Coetiroedd Bach: Tiny Forests in Wales (round 3)

Coetiroedd Bach: Tiny Forests in Wales (round 3)

A grant scheme intended to create Tiny Forests, as part of the Welsh Government’s National Forest.

Page updated on 8 May 2024.


This programme is now closed to new applications. Explore our available funding.

Is this the right scheme for you?

  • Do you own or manage land in Wales, or have written permission from the landowner to apply to this scheme?
  • Are you looking to create a Coetir Bach/Tiny Forest that adheres to Earthwatch’s principles?
  • Can you involve the community with the creation and management of your woodland site?
  • Do you require a grant of up to £40,000 for one site, or up to £250,000 for multiple sites?

If you answered yes to these questions, then the Coetiroedd Bach/Tiny Forests in Wales scheme is for you.


The need to aid nature’s recovery is urgent. Looking after nature and helping people to understand its importance has never been more relevant.

Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests in Wales is a grant scheme as part of the National Forest for Wales programme. We are offering grants of between £10,000 and £40,000 for sites (up to £250,000 for multiple sites) that adhere to Tiny Forest principles.

What is the National Forest for Wales?

The National Forest for Wales is led by the Welsh Government. It will create a network of woodlands and forests throughout Wales, under high quality management.

The National Forest will stretch the length and breadth of Wales. It will include both urban and rural areas – with a commitment to create both Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests and National Forest for Wales woodland sites.

It will deliver a huge range of benefits to the environment, the economy and society:

  • playing an important role in protecting nature and addressing biodiversity loss
  • increasing locally grown timber production – allowing the local forestry industry to thrive, creating jobs and reducing reliance on imported timber
  • providing more places where people can immerse themselves in nature and spend time with their friends and families, and boosting tourism across the breadth of Wales 
  • supporting the health and wellbeing of communities – a working example of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act

Go to our online service to apply now and check the 'how to apply' sections below.

Coetiroedd Bach is the name for Tiny Forests in Wales that are funded through this scheme.

These are new areas of dense, native woodland that follow the Dr Akira Miyawaki method of forest creation. This means woodlands that are well managed, accessible to people and give local communities the opportunity to get involved in the woodland and nature. The forest should be about 200m2 (roughly the size of a tennis court).

A Tiny Forest has specific physical and social characteristics and scientific monitoring practices: 

Physical characteristics 

  • Be approximately 200m2 for the actual Tiny Forest, plus have space for heavy machinery to do preparation work, so the total space may need to be up to 500m2 to be accessible for large machinery. A mini digger is needed for soil preparation, plus truck deliveries of mulching material and other soil supplements.
  • the proposed site is not designated as sensitive in any way such as an SSSI, SAC, Ramsar or others
  • only contains native trees and shrubbery
  • is the product of field and literature research into the most suitable native species locally 
  • has soil that has been prepared according to the Tiny Forest planting method
  • uses no chemicals (fertilisers or pesticides)
  • has approximately 20-25 different tree species 
  • has 3 trees per square metre
  • provides space for the trees to grow undisturbed for at least 10 years (no tree thinning or timber harvesting unless in exceptional circumstances such as disease or safety concerns)
  • has no overhead infrastructure – the trees could grow to 20m or more
  • has no underground infrastructure – the soil typically needs to be excavated to 1m depth, and you must respect utility buffer zones
  • branches, leaves, and dead trees are left to lie where they have fallen  
  • The area can be any shape/orientation, but the forest must not be narrower than 4m across at any given point, without interruptions (such as a path). Long thin plots of land like hedgerow are not suitable for Tiny Forests.
  • Be an open area – we do not want to remove trees to plant new ones. Some scrub or low vegetation is fine, as are trees on the edge of the proposed site as these could potentially be incorporated into the design.  
  • be fenced at least for the first 3 years with access through a gate
  • has a layer of mulch (such as straw) at least 15cm deep  
  • Has a water access point. The trees may need watering during first 2 years of maintenance, so either a water access point must be located nearby or access for a vehicle and water bowser to the site must be possible.
  • does not obstruct people’s right of way – this is because the forest becomes very dense and impassable unless a specific pathway is incorporated into the design
  • be easily accessible to users such as local residents, school children, and employees

Social characteristics

  • includes an outdoor classroom where feasible
  • has a local partner such as a volunteer or community group, or a local authority
  • planted by local residents, corporate employees and/or school children 
  • can be used as a place for local residents to come together and for outdoor lessons with school children
  • enables engagement opportunities for local residents, corporate employees and/or school children 
  • is maintained (weeding/watering/litter picking) by a Tree Keeper team of 4-5 local volunteers for the first 2 years

Monitoring requirements

Using Earthwatch’s methodology, you should carry out monitoring a minimum of twice a year for the first two years after planting, preferably through citizen science. 

You can submit the monitoring data collected to Earthwatch at the end of each growing season. You will be set up with a login to enter the data on the Tiny Forest portal.

