Tiny forests to be planted in 12 Dutch municipalities
Of the 55 Dutch municipalities who applied to partner with nature organisation IVN, the first 12 have been selected. The municipalities will plant 56 tiny forests in the next three years with the help of the IVN, schools and local residents.
Painting the town green
Tiny forests are areas about the size of a tennis court of densely grown forest. They are not only good for butterflies, birds, bees, other small mammals and biodiversity in general; they also help with water storage during heavy rainfall. The tiny forests also provide shade on sunny days and a place for children to learn about Dutch nature.
The tiny forests consist of 40 different types of native trees and shrubs and the planting of them will begin in November. The IVN’s goal is to plant 100 tiny forests by 2021.
These forests ensure a healthier living environment and will hopefully bring locals closer together and closer to nature. This is especially important in a time when urbanisation, digitalisation and our hectic lives have made the gap between man and nature bigger than ever.
Selecting Dutch municipalities
In June, the IVN made an announcement, calling upon Dutch municipalities to apply to become a partner for the tiny forests initiative. In total, 55 municipalities applied and now the first 12 have been selected. Those municipalities who did not make the cut this time around can reapply in the spring of 2019 for the remaining 12 partnership places.
The 24 municipalities partnering with the IVN must plant at least four tiny forests. The first 12 municipalities, which will begin the planting of their first tiny forests in November, are Almere, Alphen aan den Rijn, Apeldoorn, Den Bosch, Goes, Groningen, Hardenberg, Leiden, Maastricht, Meppel, Uithoorn and Utrecht.
Wageningen University is currently researching the effect that tiny forests have on biodiversity, heat stress, water storage and CO2 storage. So far, two pilots have revealed that they attract a lot of animals, ranging from small insects to moles.