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Plans unveiled for new Northern Forest

The Woodland Trust and The Community Forest Trust have together announced exciting plans for the development of a new Northern Forest. With plans to plant 50 million trees over the next 25 years, the Northern Forest will stretch from Liverpool across to Hull, with the M62 at its spine…

The Northern Forest project has been developed to accelerate the creation of new woodland as well as supporting the management of existing woodlands right across the region. The increased areas of woods and forests will deliver a better environment for everyone, by improving air quality and mitigating flood risk across key catchments. It is hoped the project will support the rural economy through tourism, recreation and timber production. At the same time, the Northern Forest should help in connecting people with nature, improving health and wellbeing by creating welcoming and accessible local green spaces.

northern forest mapThe North of England is ripe to reap the benefits of such a project, with a population in excess of 13 million that is expected to rise by 9% over the next 20 years, while woodland cover is at just 7.6%, below the UK average of 13% and far below the EU average of 44%. National tree planting rates are currently dramatically low, with tree planting in 2016 being only 700 hectares against the Government’s target of 5,000 hectares a year. The Northern Forest is one project that should begin to address this imbalance.

16 February 2018

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