Planted on September 5, 2022 at the eastern gateway of the Millennium Lilac Trail, the Warkworth Little Forest community project is a dense planting of trees and shrubs local to the Trent-Severn watershed. The Little Forest will provide host plants and habitat for insects and wildlife for years to come, and includes species such as: American hazelnut, American basswood, American plum, bitternut hickory, black chokeberry, buffaloberry, bur oak, butternut, pagoda dogwood, red maple, red oak, serviceberry, smooth rose, sugar maple, white birch, white oak, and white pine. The plants were fostered over the summer by community members, to avoid planting them during spongy moth caterpillar season and to allow time for site preparation (a 4 metre x 4 metre no dig bed covered originally with cardboard, a thick layer of natural mulch and edged with repurposed landscaping stones).
The roughly 40 trees and shrubs were planted following the Miyawaki method, with 2-3 saplings per metre-squared, and Miyawaki forests tend to establish rapidly as a dense thicket, establishing decades sooner than traditional tree plantings. There is also a no dig garden area at the front of the forest site, ready for planting in the spring 2023 thanks to an extremely kind donation from the Northumberland Master Gardeners, who are also supplying funds for a second wet meadow little forest to be added next year in the floodplain of Burnley Creek. The Warkworth Forest Gnomes thank the Northumberland Master Gardeners for supporting these projects to add native species to the Millennium Trail and to build a forest for the future.
authored by Kat Kinch