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

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.
Tiny forest planting

Step 1:

Planting

We plant dense, fast-growing native bushlands, based on an established forest management method.

Tiny forest engaging

Step 2:

Engaging

We engage business and community to cultivate and monitor each forest over time. This connects people with nature and raises awareness of biodiversity loss and climate change.

Tiny forest collecting

Step 3:

Collecting

We collect environmental and social data relating to every forest we plant, to assess the benefits they provide over time and between forests.

Benefits

  • Corporate Sustainability
    Corporate Sustainability
    Compliant with ESG, CSR and well-being agendas
  • Environmental Action
    Environmental Action
    Visible markers of environmental action, including increasing biodiversity & carbon capture
  • Scientific Data
    Scientific Data
    Citizen science activities contribute to global research on nature-based solutions to climate-proof our cities
  • Employee Engagement
    Employee Engagement
    Purpose-led nature-rich activities for employee engagement, motivation and retention
  • Strategy Links
    Strategy Links
    Direct links to local and national sustainability and environmental strategies
  • SDG Alignment
    SDG Alignment
    Aligns with 6 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (listed below)

How to get involved

We have various partnership and funding options to help you establish and be involved with a Tiny Forest.
Business and philanthropy

Tiny Forests: The next green step for business 

Tiny Forests are your corporate leadership billboard in action against climate change and biodiversity loss. Businesses can address their CSR and ESG requirements and empower employees to connect with nature by becoming a Tiny Forest partner. Earthwatch is uniquely positioned to support businesses with their responses to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For decades, we’ve worked with well-known companies around the world from a diverse array of sectors to foster environmental leadership and build a more sustainable future.  

Join the movement and donate to invest in the Tiny Forest program6 Tiny Forests will engage and empower 1000 people to protect nature 

We have various partnership and funding options to help you establish a Tiny Forest - Get in touch to find out how you can get involved, or see our FAQ to learn more. 

Councils, schools, property developers (and other land owners)

Earthwatch is currently building a pipeline of available Tiny Forest sites; and councils, schools and property developers are in the unique position of having that intersection between land and community engagement.
Tiny Forests serve as inspiring outdoor learning classrooms for communities, who will be engaged in the planting, maintaining and ongoing scientific monitoring of the forests, to quantify the benefits they provide. By actively partaking in the success of the forest, communities appreciate the true value of trees and biodiversity, creating stewards for their ongoing conservation. 

To understand more about how the program works, and the site requirements, please read our handbook

Tiny Forest Handbook

Volunteers

Help care for a Tiny Forest in your local area. Opportunities range from surveying and collecting data, to maintaining the forest. At this stage, volunteer opportunities are limited, but will grow as our network of Tiny Forests grow

Don’t fit into any of those boxes? You can still help. Donate big, or small (or tiny!) to help us grow our network of Tiny Forests across Australia. 

Super Tiny. Super Powerful

Discover how a Tiny Forest is more than just trees
Why Tiny Forests

Sustained urban land clearing in Australia has resulted in habitat fragmentation, species extinction, biodiversity loss and rising temperatures. Nevertheless, research shows that our cities hold substantially more threatened species (per unit area) than rural areas.

The decline of green canopy also means Australian city dwellers face a much hotter future. Major heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest natural hazards, particularly for cities, with a lack of trees causing “heat islands”. With 68% of Australia’s population predicted to live in cities by 2050, our cities may soon become unliveable.

There is an urgent need to increase nature-based solutions for urban resilience, including engaging and educating the community in understanding the true value of biodiversity, and how individuals can play an important role in contributing to the urban forest.

The Research

Tiny Forests will be established following 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. Small patches of land, about the size of a tennis court, are first prepared through soil testing and enrichment by using additives such as compost, coconut coir and chopped straw. A vegetation assessment ensures only indigenous species are selected, with the aim for as high diversity as possible. Planting occurs at much higher density than traditional forests, at about 3-5 plants per m2. 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

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG Goals

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Earthwatch Australia acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this nation. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which our company is located and where we conduct our business. We pay our respects to ancestors and Elders, past and present.

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