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£14.8m boost to breathe new life into the Northern Forest with over a million new trees to be planted in the next year - Woodland Trust

Image of landscape at sunset (Credit: Russell Hedley / WTML)
New funding will help to progress the next phase of the Northern Forest (Credit: Russell Hedley / WTML)

Almost £15 million of funding will be pumped into the Northern Forest in the next year with just over one million new trees (at least 670 hectares) established.

The ambitious project, which aims to link trees across the M62 corridor from Liverpool to Hull, was launched in 2018 and already 3 million trees have been planted.

This has been made possible with funding from the Government’s £640 million Nature for Climate fund. £6 million will go directly to the Northern Forest to support the Woodland Trust’s Grow Back Greener programme, while £8.8 million will go to Community Forests within the Northern Forest area through the Trees for Climate programme announced recently.

Simon Mageean, the Woodland Trust’s Programme Director for the Northern Forest, said: “This new funding is massively significant for this project and enables us to push on with this new phase. It will allow us to establish over one million new trees this winter and connect them better to the wider landscape, together with new woodlands in urban areas and rural areas across the Northern Forest. Not only do these new trees have the power to transform people’s lives through all the green space they bring in areas of traditionally low tree cover, they are also set to bring a big boost to our fight against climate change and encourage nature recovery.”

The Northern Forest was launched three years ago and is an ambitious plan to establish at least 50 million trees to encourage greater tree and woodland cover across an area spanning 13 million people and taking in the cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull. It’s an area that only has 7.6% woodland cover – much lower than the England average.

As well as the Woodland Trust, it involves a partnership of community forests in the north – The Mersey Forest, City of Trees, White Rose Forest, and HEYwoods – which are working with the Woodland Trust to bring the Northern Forest to life.

Posted on: 28 September 2021

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