Astaffort School Forest
Creating an Outdoor Classroom in Astaffort, France
The Astaffort School Forest is part of a series of environmental projects taking place across the region. This environmental partnership with the municipality began in 2011 with a proposal made by the Nature Club to develop various communal lands on which vegetation was virtually non-existent due to lack of maintenance and damaging weather events.
In recent consultations with the local government, the final development project for the Astaffort land saw a decision reached to create an innovative, outdoor educational space for a local school by planting a 200 Sq m native Miyawaki forest. The idea is for the forest to be a place of fun, curiosity and learning for the children, as well as a refuge for local wildlife.
Forest Maker MiniBig Forest
“The Astaffort Forest emerged from a chance meeting between three women acutely aware of the importance of ecological projects in promoting greater understanding about the environment, supporting biodiversity, and also cultivating a sense of community among those able to enjoy the completed forest projects.”
— Noëlie Courier, MiniBig Forest Maker
Forest Report: 7 Months
Survival Rate: 99%
Average of Tallest 3 Trees: 150cm
This forest is thriving at 1 year old with an exceptional survival rate, particularly considering the summer heatwave and drought of this year. The forest was watered several times across July and August, which has certainly benefited it. Though the average height of the tallest 3 trees is 150cm, the tallest species is currently a sweet cherry (Prunus avium) at 205cm.
The Astaffort students have been involved in the maintenance and monitoring of the forest; it is a real source of enrichment - educational and spiritual - for the entire school community.
Various insects have been seen in the forest, including various species of grasshopper and ladybugs.A stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) and knot grass moth caterpillar (Acronicta rumicis) have been identified too.
Forest Report: Planting