Coetiroedd Bach: Tiny Forests in Wales
Page updated on 7 November 2023. See all updates.
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 new grant scheme as part of the National Forest for Wales programme. We are offering smaller 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 a venture led by the Welsh Government. It will create a network of publicly accessible woodlands and forests throughout Wales, under high quality management.
The National Forest will stretch the length and breadth of Wales, so that everyone can access it. It will include both urban and rural areas – with a commitment to create 100 Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests and 30 National Forest for Wales woodland sites.
It will deliver a huge range of benefits – called ecosystem services – 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
The National Forest will bring people together, with the majority of woodland being planted on a voluntary basis by communities, farmers and other landowners across Wales.
What are Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests?
Coetiroedd Bach is the name for Tiny Forests in Wales.
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:
- 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 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)
- branches, leaves, and dead trees are left to lie where they have fallen
- is at least 4m wide across the full length of the forest, without interruptions (such as a path)
- has a layer of mulch (such as straw) at least 15cm deep
- 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
Using Earthwatch’s methodology, you will need to carry out monitoring a minimum of twice a year for the first two years after planting, preferably through citizen science.
You need to 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.
In addition to the above, paths and an open classroom can be included into the design.
What the Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests in Wales grant scheme offers
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. Applicants may make one application to 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)
- until the end of March 2025 to deliver the project
- 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
There will be 3 rounds of Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests in Wales funding over the next two years. Read the ‘Application deadlines and key dates’ section for more information on timings.
The total available funding is £2.62 million in the financial years 2023/24 and 2024/25.
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.
Who can apply?
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.
What projects can you apply for?
Your project must:
- 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)
- deliver accessible woodlands for all to enjoy
- involve local residents, volunteers, local authorities or schools
- maintain the Tiny Forest using a “tree keeper team” of volunteers for at least 2 years after the project has finished
- meet the needs of local people as a public space and contribute to ecosystem services within the local area
- demonstrate multiple benefits spanning environmental, social, economic and cultural wellbeing
- consider Natural Resources Wales (NRW) area statement maps
- 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 of natural space
Your site must:
- Be approximately 200m2 for the actual Tiny Forest, plus have space for heavy machinery to do preparation work, so the total space may be up to 500m2.
- This area can be of any shape/orientation, but the forest must not be narrower than 4m across at any given point. Long thin plots of land like hedgerow are not suitable for Tiny Forests.
- Have no underground infrastructure. The soil typically needs to be excavated to 1m depth, and you must respect utility buffer zones.
- Have no overhead infrastructure. The trees could grow to 20m or more.
- Be accessible for large machinery. A mini digger is needed for soil preparation, plus truck deliveries of mulching material and other soil supplements.
- Have 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.
- 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
- not be designated as sensitive in any way such as an SSSI, SAC, Ramsar or others
- 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
What costs can you apply for?
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
We have provided budget guidance to help write your funding application – please use this to help plan your costs.
It is important that you identify which of your project costs are capital and revenue. Applications can include any of the following:
Capital spending is money that is spent on investment and things that will create growth in the future.
Examples of acceptable capital costs are provided below. Please note that this is not a definitive list and all items of expenditure will be considered on a case-by-case basis:
- purchasing of trees, shrubs and other plants to create the Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests
- preparation of a site, such as groundworks/excavations, surveys, fencing, clearing litter and removing invasive non-native species
- constructing accessible pathways and gates with a commitment to keep them open to the public and maintain them for at least 20 years, if not indefinitely
- creating nature/educational trails
- creating spaces for recreation, play and education (such as an outdoor classroom)
- creating spaces to support and view nature
- the cost of labour associated with the creation of the Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests
- signage/interpretation boards
- project delivery (This means costs that help you to create the Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests, for example: project planning, procurement materials, financial management of the project, compiling, and analysing management information of project delivery, which is no more than 10% of the total capital cost)
- Welsh language provision, such as costs of translation
You can also include the costs of promoting the woodland to the wider community, such as:
- printing leaflets
- kit bag (70L)
- wooden canes
- tape measure
- ball of string
- tree species list
- tree ID guide
- metal ruler
- infiltrometer (pipping)
- stop watch
- measuring jug
- wooden planks
- water bottles
- pocket penetrometer
- weather station
- tripod and adapter foot
- biodiversity ID guides
- monitoring QR code
- protocol field sheets
Revenue funding can help with the overall cost of running the project. This includes costs that involve people in the project delivery.