This scheme is for organisations, communities and individuals with ownership or management control of small parcels of land, who want to create new small woodlands managed in collaboration with the local community using the Tiny Forests concept.

The scheme will offer:

  • Grants of up to £40,000 per site. The application can cover several sites but each site may not exceed a cost of £40k, and the maximum grant available per application is £250k.
  • up to 100% funding 
  • comprehensive training from Earthwatch Europe to plan and create a Coetir Bach / Tiny Forest (7.5 hours over 3 sessions plus ongoing coaching and support) (essential)
  • membership of the Tiny Forest network led by Earthwatch Europe (essential)
  • capital and revenue funding 
  • support from National Forest for Wales liaison officers about the National Forest for Wales programme and how to demonstrate the outcomes 


The programme is funded by the Welsh Government and managed on their behalf by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Earthwatch Europe is a key partner in delivering training and monitoring of the Tiny Forest standards.

This is mainly a fund to carry out capital works, so the majority of your costs should be capital. Guidance for what counts as revenue and capital costs is available below in the ‘What costs can you apply for?’ section.

The scheme is open to anyone who owns or manages land in Wales, including not-for-profit organisations and private owners. You must have full management control of the land, or written permission from the landowner. You can make an application in partnership with other organisations, or on behalf of a landowner, but the partnership must be legally binding and the lead partner clearly identified. You will also need to have the right permissions, licences and consents in place to undertake activity.

The Heritage Fund Wales Engagement Team and Delivery Partners, Natural Resources Wales and Earthwatch, will be holding three online webinars/information sessions and two Open Days at Coetiroedd Bach sites. 

These information sessions and Open Days are for prospective applicants to come along and ask any questions to the Heritage Fund, National Forest Liaison Officers and Earthwatch (with Tree Wardens also available to share their experiences).


Open Days:

Your project must:

  1. create a Coetir Bach / Tiny Forest that fully meets the Tiny Forest criteria (see the ‘What are Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests?’ section of this guidance)
  2. Deliver accessible woodlands for all to enjoy. The Coetiroedd Bach/ Tiny Forests should be accessible to the community it is within. Schools are welcome to apply and have been supported in previous rounds but need to demonstrate ways they actively involve and enable the community to access the forest through specific activities. 
  3. involve local residents, volunteers, local authorities or schools
  4. maintain the Tiny Forest using a “tree keeper team” of volunteers for at least 2 years after the project has finished
  5. meet the needs of local people as a public space and contribute to ecosystem services within the local area
  6. demonstrate multiple benefits spanning environmental, social, economic and cultural wellbeing 
  7. consider Natural Resources Wales (NRW) area statement maps
  8. check for any sensitivities of the site by referencing the Welsh government's Woodland Opportunities Map

We have a particular interest in: 

  • urban areas that lack green space
  • areas that will enable connection between areas of natural space (such as woodland and high-quality grassland)

This fund is mainly to carry out capital works. A maximum of 13% of each grant can be allocated to revenue spending. In addition, up to 10% of the capital element may be used for project planning and other direct project implementation costs.

Cost Guidance document 

Please refer to the Budget Guidance page to help write your funding application – this guidance includes all costings and budget information to help plan your project costs.

There have been two previous rounds of Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests in Wales, with this third round being the final one.

Round three

  • application deadline: 12 noon on 8 May 2024 
  • decision will be made: early July 2024
  • Earthwatch training sessions (for successful applicants): Monday 15 July and Tuesday 16 July 2024 (times to be confirmed). Attendance is required at both training sessions. Each session will be about three hours long.
  • your project completion date: 31 March 2025

All applicants should contact their region’s National Forest for Wales Liaison Officer for advice, because if your application is successful your Coetir Bach / Tiny Forest will become part of the National Forest. You must also obtain any necessary consents or permissions from local authority, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), or other bodies – such as Cadw – prior to submission of an application.

If you do not have all of your permissions/consents in place, you need to provide evidence that you have applied for consent or permission.

Funding is only released once all consents/permissions have been granted, and grants may be withdrawn if these are not received within six months of the grant award.

Environmental impact assessments

You will not need an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) unless your Coetir Bach / Tiny Forest is to be planted on a designated site. If it is within a designated site, you will need an EIA opinion.

Land ownership

Land ownership must be evidenced. We need to see an up-to-date office copy from the Land Registry showing that you own the land (or for unregistered land, the relevant deeds). These should be attached to your application.

Leased land must be evidenced and we need to see a copy of landowner details and the lease. We also need to see the landowner’s consent that you may undertake the proposed project, including ongoing monitoring and management after completion of the project. You must hold a lease as applicable to that outlined below or the landowner needs to be signed up to the terms of grant.

  • Not for profit organisation: Your lease must have five years left to run after the Project Completion Date
  • Private Owner: Your lease must have at least ten years left to run after the Project Completion Date 

If the subject of your project is land that is owned by a third party or multiple third parties we will usually expect the owner to become a joint grantee. In some situations, rather than make the owner a joint grantee, we may ask them to sign an additional letter agreeing to comply with any terms and conditions that relate to their property.  

