Using small spaces creatively – this approach has been deeply engrained in MINI’s DNA for over 60 years. Together with the non-profit organisation Earthwatch Europe, MINI Great Britain is supporting the sustainable "Tiny Forest" initiative and continuing its commitment to urban green spaces and boosting biodiversity. MINI has funded and planted its first “Tiny Forest”, near to a MINI production site in Swindon, England. With this partnership, MINI wants to raise awareness for local environmental projects and call for a responsible approach to nature. The next MINI Tiny Forest will be planted near the home of the MINI Plant in Oxford in 2022.
Conveying knowledge, inspiring people.
“Tiny Forests provide rich opportunities for connecting young and old alike with the environment and sustainability”, explains Louise Hartley, Tiny Forest Programme Manager at Earthwatch Europe. “It is 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 UK to bring these inspiring spaces to Swindon and Oxford.”
An accessible mini ecosystem.
Like the fully electric MINI, tiny forests also impress with a maximum of efficiency in a minimum of space. 600 trees are planted extremely densely on an area the size of a tennis court and can grow completely naturally in this way. This achieves up to 30 per cent more density, ten times quicker growth and thirty times better absorption of carbon dioxide. This, in turn, will attract more than 500 animal and plant species over the next three years and transform the tiny forest into an accessible miniature ecosystem.
“MINI are really excited to partner with Earthwatch Europe to plant tiny forests in our local communities in Swindon and Oxford”, says David George, Director, MINI Great Britain & Ireland. “For over 61 years we have made cars using resources responsibly and to maximum effect. Our shared values of sustainability and bringing people and nature together is what makes this such a great partnership.”
At one with the community.
Thanks to the support from students and helpers with a thirst for knowledge, Earthwatch Europe will be able to collect a wealth of data in the tiny forest over the next two years, to learn more about such important topics as carbon dioxide absorption, thermal comfort, biodiversity and the social value of these green spaces in an urban context. The collaboration with local institutions is at the heart of all these endeavours.
“We were very keen to join the Tiny Forest project as its focus is to work with the local community in monitoring the development of the trees”, explains Councillor Chris Watts. “We hope the tiny forest will become a unique feature for our community that will be visited by many people from across Swindon.”
Children, in particular, are set to learn more about how important trees really are for humans and the natural world – and what we can all do to protect them. After all, great things can be done in small spaces.