Revenue funding may be used to:
- contribute to additional core/operating costs of running the project
- events to promote the woodland scheme to the wider community, and to celebrate community achievements
- additional hours for an existing volunteer co-ordinator to recruit, train and support volunteers to participate in delivering the woodland
- volunteering good practice and expenses (in line with Wales Council for Voluntary Action guidance)
- project promotion activity
- any reasonable expenditure that will enable the project to succeed
You must include a budget line for Earthwatch membership and training. This is a revenue cost to the project and is either £250 or £750 depending on the support package you decide to choose.
The following items are examples of costs which are not eligible. This is not a definitive list and all items of expenditure will be considered on a case-by-case basis:
- purchase of land
- cost of leasing land
- purchase of buildings
- re-stocking of trees on a site that has been felled
- work you are legally responsible for undertaking
- any physical work on site carried out before the authorised start of work date
- purchase of vehicles
- own labour and equipment costs
- medium/large scale machinery and equipment
- general office equipment and furniture
- maintenance costs
- working capital
- reclaimable VAT
- costs connected with a leasing contract, such as the lessors margin, interest financing cost, overheads and insurance charges
- costs of arranging overdraft facilities, loans or other financial support instruments – including any associated fees or other charges
- overheads allocated or apportioned at rates materially in excess of those used for any similar work carried out by the applicant
- notional expenditure
- payments for activity of a political nature
- depreciation, amortisation and impairment of assets purchased with the help of the grant
Costs which do not directly relate to the delivery of your project are also not eligible, including:
- contingent liabilities
- profit made by the applicant
- interest charges
- service charges arising on finance leases, hire purchase and credit arrangements
- costs resulting from the deferral of payments to creditors
- costs involved in winding up a company
- payments for unfair dismissal
- payments into private pension schemes
- payments for unfunded pensions
- compensation for loss of office
- bad debts arising from loans to employees, proprietors, partners, directors, guarantors, shareholders or a person connected with any of these
- payments for gifts or donations
- entertainments, for example staff parties
- statutory fines and penalties
- criminal fines and damages
- legal expenses in respect of litigation
Application deadlines and key dates
There will be multiple rounds of Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests in Wales.
- application deadline: 12 noon on 16 October 2023
- decision will be made: end of November 2023
- Earthwatch training sessions (for successful applicants): 9.30am – 12 noon, 12 December and 13 December 2023. Attendance is required at both training sessions.
- your project completion date: 31 March 2025
- application deadline: 12 noon on 8 May 2024
- decision will be made: end of June 2024
- Earthwatch training sessions (for successful applicants): dates to be confirmed
- your project completion date: 31 March 2025
Actions to take before you apply
It is expected that all applicants will contact their region’s Woodland Liaison Officer for advice and get the 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.
Evidence of 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.
At the point of publication of this guidance, public funding for organisations is no longer governed by the European Commission’s state aid rules but is set out in new UK legislation in the Subsidy Control Act 2022. Read more about subsidy control.
It is your responsibility to confirm that your application is considered and checked in relation to subsidy control rules. Please seek independent legal advice if you are unsure whether your project will require subsidy control clearance.
We reserve the right to impose further requirements and additional conditions in relation to this matter.
Working on private land
Many designated habitats and species are on land that is owned by private individuals or for-profit organisations.
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.
How will we assess applications?
We will assess your project on the basis of its potential to meet the Tiny Forest criteria. This criteria is in the ‘What is a Tiny Forest?’ section of this guidance.
We have a particular interest in:
- urban areas that lack green space
- areas that will enable connection of natural space
Delivering your project
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.
Welsh language and acknowledgement
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.
Managing your data
Making a complaint
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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The Coetiroedd Bach / Tiny Forests in Wales Grant is funded by the Welsh Government and managed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
- 8 September 2023: clarifications about this programmes' links to the National Forest for Wales programme.
- 3 October 2023: moved the application help notes to a separate page.
- 4 October 2023: added a new costings template.
- 12 October 2023: clarified the application deadline is at midnight on the day listed.
- 7 November 2023: added Earthwatch training session dates to 'Application deadlines and key dates'