Introducing Tiny Forests
Tiny Forests are densely packed patches of native bushland the size of a tennis court, right in the heart of our cities. These urban wildlife oases are a unique nature-based solution, reconnecting people with nature and helping to mitigate our urban climate and biodiversity challenges. Using an established planting method (called the Miyawaki method) that includes soil enrichment, diverse indigenous plant selection, and a dense planting structure; Tiny Forests are supercharged, growing up to 10 times faster than traditional forests, and becoming up to 100 times more biodiverse than monoculture forests.
We believe they can make a real difference in Australia
Earthwatch is championing Tiny Forests in Australia, and engaging the local community to help plant, maintain and conduct important research, to better understand the benefits these tiny and mighty forests provide
- Accelerated growth rates
- High biodiversity
- High density
- Thermal cooling
- Improved soil moisture, texture and health
- Stormwater mitigation
- Student and teacher education space
- Community space for education and nature connection
- Improved community wellbeing and liveability
Why Tiny Forests?
Sustained urban land clearing and the decline of green canopy in Australia has caused habitat fragmentation, species extinction, biodiversity loss and rising urban temperatures. Major heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest natural hazards, particularly for cities, with a lack of trees creating “heat islands”. With 68% of Australia’s population predicted to live in cities by 2050, our cities may soon become unliveable.
Nature-based solutions for urban resilience, such as Tiny Forests, engage and educate the community in understanding the true value of biodiversity, and how individuals can play an important role in contributing to the urban forest.
Tiny Forest establishment follows a particular planting method, called the Miyawaki method, including adaptions of the method to suit the Australian context and local site conditions.
The Miyawaki method was first developed in the 1970s by Dr Akira Miyawaki, and it is a particularly valuable method for urban greening. The combination of soil enrichment and a dense planting structure results in accelerated growth, about 10 times faster than traditional forests. As the forest establishes and thickens, biodiversity levels rapidly increase, and the maintenance requirements decrease.
Through structured and facilitated citizen science days, data will be collected in the following areas to help understand the benefits of the planting methodology:
- Biodiversity (pollinators and ground dwellers)
- Soil moisture, and soil texture
- Growth rate and carbon content
- Thermal comfort
- Feedback and wellbeing survey
Visit the Tiny Forest global website to learn more about our first Tiny Forest sites in Australia.