On 6 December the latest MINI Tiny Forest was planted at NHS Littlemore Mental Health Hospital, near MINI's historic Plant Oxford, in partnerships with Green Templeton College and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. Young apprentices from the plant and patients from the hospital helped to plant the 600 densely packed native trees, plants and ground cover, which should attract hundreds of new animal and plant species over the coming years.
David George, Director of MINI UK says, “Creative use of space is at the heart of MINI, so the partnership between MINI Electric and Earthwatch Europe to plant Tiny Forests is a perfect fit. We’re really excited about how Tiny Forests can bring communities together and help educate on the important role biodiversity plays in sustainability.”
Nick Broughton, Chief Executive at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust added, “Over 800 trees are planted across the trust’s sites, absorbing over 38 tons of carbon annually – helping to offset Oxford Health’s overall carbon footprint and contribute to the NHS’ aim to be the world’s first net zero health service.”
“The Trust is delighted to be working with MINI and Tiny Forests to grow our green spaces on sites – making a difference to both the environment and our communities. Providing a calming environment for our patients, visitors and staff is therapeutic and improves mental wellbeing.”
Louise Hartley, Tiny Forest Programme Manager at Earthwatch Europe, said “Tiny Forests provide 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 MINI Electric to bring these inspiring spaces to their local communities of Oxford and Swindon, and across the UK.”
With the help of young people from local schools and the wider community over the next two years, Earthwatch will collect data from the MINI Tiny Forest on carbon absorption, flood mitigation, thermal comfort and biodiversity to conduct research into how Tiny Forests mitigate the effects of climate change. They’ll also assess the social and wellbeing benefits of having this new green space in an urban area.
The MINI Tiny Forest is a tribute to Professor Jeff Burley a renowned forestry scientist and Emeritus Fellow of Green Templeton College. He initiated fundraising through the college’s Fellowship to supply half the trees on this site. The Tiny Forest as a whole will become part of the NHS Forest, a nationwide good practice network for improving and increasing the use of green space in healthcare for social and environmental benefit co-ordinated by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.
Further MINI Tiny Forests are planned for various UK locations in 2022.