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The Tiny Forest Handbook

Authors: Maarten Bruns, Daan Bleichrodt, Essi Laine, Karin van Toor, Wim Dieho, Louwra Postma, and Marten de Groot (PEFC).
Editors: Merel den Otter and Lieke Kragt
Design: Anne Copier
Illustrations: Studio Brun, Sylvia Neutel, Jasper de Ruiter, and Karin van Toor.
Photography: Thomas Duiker, Jessica de Lepper, Merel den Otter, Tomasz Lamartine, Daan Bleichrodt, Karin van Toor, Essi Laine, Sunny Verma, and Rick Mellink.


A Tiny Forest® is a dense, native forest the size of a tennis court. This forest is not only a pleasant place for butterflies, birds, bees and small mammals, but also for people. Children learn about Dutch nature in the outdoor classroom and local residents meet each other in a pleasant and healthy place.

Tiny Forest® 

Tiny Forest is a concept created by Indian engineer Shubhendu Sharma (CEO Afforestt). He again based himself on the forestry method of the Japanese tree expert Akira Miyawaki. dr. Miyawaki developed a method in the 1970s to restore natural, native forests. He created more than 1,700 forests, of which 96.7% developed into a resilient ecosystem within ten years. Shubhendu Sharma was inspired by Miyawaki's approach and translated the method into an urban environment. 

The mini groves have been immensely popular ever since the first Tiny Forest in Zaandam was planted. All kinds of 'Tiny Forest' initiatives popped up all over the Netherlands and also across the border. Some of these initiatives deviated a lot from the ideas of Sharma and Miyawaki. In consultation, IVN and Sharma decided to make Tiny Forest a Registered Trademark ®. In this way we can ensure that groves bearing the name Tiny Forest are in line with the ideas of Sharma and Miyawaki and also have a social approach for the neighborhood and school.

The beginning of Tiny Forest in the Netherlands

In December 2015, IVN brought engineer Sharma to the Netherlands for a special initiative: planting the first Tiny Forest in Europe. Together with Sharma, the municipality of Zaanstad, Hoek Hoveniers, school children and local residents, IVN planted the first Tiny Forest in the middle of the city. After five years, the first results are positive. The rapid and healthy growth surprised the gardener and urban ecologist of Zaandam.


About IVN:

IVN is a national organisation in the Netherlands, working to connecting people at local level with nature.

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Author: IVN Natuur Educatie (Netherlands)