A Tiny Forest is a field of 200 m2 consisting of a wide variety of tree species. This diverse population of trees attracts a wide variety of insects, birds and other animals. In 2017, research by the Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR) showed that a Tiny Forest has a stimulating effect on biodiversity.
In 2019, citizen scientists and ecologists discovered 600 different species in ten different tiny forests. The study still continues today and the final research report by the Wageningen University and Research will be available in December 2021. The report will show the effects of a Tiny Forest on biodiversity, carbon sequestering, heat island effect and water retention.
A Tiny Forest also brings the experience of nature closer to people’s daily lives. The gap between humans and their natural environment has never been as big as it is today. A Tiny Forest across the street piques people’s curiosity and gives them the opportunity to discover and learn about nature in their own living environment. Tiny Forests also have major benefits for the city’s climate. They increase the area’s water storage capacity, improve air quality, and help moderate the effects of heat stress. And last but not least, a forest also has a positive effect on human health: more nature in people’s surroundings can help reduce stress and stress-related health problems.
In October 2015, IVN invited Indian engineer Shubhendu Sharma to visit the Netherlands. The aim of his visit was to prepare the very first Tiny Forest in the Netherlands. We planted the first Dutch Tiny Forest in Zaanstad in December 2015. This was done together with the municipality, Hoek landscaping, schoolchildren and local resident.
We made a mini documentary about this amazing first experience: