Eel Brook SW6 Tiny Forest Planting day
Eel Brook Tiny Forest SW6
December 8, 2022
Pictured above: children of Fulham Bilingual planting and naming the trees
What a very special day the 8th December 2022 turned out to be. The Eel Brook Common Tiny Forest planting day. Around 50 volunteers gave their time to plant the trees and spread the mulch. It was a very cold and frosty day but the sun shone down on us . A huge thanks to 21 Grams Coffee who gave away free coffees in the Marston Properties bamboo e-coffee cups and Brook House Restaurant and bar for giving us all delicious mince pies. With the sparkling frost on the ground and the red baubles and Marston bunting on the stock fencing around the ‘forest’ it all felt very seasonal and Christmassy.
What is a Tiny Forest ?
A Tiny Forest is a dense fast-growing native woodland, based on an established forest management method developed in the 1970s by Dr Akira Miyawaki. Earthwatch engage with local communities to plant, maintain and monitor their forest over time. The forests reconnect people with nature and raise awareness of climate change. Environmental and social data is collected for every forest we plant, this helps us assess the benefits they provide over time and between different forests.
Could we have our very own Tiny Forest in South Fulham ?
The idea came during the 2020 Covid lockdown as a result of our having to cancel our anniversary party to celebrate 125 years of being in business in Fulham. How else could we mark the occasion – it had to be something local to SW6. We started talking to Hammersmith and Fulham Council Environment Department in the summer of 2020 about the possibility of finding space for a Tiny Forest on Eel Brook Common. At the first one in the Borough was already underway in Hammersmith Park sponsored by Fever Tree .
Marston Properties committed to sponsoring the Eel Brook Tiny Forest - the third Tiny Forest in the Borough.
The Hammersmith and Fulham Park department were extremely supportive and once we found the right spot on the Common agreements were signed very quickly. It left the neighbours of the Common to whip up volunteers to help plant the 600 baby trees( called whips).
The nearest primary schools were invited to join in and Fulham Bilingual School duly turned up ready to get muddy. The thirty or so children from year 3 were like chattering starlings giving each tree they planted a name – there was a Queenie and an Elizabeth . Asked at the end what they thought one girl said ‘I loved it , it was even better than my birthday !’
The great thing is that the other nearby schools who were unable to come on the day will be able to get involved during the coming years. There is a special seating area and something to look out for every month. From worms and creepy crawlies to butterflies and the all important pollinators. Quite apart from the trees and shrubs bursting in to leaf in the spring .
Left to right: Cllr Adrian Pascu-Tulbure, Cllr Jose Afonso ,Caroline Marston of Marston Properties Ltd and Emily Pennifold of Earthwatch
There is also the scientific data to collect measuring the improved biodiversity, carbon storage within the growing trees, flood management and thermal comfort . This will be done by the local ‘Tree Keepers’ and the data fed back to Earthwatch who will use it to collaborate between governments, policymakers, businesses, civil society and scientists is essential if we are to tackle complex environmental challenges. Earthwatch Europe helps make this happen. Using a blend of science and engagement, they deliver experiences that educate and produce impactful results to halt environmental decline. Thank you to Jane Rampin and Ed Nemeshanyi for sticking with us and making it happen and Emily Pennifold for ensuring the trees were planted and that we all had fun.
A massive thank you to the Hammersmith and Fulham Council Environment Department especially Pauline McCormack the Area Parks Manager for seeing that it happened and Silvera Williams and Phoebe Shaw Stewart the Parks project officers, all three of whom came and helped plant and spread the huge pile of mulch.
We were very honoured that Councillor Harcourt , The Hammersmith and Fulham Council Cabinet member for Climate Change and Ecology was able to come and help us on the day as well.
Thank you also to our Ward Councillors Jose Afonso and Adrian Pascu-Tulbure for not just your continued support but for planting some trees too !
The Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham now have three Tiny Forests – the aim is to get to ten. We need seven more sponsors .
If you have had enough talking about the climate emergency and would rather get on and do something then a Tiny Forest could be just what you are looking for !
Contact Contact - Earthwatch Europe
pictured below :Norman Joseph and Tony Gaughan of Marston Properties Ltd
020 7736 7133