Oakwood Primary Forest
An outdoor classroom to immerse children in Nature.
The site is an area of land that has recently been gifted to the school from the local council. The school is located in what is considered to be one of the most deprived areas of Scotland and many of the children don’t have access to nature in their daily lives. Previous planting attempts have been unsuccessful. SUGi is delighted to now be working with Oakwood Primary to ensure that the children and school community have a resilient and flourishing forest to help nurture and watch grow in strength.
In planting a Miyawaki forest with the involvement of the students, we aim to provide not simply a one-off educational and therapeutic experience for the children, but an outdoor classroom that will bring nature into their lives for the long-term.
Forest Report: 2023
Average of Tallest 3 Trees
Oakwood Primary has seen a significant change in the forest this year. Most of the trees are thriving due to the advantage of no shading effects with the Alder (Alnus Glutinosa), Silver Birch (Betula pendula) and Goat Willow (Salix Caprea) being the three tallest. The average height of the 3 tallest trees has almost doubled from last year, growing from 131cm to 240cm. Thanks to our Scottish summer the heavy downpour of rain has helped preserve the condition of the land.
Our whole school community is learning to respect, appreciate and most importantly conserve our natural environment. At the moment, the forest is overgrown with Fireweed (Chamaenerion), Nettles (Urtica) and other flowering plants, which we have encouraged as advised by the Sugi Project. Whilst this is environmentally useful for biodiversity and an educational point for children, the social impact is that children are only able to observe from outside the forest and are unable to maneuver or wander within.
For this reason, the school has been observing the forest from the outskirts using identification keys. This also benefits the new and growing ecosystem as we have been careful not to interfere with the growing saplings. Our school community is excited to continue watching and nurturing our flourishing forest.
There are a lot of wildflowers growing including Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Bush Vetch (Vicia Sepium) and Hawkweed (Hieracium). The forest is overrun with Brown-lipped (Cepaea Nemoralis) and White-lipped (Cepaea Hortensis) snails, particularly around the Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) growing in the forest. The school environmental club observed the species in the forest but not many were to be found without disturbing the habitats. They did observe a Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus), Common Earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) and some different species of spider including a European Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) and a Four Spot Orb Spider (Araneus quadratus). We have taken steps to try and encourage more minibeasts into our forest by constructing minibeast hotels and hanging bird food in the trees adjacent to the Sugi Pocket Forest where we observed and heard Magpies (Pica pica), House Sparrows (Passeridae) and Blue Tits (Cyanistes Caeruleus).
Forest Report: 2022
Average of Tallest 3 Trees
This pocket forest is thriving thanks to the care from Oakwood Primary School. Survival rate and growth rate are both excellent - as indicated by the data. The forest was monitored by the school Environmental club; it is already bringing great enrichment to the lives of these Glasgow primary students.
“We are really inspired by how we can change our relationship with the environment around us by planting a Miyawaki forest. Our school community will have a tangible opportunity to support biodiversity and experience nature directly. Our school name of 'Oakwood’ even connects us with a key native species, the mighty Oak!”
Vanessa Thomson, Headteacher, Oakwood Primary School