Hartford’s Micro Forest takes root at Royal Park

Thursday 1st April 2021 |

Work commenced on the new Micro Forest over the weekend at Hartford’s Ramsey-based development, Royal Park.

Hartford Homes has worked in close consultation with Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) and Ramsey Town Commissioners to plan and develop the Micro Forest scheme, which will grow to become a thriving area of densely-packed urban woodland, inspired by the pioneering work of Japanese botanist, Akira Miyawaki.

The all-important planting phase began on Thursday 24 March with the help of just under 70 pupils from local primary school, Bunscoill Rhumsaa.

Andree Dubbeldam, Conservation Officer at Manx Wildlife Trust, visited the school to deliver a series of educational talks explaining the environmental benefits of the new ecology area. He also joined the children on-site to guide and assist the planting.

Summarising the experience on the day, he said:

“The Ramsey kids are absolutely loving it. They’re getting their hands dirty, they’re planting the trees, and most importantly they’re really understanding why they’re planting the trees.

 They can imagine what this is going to be like in 10 years, in 20 years, in 50 years.

They’re really engaged with the micro forest idea. This had nothing for wildlife before we put it in, and now it will be bustling with hedgehogs. It will have stoats, it will have butterflies. It will have everything we want out of a wildlife habitat in a very short period of time

We’re really delighted to be involved with this.

It’s great that Hartford Homes are making spaces like this for wildlife [and] that developers are trying to put something back. There’s an inevitable impact when you build houses. But also, the habitats afterwards can be really exciting… and it’s on people’s doorsteps. It’s the community of the children who are planting here.

 Making it a good environment for them is really important.”

David Jenkins, Headteacher at Bunscoill Rhumsaa, said:

“I have been bowled over by the enthusiasm and joy that our children shared with me; they enjoyed [the tree planting] immensely, and learned plenty too! A fantastic experience for everyone!

Thank you to Hartford Homes, Manx Wildlife Trust and Ramsey Town Commissioners for thinking to invite us to be a part of this event, and for making the children feel so welcome and involved in the project – I think they will be talking about it for some time!”

Royal Park residents turned out in their droves across the weekend to join the effort, dig deep, and help over 1500 saplings take root.

Geoff Court, Lead Member for Parks and Leisure at Ramsey Town Commissioners, was also present to assist with the foundational phase of the project:

“It’s fantastic to see this coming together.

 When I first learned of the initiative, I was fully in support of what the residents are helping bring to fruition here.

 I’m very much looking forward to seeing it grow and thrive in the future, and continuing to help the people here plant and get the forest moving!”

The Royal Park Micro Forest is the first of several planned schemes which will be rolled out at further developments and selected sites in the future.

Hartford Homes recently became the Isle of Man’s first property developer to be awarded full Partnership status with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man, bolstering their commitment to minimising their environmental impact, and building energy efficient developments that create a net increase in ecological biodiversity.

For further details on how Hartford Homes is changing the way the Island builds, click the link below to see the Hartford Ecology Charter:


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