2019 marks 25 years since the plan for The Mersey Forest was approved by government. When they began, the area was still recovering from the recession and industrial decline of the 1980s, and blighted by derelict land. Today, much of that land is now community woodland, providing new areas of open access for hundreds of thousands of people.
Here are just some of the achievements:
• They have planted over 9 million trees
• They have achieved three times more tree planting than the England average
• They have created over 3,000 hectares of woodland – that’s the same as 4,322 full-sized football pitches, or 24,000 Olympic swimming pools
• They’ve worked with more than half the schools in Merseyside and North Cheshire
• 65% of people say they have noticed that their environment has improved because of their work
• The 9 million trees planted have absorbed 524,574 tonnes of carbon dioxide – a clear impact on climate change
The 25 year anniversary campaign launch coincided with a pop-up forest in Liverpool’s Williamson Square and a visit from Sir William Worsley, the UK’s Tree Champion. You can read more about it here
A Mersey Forest spokespeson said, “25 years ago there was a real sense of urgency about the need to tackle the scars on our post-industrial landscape and use woodlands to help change perceptions of Merseyside and north Cheshire. Now looking ahead, there’s that same sense of urgency about how we can plant more trees to help tackle the climate crisis. Now, we need our supporters more than ever.”
“I’d like to finish by thanking every single supporter, funder or anyone who has volunteered time. There have thousands of events and hundreds of thousands of people involved in creating new community woodlands. People have turned up in all weathers, often going home with muddy wellies and cold hands – and a smiling face.
“And to the partners that have been involved – together you have created wonderful new woodlands that we can see everyday and which will benefit local communities for generations to come.”