10 March 2023

Creating thriving green spaces in urban places - Tiny Forests planted in Peckham Rye & Common

  • 1,200 trees planted to create two Tiny Forests at Peckham Rye Park & Common

  • Two local schools and 125 community members join planting day

  • New forest planted in honour of Queen Elizabeth II


Funding Circle, Southwark Council, and The Danson Foundation have partnered with environmental charity, Earthwatch Europe to establish new Tiny Forests in Peckham Rye Park & Common, which will also become part of the Queen’s Green Canopy. 

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. 

At Peckham Rye Park & Common, two Tiny Forests were planted next to each other but using a slightly different planting method to be able to compare how each side grows. The planting day on Wednesday 8th March was a huge success - the two Tiny Forests, or 1,200 trees, were planted with the help of children from James Allen’s Girls Prep and St Mary Magdalene C Of E Primary School, as well as 125 members of the local community, with free tickets sold out a week before the event.

To support the partnership, Funding Circle provided 50% of the funding needed to bring the Peckham Tiny Forests to life. Volunteers from Funding Circle took part in the planting day and will join a citizen science day to monitor the progress of the project.

Tiny forests are based on an established forest management method developed in the 1970s by Japanese botanist Dr Akira Miyawaki. To create new Tiny Forests, Earthwatch identifies suitable sites in locations where nature is most needed, working with partners, local councils, community groups and schools to plan, design, prepare, plant, maintain and monitor their local forest. Earthwatch has now planted over 170 Tiny Forests; with a goal to plant 500 Tiny Forests across Europe by 2030.

Grace Gale, Tiny Forest Project Coordinator at Earthwatch said: “We’re so pleased to bring another two Tiny Forests to London. We had such a great time with the children and members of the local community who helped to create these fantastic forests. Each Tiny Forest that we plant has a positive impact on its community and we’re looking forward to working with the local schools and communities to care for their new Tiny Forest. Following the planting day, we train volunteers to become Tree Keepers who help look after the forests and we invite local people to take part in Science Days to help monitor the growth and health of their Tiny Forests.” 

Tom Parachini, Global Head of Legal and Regulatory at Funding Circle said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the fantastic work of Earthwatch and the Tiny Forest programme, and are excited to be co-funding the project to bring this tiny forest to life. Thirty people from Funding Circle got involved on planting day and it was thoroughly enjoyable. At Funding Circle, we are committed to do our part in addressing climate change and environmental issues. We look forward to seeing the wellbeing and engagement benefits this partnership will bring to the local community.”

Funding Circle helps small businesses win by providing them with access to the finance they need through its leading lending platform. Funding Circle believes that small businesses are at the centre of our communities and is proud to be co-funding the Peckham project.


For more information


Funding Circle

Funding Circle is a lending platform for small business borrowers. Established in the UK in 2010, and now the leading lending platform to SMEs, the Group also has a material and growing presence in the US. Globally, Funding Circle has provided £15.2bn in loans to c.135,000 businesses.

For small business borrowers, Funding Circle provides a leading-edge customer experience, delivered through its technology, machine learning, and data science, coupled with a human touch. Its solutions continue to help customers access the funding they need to succeed. For lending investors, Funding Circle provides access to an alternative asset class in an underserved market and delivers robust and attractive returns.

Earthwatch Europe

Earthwatch is an environmental charity with science at its heart. We drive the change needed to live within our means and in balance with nature. We do this by:

  • Connecting people with the natural world

  • Monitoring the health of our natural resources

  • Informing the actions that will have the greatest positive impact

For more information visit earthwatch.org.uk

Tiny Forests

Tiny Forest brings the benefits of woodland right into the heart of our cities and urban spaces: connecting people with nature, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, as well as providing nature-rich habitat to support urban wildlife.

Earthwatch is pioneering Tiny Forest in the UK and is conducting a UK-wide research study to help us understand how these super tiny woods have the potential to be super powerful.