to working with Societree CIC to see the project flourish.”

Steve Warren-Brown, Founder of Societree CIC, added: “The Societree team are delighted to have been awarded this funding. Whilst we are a start up we have been on a four-year journey, and this funding endorses our plan, which is to plant 96 micro-forests into 96 schools.

“This will kick-start our campaign and the work will impact on hundreds of children for years to come, and hopefully inspire others to get involved with our unique project.”

As part of the delivery of the project, the money will be transferred to Societree for delivery. All the schemes are to be delivered in this planting season 2023/2024.

The locations of the Miyawaki Forests are still being scoped by Societree CIC. The planned locations are most likely to be in parks and schools, but this has not yet been finalised.

The Plymouth and South Devon Community Forest is England’s 11th Community Forest and will eventually stretch from the heart of the city to the edge of the moor, encompassing 1,900 hectares of land to form a mosaic of different forest habitats.

Unlike traditional forests, the community forest isn’t geographically restricted to one place. Instead, it encompasses a mix of community woodland, private woodland, on street, urban woodland, wooded habitat corridors and hedgerows.

Since 2020, over 8,000 trees have been planted in Plymouth alone, across more than 100 locations with 3,500 more trees set to go in the ground this winter.

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