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14 MARCH 2011 NEWS RELEASE No: 14488

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People encouraged to set their own Olympic legacy as 500 day countdown begins

The Forestry Commission is encouraging residents of Salford and Bury to make getting fit their own Olympic legacy as we pass the 500 day landmark towards next year’s games.

With the Olympics now less than 500 days away there is a lot of talk about what lasting legacies hosting the games will have in this country. It is hoped that improved public health and fitness will be one legacy from the games and so people are being encouraged to be inspired to get fit themselves by using great public facilities such as LIVIA.

People can use their local community woodlands, such as LIVIA, for free and they make excellent places to exercise and work out in a peaceful environment surrounded by nature.

With more than 13km of cycle routes, pathways and a purpose built, single track ‘blue’ mountain bike trail, as well as other play areas, the LIVIA community woodland is an ideal place to start a personal Olympic legacy.

Tim Oliver, the Forestry Commission’s community woodlands manager, said:

“The Olympics are now less than 500 days away and soon the world’s attention will be focused on the best athletes from around the globe performing in this country. This is bound to inspire future sporting heroes and at the Forestry Commission we hope that it will also inspire many people to start on their way to getting fitter and healthier.

“We have created fantastic public spaces, such as LIVIA in Salford and Bury, which are great places where people can go to do exercise in a natural environment, and for no cost. We hope community woodlands like LIVIA will help people start their own Olympic legacy towards a fitter future.”

The LIVIA community woodland is part of Newlands (New Economic Environments via Woodlands) - a partnership scheme involving the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the Forestry Commission. 

Sporting event organisers are also being encouraged to apply to use community woodlands like LIVIA. Information on how to obtain a permit to hold a sporting event at LIVIA can be found by visiting the following website http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/oldsite.nsf/byunique/INFD-7CNKBP

LIVIA is one of seven Newlands projects that have been developed in the Mersey Belt area of Northwest England. 

The £59 million NWDA-funded regeneration Newlands scheme has been rejuvenating around 381 hectares of the Northwest’s derelict, underused and neglected land to stimulate economic growth and further opportunities for leisure and environmental improvements.

Stretching from Clifton in Salford to Prestwich in Bury, the LIVIA Newlands project boasts a diverse mix of habitats and facilities.  It makes up part of Red Rose Forest - Greater Manchester’s Community Forest – which is delivering environmental improvement projects and creating a cohesive network of green spaces along the Irwell Valley.

Managed by the Forestry Commission in partnership with Bury Council, Salford City Council, Groundwork and Red Rose Forest, LIVIA has become part of a much larger ‘green space network’.

At 170 hectares it is a beacon project for Newlands which is set to provide the area with parkland on the scale of New York’s Central Park.

Further information about LIVIA and other 'Newlands' projects is available at www.forestry.gov.uk/newlands and www.newlandsproject.co.uk

More information about other Forestry Commission woodlands around North West England can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland

Ends

NOTES TO EDITOR:

  1. The capital investment from the Newlands programme (including long-term management funding) for the Lower Irwell Valley Improvement Area (LIVIA) is £8.5million.

  2. A brownfield site is any land or premises that has previously been used and is not currently fully in use, although it may be partially occupied or utilised. It may also be vacant, derelict or contaminated. A brownfield site is not necessarily available for immediate use without intervention.

  3. Community Woodlands are multi-purpose open spaces that can be easily accessed by the local community, and can include a series of small woodlands, footpaths, cycle and bridleways, football pitches, wetland habitats and a wildflower meadow. Each site is designed in partnership with the local community to help improve and enhance the economic, environmental and social value of the local neighbourhood to work towards a sustainable environment for everyone.

  4. Woodland cover across the North West of England currently stands at just 6.5% compared with the national average of 8% and a European average of 33%.

  5. The Forestry Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in Britain, with responsibility for more than one million hectares (2.4 million acres) of forest, woodlands and open countryside. Its Northwest England Forest District covers the Lake District in Cumbria, the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The forests are managed for conservation, wildlife, landscape and recreation as well as providing a valuable source of timber.

  6. March 15 marked the 500 day countdown to the London Olympics.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES
Paul Gardner or Ian Boydon at Osprey Communications on 01524-782086.

Tim Oliver, tel. 01524 565806 or 07771 806964 or email: tim.oliver@forestry.gsi.gov.uk