Tiny Forest community planting signals beginning of Hermitage eco-park development

Published: Wed 6 December, 2023

(left to right) Adam Goodall from Leicestershire County Council, Paul Sanders Head of Community Services at North West Leicestershire District Council, Councillor Wyatt, Emily Napier, Emily Pennifold, Grace Gale from Earthwatch, Henry Pearson LCC and Councillor Moult.

Local schools and communities teamed up to plant trees for the Tiny Forest, contributing to North West Leicestershire District Council's (NWLDC) eco-park development at Hermitage Recreation Ground.

Community planting took place on Wednesday 29 November which saw local people plant around 600 native trees in a 200 square metre area.
It marks the start of the development of the eco-park on the Hermitage Recreation Ground between Whitwick and Coalville Leisure Centre and the Hermitage Lake.

Promoted 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.

The funding for the project came from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and the Woodland Trust. Earthwatch delivered the scheme in partnership with NWLDC and Leicestershire County Council.

Councillor Michael Wyatt, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change at NWLDC, said: “The planting of the Tiny Forest fits with our vision in creating a biodiverse area that benefits the community as well as contributing positively to the environment.

“It was great to see so many people from the local community unite to make a positive impact towards the future of our green district.

“I am looking forward to the people of North West Leicestershire seeing the further developments of the eco-park to create an exciting and ecofriendly visitor destination”.

Gordon McFarlane, Assistant Director for Corporate Services at Leicestershire County Council said: “The creation of this new tiny forest is a wonderful addition to the area.

“It will support wildlife and biodiversity, improve air quality, provide a valuable resource for the community, and help to make Leicestershire a cleaner and greener place to live and work.

“It is a perfect example of partnership working, and we are delighted to be able to work with our colleagues at North West Leicestershire District Council on this project.”