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More than 1,000 trees are to be planted across community woodland areas of Greater Manchester and Merseyside in the next seven days.
Running from 28 November until 5 December, National Tree Week will engage local communities with the core work of the Forestry Commission – to protect the nation’s trees, increase woodland cover and improve woodland diversity.
And Forestry Commission rangers across the North West are seeking to inspire and galvanise as many local volunteers as possible to take part in a series of tree planting events on their community woodland sites.
Volunteers across Greater Manchester and Merseyside are leading the drive for tree planting throughout the valley.
Katie Horgan, Forestry Commission community ranger for the area, said:
“National Tree Week is an exciting time for our volunteers, and schoolchildren, who will learn much about the benefits for wildlife and recreation.
“The week is an increasingly important milestone for us each year. Trees are a vital component of our landscape, lessening the impact of climate change including contributing to flood control.’
There are a range of different tasks for people of all ages and abilities to tackle, from planting and creating new woodland areas and extending edges to scrub removal, and underplanting existing woodland to improve structure and diversity.
Launched in 1975, National Tree Week is the UK's largest tree celebration which marks the start of the winter tree planting season. The UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with half the average tree cover (12%) . The North West of England only has 6.8% tree cover.
The Forestry Commission manages 1,300 hectares of newly regenerated woodland across Greater Manchester and Merseyside. Sites set to benefit from the tree planting drive during National Tree Week include the community woodlands most recently created through the ‘Newlands’ programme; LIVIA and Town Lane as well as Sutton Manor, Wheatacre, and Hurst, Horrocks Colliers and Windy Bank woods.
Participants signed up include more than 140 local school children, community volunteer groups, the Wildlife Trust, residents groups, Incredible Edibles, the Mersey Forest, Shining Lights group, Croal Irwell Valley volunteers, Bents Garden Centre, local schools, and young people from the ‘V’ project.
To find out more or lend a helping hand, call the Community Woodland Team on 01606 882167 or visit www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland to see where and when volunteering events are happening.
Volunteers are advised to wear old clothing and bring waterproofs and a packed lunch if staying all day. Gloves, tools and hot drinks will be provided.
The Forestry Commission will also be launching further volunteer projects in the future, including activities such as pond works, sign maintenance and wildflower planting.
Notes to editors
- The Forestry Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in Britain with responsibility for over one million hectares (2.4 million acres) of forest, woodlands and open countryside. The North West England Forest District covers the Lake District in Cumbria, the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The forests today are managed for conservation, wildlife, landscape and recreation as well as providing a valuable source of timber.
- Newlands stands for New Economic Environments through Woodlands. Launched in the summer of 2003, Newlands is a unique £59 million scheme that is reclaiming large areas of derelict, underused and neglected (DUN) land across England’s Northwest, transforming them into thriving, durable, community woodlands. It is the 21st Century face of land regeneration: carefully planned; intelligence-led; delivering widespread public benefits; enhancing the environment; and delivered through partnerships.
- 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 almost 200 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.
- Newlands is a partnership between the Forestry Commission and Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). It is a unique £59 million NWDA-funded regeneration scheme, which is regenerating over 800 Hectares of the Northwest’s brownfield land to stimulate economic growth and further opportunities for leisure and environmental improvements.
- More information about LIVIA and other Newlands projects is available at www.newlandsproject.co.uk or www.forestry.gov.uk/newlands
- MEDIA CONTACTS: Katie Horgan, Community Ranger for North West Community Woodlands – 07795 121 856