Forest Hill nature enthusiasts will be thrilled to hear that a 300 metre squared portion of the Horniman Gardens, Forest Hill, will be transformed into a carbon-cutting micro-forest.
The Horniman, a collection of grounds and museums, will start the planting this week, in the hope of creating new wildlife habitats that protect the gardens from pollution.
The development comes after a target-busting £25,000 fundraising appeal, led by television presenter and Horniman ambassador Joe Swift since February 2021.
Errol Fernandes, Head of Horticulture at the Horniman Museum and Garden said: “We’re excited to be creating this important new habitat and environmental buffer.
“We’re incredibly thankful to everyone who supported our appeal and played a vital part in creating something that will benefit our local environment for decades to come.”
The micro-forest, planted alongside the A205, will be grown using the Miyawaki method, a technique developed by Japanese ecologist Akira Miyawaki.
By forcing plant life to compete for the sun, the technique prompts the growth of dense woodland, ideal for absorbing carbon emissions.
Meanwhile, the garden’s eastern section will become a woodland, replete with coppiced hazel with meadow grassland featuring snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells.
The woodland will take fifteen to twenty years to fully mature but lush vegetation will become clearly visible in the next three to five.
The Horniman was opened in 1901 by tea trade and philanthropist Frederick John Horniman who hoped to “bring the world to Forest Hill”.
On July 29 2019, the organisation declared a climate emergency, promising to make carbon reduction and environmental protection a top priority.