The Art of Rewilding
‘Pocket forest’ unveiled at the Chelsea Flower Show, in a second collaboration between SUGi, Louis Vuitton and Cadogan
Standing proudly at the entrance to this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a native ‘pocket forest’ created by SUGi, supported by Louis Vuitton and Cadogan. Planted temporarily on the Bullring Roundabout entrance, it illustrates how minimal urban space can create maximal biodiversity, reintroduce indigenous species and reconnect people with nature in our cities. Tiered to a ‘crown’, it also celebrates Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.
The installation represents the three successional growth stages of a ‘Miyawaki’ forest, a complex planting methodology that creates dense layers of native species, to ensure greater biodiversity and a self-sustaining habitat within three years. Following the Show, it will be transferred to its permanent home nearby in Chelsea.
This announcement marks the second collaboration between Louis Vuitton, Cadogan and SUGi, after the launch of the ‘Heritage Forest’ on Pont Street in Autumn 2021.
SUGi’s planting follows the complex ‘Miyawaki’* methodology, giving its forests four ‘layers’ – shrubs, sub-trees, trees and a canopy – with at least three trees planted per square metre. The native plants are selected based on flora and fauna research, a soil survey and vegetation report. The Forest will see species such as Red Campion, Sessile Oak, Hawthorn and a forest floor dense with shrubbery and wildflowers to create an ideal habitat for at least 80 species of insect. By using this variety of native species, the forest will require less maintenance and watering, alleviating the need for pesticides and artificial plant foods.
Elise van Middelem, Founder of SUGi comments: “Our mission is to restore native ecosystems in cities around the world. This installation underlines the essential role of nature in cities and provides an antidote to the monoculture tree planting we often see. Bringing nature closer for urban dwellers boosts health, wellness and a sense of serenity, in addition to myriad environmental benefits. One small ‘pocket forest’ supports a diverse ecosystem of pollinators while locking in carbon and can grow to the density of a 100 year old forest in about 20 years.”
Hugh Seaborn, CEO of Cadogan says: “This unique forest at the Flower Show looks almost like an elegant art installation, but it is a great example of how businesses and landowners can work together to make an impact with environmentally responsible planting in small spaces. We look forward to the forest flourishing in its permanent home after the Show.”
Cadogan has recently launched its 10-year sustainability strategy Chelsea 2030, which maps out ambitious targets contributing towards a more sustainable city – including a roadmap to net zero, improving air quality and enhancing green infrastructure and biodiversity across the Estate, such as an increase in Urban Greening Factor by 25% over the next decade.
Through Louis Vuitton’s “Our Committed Journey” sustainable development plan, by 2025, the Maison is dedicated to preserving natural resources based on a set of quantitative targets. Last year, Louis Vuitton’s climate objectives for 2030 were officially validated by the SBTi (the Science Based Targets initiative, a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature), which drives ambitious climate action in the private sector by enabling companies to set science-based emissions reduction targets. This further consolidates Louis Vuitton’s ambitions for circular creativity and responsible sourcing, 2 of the 3 pillars of “Our Committed Journey”. Acting on Climate Change is the third pillar.
Louis Vuitton is committed to contributing to the local communities in which they operate. An internal Positive Impact Committee has been created to lead projects such as this one.
For further information visit the SUGi website
*The Miyawaki methodology is based on the work of Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, whose method, tried and tested on over 3,000 sites, has a 97% success rate for tree survival with little to no maintenance.