Our Miyawaki Mini Forest

A new creation for HBUF in 2022 is our ‘Miyawaki’ mini forest. Akira Miyawaki was a Japanese botanist and plant ecologist who was interested in how plant species interact with each other within communities. He came up with a technique for restoring degraded land by the very dense planting of native species, planting trees and other native species far more closely together than we would normally do.

We have already planted hundreds of native trees and thousands of wildflowers on HBUF, much of it on what used to be allotments. We decided to put our own twist on the idea, creating a Miyawaki mini forest of fruit.

The mini forest has several layers of fruit, starting with gooseberries and currants down at ground level, with plums, cherries, apples, pears, hazel and sweet chestnut rising above them.

The Miyawaki Forest is nestled between the Orchard and the Wildflower Meadow

We’ve selected a range of different varieties too. Each one is ready to harvest at a slightly different time of year, which should give us fruit throughout the season.

HBUF is here for the benefit of all the community. In years to come you’ll be able to wander through and pick a bit of fresh fruit to go with your picnic.

If you are interested in the idea of a Miyawaki Forest, here are a couple of links that tell you a bit more about it:

Fast-growing mini-forests spring up in Europe to aid climate (Guardian)

The Miyawaki Method for Creating Forests

Our Miyawaki Mini Forest