Tiny Forest marks the start of eco-park for Hermitage

Published: Fri 10 November, 2023

Councillors planting trees at the Tiny Forest at Hermitage Eco-Park

Work to create an eco-park on the Hermitage Recreation Ground has started – with the planting of a Tiny Forest.

Championed by environmental charity Earthwatch Europe, Tiny Forests are dense fast-growing native woodland, aimed at benefiting the local community and making a positive contribution to the local green environment.

Councillors from North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC), started the planting, ahead of a community planting day on Wednesday 29 November.

Local people are invited to join students from four local primary schools and Stephenson College to plant the trees that will grow into the Tiny Forest, including hazel, hawthorn, birch and oak.

Around 600 trees will be planted in an area about the size of a tennis court between Whitwick and Coalville Leisure Centre and the Hermitage Lake. The forest will be rich in biodiversity, and it’s expected that around 300 plant and animal species will be attracted to it within the first three years.

To register for the Tiny Forest community planting day, just email community.focus@nwleicestershire.gov.uk or call 01530 454 627.

Development of an eco-park

Over the next six months more improvements will turn the site into an eco-park for the community, adding to the facilities that are already in place.

  • Trim trail – activity nodes and outdoor play equipment along footpaths for walking and running
  • Interactive interpretation boards
  • Thousands of additional trees planted (as well as the Tiny Forest)
  • Five additional footpaths and a footbridge between Whitwick and Coalville Leisure Centre and Hermitage Recreation Ground to improve accessibility and connectivity.

Councillor Michael Wyatt, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “The planting of this Tiny Forest marks the start of our work to create an eco-park at Hermitage Recreation Ground, which is something local people have told us they support. The concept is positive environmentally and fits with our vision for the site. I hope local people are able to get involved with the community planting day on Wednesday 29 November and that people look after the forest and the park as it grows.”

Louise Hartley, Tiny Forest Programme Manager at Earthwatch Europe, said: “Tiny Forest provides rich opportunities for connecting young and old alike with the environment and sustainability. It’s vital that we give people the knowledge and skills to protect our natural world and inspire them to take positive action. We are delighted to be working with Leicestershire County Council and North West Leicestershire District Council to bring these inspiring spaces to Coalville.”