Ladywell Fields now has a ‘Tiny Forest’ of 600 saplings, planted in November 2022 as a result of a partnership between Earthwatch, Lewisham Council and Ladywell Fields User Group (LFUG), writes Caroline Cupitt.
A Tiny Forest is a dense, fast-growing, native woodland made up of 600 trees planted in a tennis court-sized plot. They are not only an attractive location for wildlife but are great for people to enjoy as well, and can provide a range of benefits in the fight against climate change.
If you haven’t seen it yet, head for the western side of the middle field, and alongside Dressington Avenue, you will find it on one of the mounds.
The wooden fence will be there for the first three years to protect the trees and will then be removed. At this point the trees should be over 3m high and have formed a small self-sustaining woodland, which will take roughly 20 years to reach maturity (ordinarily this process takes up to 200 years!)
The rapid growth is the result of using the ‘Miyawaki Method’ of reafforestation, established by the Japanese Ecologist, Akara Miyawaki. His approach is now being promoted in Europe as a means to plant intensively in urban settings.
LFUG now has permission to extend the planted area by about 30% to cover the whole of the mound.
Volunteers are currently double digging the ground to reduce soil compaction, ready to plant another 200 saplings in December this year.
This is a low budget, community-led version of the original scheme, following the same principles . If you would like to be involved, please email email@example.com