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People living in the North West are now able to enjoy walking on more than 11 kilometres of new footpaths in the region’s forests and woodlands thanks to the Forestry Commission.
The Forestry Commission has approved 16 schemes over the last year to create access paths at various locations around the region.
With an investment of around £265,000 the paths will enable more people to get into the region’s woodlands and forests than ever before.
Sites across the North West have benefited from boosts thanks to funding grants from the Forestry Commission including Red Scar Woods, in Preston, the Fishwick Nature Reserve, also in Preston, the Fylde Memorial Arboretum and Community Woodland in Blackpool, as well as the Bridge Street Woodlands and Ridgemont Park Woods, both in Horwich, near Bolton.
Kevin May from the Forestry Commission says:
“Many people in the North West have a forest or woodland near where they live. Getting out into green spaces like this is good for the mind as well as the body and the Forestry Commission is committed to improving public access to woodland, whether it’s the forests we run ourselves or those that are privately owned.”
The Fylde Memorial Arboretum and Community Woodland, on Moor Park Avenue, in Blackpool, has seen £43,638 of investment to improve access.
Jenna Trewartha, park ranger at Blackpool Council, said:
“The Forestry Commission initially gave us a grant to create a woodland and a 700 metre woodland path, along with gates that could be used by disabled people.
“The second grant they gave us has allowed us to extend a bridleway and connect it to another path on the site.
“The footpaths have provided the community with a hard surface to walk on during the winter months when the ground is very wet and they have increased numbers of people accessing the new woodland by creating paths suitable for more casual users, including prams, cyclists and mobility scooters.”
The funding also helped towards putting in hardwood routed way markers, A1 interpretation boards and benches.
More information on the Forestry Commission in the North West is available by visiting www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland
Notes to Editors
1. Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For further information visit www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland
2. Forestry Commission England runs the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) to support and promote the national and localised delivery of forestry policy programmes. EWGS is a part of the Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE). Further information about these schemes can be found at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/rdpe/index.htm
3. The Forestry Commission (FC) North West England (NWE) supports the delivery of widespread public benefits across the region, using woodland management and creation as the basis for change. The FC NWE region has a diverse remit; as a grant giving body to the woodland sector; the forestry regulatory body; helping the region to address climate change by developing wood fuel supply; supporting and developing the region's forest and woodland industries; actively promoting and protecting the Northwest's natural heritage (especially ancient trees and woodlands) and enabling communities across the region to live healthier lives. For further information visit www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland-grants