The New Northern Forest
The Woodland Trust and the Community Forests in the north of England have been working together for some time on developing the concept of a new Northern Forest.
This is the ambitious plan to greatly increase tree and woodland cover from Liverpool to Hull by planting 50 million new trees over the next 25 years. It will enhance the economy, environment and quality of life for people in this region, as well as creating much-needed habitat for precious wildlife. It’s a ground-breaking project which will transform a large swathe of the UK on an epic scale.
The forest will connect the Community Forests in the north of England – the Mersey Forest, Manchester City of Trees, the Leeds White Rose Forest and the HEYwoods Project – with green infrastructure and woodland created in and around major urban centres such as Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull.
Over 13 million people live in this area and woodland cover stands at just 7.6%, far below the average for Europe and the rest of the UK. The plan to plant 50 million trees will transform this landscape to make it more resilient, beautiful and prosperous.
Once completed, this string of woodlands stretching along the M62 corridor will connect the landscapes in between and give threatened species of birds, bats and butterflies space to live and roam.
A lifechanging project
The Northern Forest will undoubtedly change lives – and on a scale never before imagined. Trees bring us vitality, colour and beauty and far reaching benefits including:
- Improved air quality – trees can cut indoor and outdoor pollution by 50%
- Reduced flooding risk by planting trees in the right places
- Thousands of tonnes of carbon locked up – helping us fight climate change
- A better natural world for our children and grandchildren to inherit
- Happier and healthier communities
- The opportunity for thousands of people, including children and families, to plant trees – an experience we know they will never forget.
The Northern Forest has the potential to be the legacy of our generation. It will leave behind a better, richer, more varied and more productive natural environment for our children and grandchildren.