St Peter's Forest
A London school forest to combat traffic pollution.
St. Peter’s Forest is yet another chapter in SUGi’s efforts to bring back ecological richness to industrialised East London. The school is located in the forward-thinking borough of Barking and Dagenham, one of the most polluted areas of London. Bycreating a Miyawaki forest here, we hope to restore the soil and create a corridor in which biodiversity can thrive.
Students are able to observe a native ecosystem coming back to life and the forest will supplement the studies of pupils at a formative time in their educational lives. Given the school is directly next to the busy Ripple Road, the planting of native trees at this site will help to reduce pollution in the air, creating a healthier atmosphere for the entire school community.
“A forest classroom will offer our children a learning environment they wouldn't ordinarily experience right on their doorstep. To be able to appreciate the value of nature and outdoor learning will be invaluable to their personal development and wellbeing.”
Gail McBride, Deputy Headteacher, St Peter's Catholic Primary School
Forest Report: 2023
Average of Tallest 3 Trees
The young forest at St. Peter's School occupies a small space at the end of the courtyard, creating a small yet vibrant planting area. Its strategic location is enhanced by natural protection from the wind, walls and a hedge.
Planted just 8 months ago, the area comprises a mix of new trees integrated with older ones, contributing to the overall biodiversity of the space. The health of the planting area is evident, with the presence of various fungi and snails signaling a thriving ecosystem and a harmonious relationship between the soil and the trees.
However, it is worth noting that among the generally flourishing trees, there has been limited success with Cherry trees, as only a few have not survived.
Straw mulching is still present, however, it is largely covered by weeds.
In general, St. Peter's School forest is in a good state for its first months, and biodiversity is starting to become evident, as described above.
“Although the school has a wild area, it's not used by the children and is largely neglected by the local biodiversity. By rewilding this area with a mix of native forest and wildflowers, we hope to create a fun interactive play area for the young children to enjoy and learn from.”
James Godfrey-Faussett, SUGi Lead Forest Maker