Dhanusha Bird Park


6 sites in collection

Total ha

1.70 ha

About this collection

The project which launched in December 2021, involves the reforestation by phases (as funds become available) of the banks of a small creek near Dhanushadham, Dhanusha District, southeast Nepal. For this, we are using the rapid-growth Miyawaki Method, which we are pioneering in Nepal. In short, the Method involves excavating the land to a depth of 1.5m, placing a thick layer of compost (e.g. rice husk, straw, manure), replacing the topsoil and then planting the saplings CLOSELY together (nine per square metre). The Method is purported to lead to forests that grow ten times faster, are twenty times more biodiverse and thirty times denser than conventional plantations. We wanted to put that to the test in Nepal. For this project we are working in partnership with our implementing partner NGO, The Mithila Wildlife Trust, the local community and authorities and the Divisional Forest Office (DFO). The aim is to create a wildlife haven for endangered birds, transforming a barren, over-grazed, piece of community land into a verdant forest. This helps the wildlife and the community since ultimately the forest can be managed sustainably for ecotourism and for the controlled harvest of forest products. In respect of the latter, the DFO has provided free saplings for timber species and we have purchased fruit and nut providing species for the benefit of both animals and humans. As it happens, the site has become the hub of a broader community programme for bird conservation, involving outreach to farms and schools. The project is also designed to educate children and students who have been involved in the planting of saplings. As further (artistic) inspiration and environmental enhancement, we have sited glass mosaics of local birds around the perimeter of the plantation. Philip Holmes, who is a keen mosaic artist, has made these at his home in Devon, UK. These will add to the site's potential to attract human visitors as well as feathered ones. Finally, the plantation also acts as a demonstration site for this new Method. During Phase 1 we planted a strip using a conventional reforestation approach, with saplings spaced out. This acts as a control, and already, after just a few months, the Miyawaki saplings are towering over the conventional ones. The news is spreading (helped by prominent coverage in the Nepali Times weekly newspaper) and visitors, including senior forestry experts, are coming from far and wide to see the progress for themselves. We can expect that our impact will be amplified by the Method being replicated at other sites. These should include within urban areas where the Miyawaki Method is particularly useful when only small areas of land are available for restoration.

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