In this instance, a legal agreement should also be put in place between each land and the grantee. There is no prescribed form of agreement but we have specific requirements which should be included in any third party owner agreements.  

At a minimum, the agreements should include the following:

  • confirmation as to how the land or building is held (freehold or leasehold)
  • a description of the property (including plans)
  • covenants on the part of the owner to maintain the property and provide public access in accordance with the terms of the grant (as applicable)
  • a provision that any onward disposal should be subject to the third party agreement
  • confirmation that the agreement will last from the start of the work on the third party land until five years following the Project Completion Date

The agreements will need to be completed and in place before any grant monies are released for work on any land or building owned by a third party.  

Subsidy control

If your application is successful, it is important to remember our grant comes from public funds and may be subject to the Subsidy Control Act 2022. 

A subsidy is where a public authority provides financial support from public money that gives an economic advantage to the recipient, where equivalent support could not have been obtained on market terms. The majority of our grants will either not be a subsidy or will be a lawful subsidy which meets the requirements of the Subsidy Control Act 2022. 

It is our responsibility to assess whether a grant is a subsidy and our subsidy control assessment is an important part of your application. We ask that you familiarise yourself with the key requirements and provide us with any assistance we may reasonably require in completing a subsidy control assessment. 

Working on private land

Projects can deliver works or activities on private land, as long as any public benefit clearly outweighs any potential private gain. Also, provided that subsidy control rules are not breached. 

We will assess your project on the basis of its potential to meet the Tiny Forest criteria. In delivering a Coetir Bach / Tiny Forest you are meeting the National Forest Outcomes. This criteria is in the 'What are Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests?' section of this guidance. 

We have a particular interest in: 

  • urban areas that lack green space
  • areas that will enable connection of natural space

Please also download and fill out our measuring success checklist. The Tiny Forest criteria can be measured by one or more of the indicators on the list.

Our investment principles

Four investment principles now guide all our grant decision making under our 10-year strategy, Heritage 2033:

  • saving heritage
  • protecting the environment
  • inclusion, access and participation
  • organisational sustainability

For the Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests programme – by meeting Tiny Forest criteria, you are naturally meeting one or more of our Investment Principles.

We have provided specific guidance in the Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests Application Help Notes about how to address the Tiny Forest Criteria under the Investment Principles section of our application form. 

The investment principles and our strategic initiatives will help us achieve our ambitions for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone’s future.

Receiving a Grant guidance will be sent to all awarded projects and will detail how you will receive your funding and what we expect of you.

You need to include the Welsh language in your project, and tell us how you will do this in your application form. Translation costs can be included within your budget. Read more information on how to deliver a bilingual project.

You will need to acknowledge your grant as set out in our how to acknowledge your Welsh Government grant guidance.

The Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests in Wales Grant is funded by the Welsh Government and administered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. You will also need to acknowledge EarthWatch as a delivery partner.

Please follow the steps below:

  1. visit our application portal and register an account (or login if you have applied before)
  2. from the pull-down menu, please choose £10,000 to £250,000

Please note: there is not a dedicated Coetiroedd Bach/ Tiny Forests in Wales Application Form. You should follow the Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests Programme Application Help Notes carefully and answer all questions in our £10,000 to £250,000 grant application form. 

Please download and fill out the specific Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests in Wales programme supporting document as below. This needs to be submitted as an attachment to your application.  

For more information about how your data will be processed under this grant programme, please see our privacy policy. You will be informed of any additional programme specific data processing requirements in the event of a grant award.

We understand that you may be disappointed with a decision.

There is no right to appeal for Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests in Wales. We can only review our decision if you can make a formal complaint about how we have dealt with your application. We have a two stage complaint process for this fund. 

We will only be able to consider and investigate the complaint if you can demonstrate that:

  • we did not follow the published procedures for assessing your application
  • we have misunderstood a significant part of your application
  • we did not take notice of relevant information

A formal complaint must be made in writing within 10 working days of receiving your application decision. You must send your complaint to:

We aim to acknowledge your complaint within three working days.

Your complaint will initially be reviewed by one of our Nation & Area Directors, who is independent of recommendation and decision panels for this fund.

We aim to communicate a decision within 15 working days from when you submitted your complaint.

For assistance, contact our Customer Services Team on 020 7591 6044 or email

Changes to this guidance 

We will regularly review this guidance and respond to user feedback. We reserve the right to make changes as required. We will communicate any changes as quickly as possible via this webpage. 

21 February 2024: Application dates have been updated, and new budget guidance has been added as a separate page. New help notes have been added as our application forms have changed. The requirements for the physical characteristics have been consolidated into the ‘What are Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests?’ section.

8 May 2024: The deadline for applications has passed, so this programme guidance has been archived.

The Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests in Wales Grant is funded by the Welsh Government and managed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The logos of the National Forest for Wales and Earthwatch Tiny Forest

If you query is regarding our application portal, please contact our support team.