LANDOWNERS across the region are being asked to get involved in helping the Mersey Forest to branch out!
Forty hectares of new woodland will be planted by the Mersey Forest Partnership across the region as part of the national £12m Trees for Climate planting programme and landowners who have land suitable for planting are asked to get in touch.
Over the next five months the partnership is one of ten Community Forests which will be planting the new woodland. Planting will take place in Liverpool as well as across the wider Merseyside and North Cheshire region in urban parks and green spaces and on farmland.
Last year, both Liverpool City Council and the wider Liverpool City Region declared a climate emergency and this new planting will help contribute to local action.
Trees for Climate will see over 500 hectares of new woodland will be planted across the country. Whenmature, the trees will eventually store over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of over 45,000 trans-Atlantic flights and will contribute to meeting the government’s net zero by 2050 target.
The project will also reduce ﬂood risk, increase sustainable UK grown timber, provide more places for nature and biodiversity to thrive, and increase peoples’ access to and enjoyment of woodland.
Cllr Laura Robertson-Collins, cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said: “Investing in tree planting is a real investment for the future. In total our region will benefit from new woodland totalling 12 times the size of the Royal Albert Dock!
“The benefits of this are huge – wildlife benefits, the environment benefits, and we, as residents, benefit, not only from the boost to wellbeing but also from the creation of jobs in the forestry and environmental sector which is welcome news for our region’s green recovery.
“I would urge anyone who has land that could support tree planting to get in touch with the Mersey Forest or me and play a part in this precious initiative.”
Paul Nolan, director of The Mersey Forest, said: “The Trees for Climate programme will plant more trees targeted at areas in Liverpool where they can make the greatest difference, in particular to local quality of life and levels of health and wellbeing. We’ve shown how trees and woodlands boost our local economy, reduce flooding, create new habitats for wildlife and increase community spirit.
“The national network of Community Forests has been working for over 25 years to bring nature closer to people and local communities and is perfectly placed to deliver real change, on the ground.”
Sir William Worsley, Chair of the Forestry Commission, said: “This exciting new programme will benefit local communities all across England – helping to increase access to nature, creating much needed jobs in the environmental sector and bringing invaluable benefits to people’s health and wellbeing.
“The £12.1 million boost will be a huge help both for getting trees in the ground, but also enabling each of the Community Forests to ensure they are well-managed in the long term, making sure these new woods can thrive to the fullest extent.”
Lord Goldsmith, Forestry Minister, said: “Through this exciting new programme we will build back greener, as more communities – particularly those in urban environments – will have access to nature, with real benefits for health and wellbeing.
“Trees are the backbone of our urban and rural environments and essential in tackling the climate emergency. This vital programme will plant trees where they are most needed to stem flooding and provide more places for nature to thrive.”