AN East End community is now home to Scotland’s first Tiny Forest – one of a dozen around the UK bringing green benefits to deprived areas.

Sited on Avenue End Road in Easterhouse, the forest is no bigger than a tennis court but organisers promising significant boosts from the scheme.

It forms part of Earthwatch Europe’s scheme to plant hundreds of Tiny Forests across urban areas of the UK by 2023.

Clara Stevenson, Programmes and Partnership Director at Earthwatch Europe, said: “Tiny Forests provide rich opportunities for connecting young people with the environment and sustainability.

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“It’s vital that we give people the knowledge and skills to protect our natural world and inspire them to take positive action from a young age.

Earthwatch Europe has worked with Glasgow City Council and the Seven Lochs Project to create the forest, which will be looked after by volunteers from The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) Scotland and local schoolchildren.

The forest is funded by OVO Foundation and the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund.

It is hoped the forests will educate 9000 children on global and local environmental challenges and support 1200 young people in conducting scientific monitoring of each Tiny Forest.

Councillor Maureen Burke, chairwoman of the Seven Lochs Partnership, said: “I’m delighted to be working with Earthwatch to bring a Tiny Forest to Easterhouse and the Seven Lochs.

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“It will be an excellent opportunity for local children to learn about the importance of trees and forests in fighting climate change.

“It’s also great that this project is going ahead in the year that the COP26 climate conference is coming to Glasgow, and I hope that this will be the first of many Tiny ­Forests in the city”.

As well as connecting schools and communities with nature, Earthwatch will draw on its experience of engaging members of the public – citizen scientists – to collect scientific data to assess the benefits of Tiny Forests in urban spaces.

With the help of young people from local schools, Earthwatch will collect data on: carbon absorption, flood mitigation, thermal comfort and biodiversity, as well as assess the social and wellbeing benefits.

The Seven Lochs Project is an initiative to create a new heritage and nature park that spans the Glasgow City / North Lanarkshire council boundary between Easterhouse, Coatbridge and Stepps,

Supported by a £4.5 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will improve places for people and nature, and help more people learn about nature on their doorstep.

The Easterhouse Tiny Forest is next to three primary schools and two additional support needs schools, and will be used by pupils for a range of outdoor learning activities.

Caroline Silke, Head of OVO Foundation, said: “We’re passionate about educating the younger generation on how to reduce their carbon footprint, protect the physical environment, and limit their impact on the planet.

Tiny Forests help children learn about the environment and sustainability in a really accessible way.

“By planting 12 Tiny Forests in urban communities across the UK with Earthwatch, we will help ­connect children with their local green spaces and show them how they can protect it for future ­generations.”