Tree-planting plan wins major award

An influential publication from local environment partnership The Mersey Forest has been awarded the UNESCO UK Man and the Biosphere Urban Forum Award for Excellence.

The Mersey Forest Plan is the long term strategic vision for growing and developing local woodlands and green infrastructure, helping to make Merseyside and north Cheshire a beautiful place to live, work and play. Thanks to The Mersey Forest (a partnership of seven local authorities, the Forestry Commission, Natural England and the Environment Agency) nine  million trees have been planted in the area since 1991, transforming many derelict industrial landscapes, including within Liverpool.

The award was given by a forum of specialists involved with the environment and nature conservation in urban areas. It praises the document for its design, for its emphasis on people and organisations working together, and for how it explains the benefits to the community.

Liverpool City Councillor Barbara Murray joined colleagues on the Mersey Forest Steering Group to collect the award from Richard Scott, Chair of the UNESCO UK Man and the Biosphere Urban Forum.

Richard Scott commented:”The plan is an excellent example of a regional document aimed at local communities. It’s well put together, well designed and a pleasure to read and look at”

Paul Nolan, Director, The Mersey Forest, said:”We’re overjoyed to receive this unexpected accolade for The Mersey Forest Plan. Our plan sets out a clear vision for a greener Merseyside and north Cheshire, and it’s one that’s inspired many local people and organisations. We hope this award will inspire more people to get involved and help make the plan into reality.”

The forum also praised the Plan for how it has been adopted as a material consideration in local planning and supports the development control process. It’s also recognised as a good example of how local authorities can work together to improve the landscapes and environments that cross boundaries.

The Plan includes a section that explains where new trees and woodlands may be planted in Liverpool and sets out targets for tree coverage.

You can download and read the Plan at http://www.merseyforest.org.uk/about/plan/