Woodland Trust CEO Beccy Speight who launched the Northern Forest tree planting on Monday 12 March, said:
“The Northern Forest is a ground-breaking project which is bold in its aim and never more needed! England in particular is losing trees, with planting rates stalling and woods lost. The north in particular needs to benefit from investment of this kind with woodland cover woefully meagre at just 7.6%, well below the UK average of 13% and far below the EU average of 44%. And that’s significant, as investment in green spaces and trees in particular are shown to improve our health and well-being, create more prosperous communities and areas more resilient to the effects of climate change.”
On Saturday The Trust alongside City of Trees is welcoming the general public to come along and do the same. To reserve a spade, visit its website.
The Woodland Trust’s newly acquired Smithills Estate has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Biffa Award, Viridor Credits and Oglesby Charitable Trust
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About City of Trees
City of Trees is an innovative and exciting movement, set to reinvigorate Greater Manchester’s landscape by restoring underused, unloved woodland and planting a tree for every man, woman and child that lives in the City Region, within a generation.
For more information visit www.cityoftrees.org.uk
The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.
The Trust has three key aims: i) protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable, ii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life, iii) plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.
Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering over 22,500 hectares. Access to its woods is free.
Northern Forest is a partnership between The Woodland Trust, the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK, and Community Forests: City of Trees, Mersey Forest, HEYwoods and White Rose Forest. Northern Forest will plant 40 million trees over the next 25 years embracing core cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds as well as Chester and Hull with M62 as its spine. Northern Forest aims to connect people with nature, create growth and investment opportunities, reduce climate change and flood risk, improve health and wellbeing, support the rural economy and develop innovative funding mechanisms for the future. Ultimately it aims to leave the natural environment in a better state.
There are currently five Community Forests that sit within the proposed area for the Northern Forest including: City of Trees, White Rose Forest, Mersey Forest, HEYwoods and South Yorkshire Forest.
The Northern Forest covers an area of 13 million people and has 7.6% woodland cover – well below Europe’s average. Across England, only 10% of our land area is covered by woodland. In Scotland that stands at 18%, and in France, Germany and Spain it is 31%, 33% and 37% respectively.