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Plans to create a ‘Northern Forest’ between Liverpool and Hull have been backed with £5.7m from the government

Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, ‘Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to the people.’ New government plans reveal 62,000 acres of woodland will be planted as part of a 25-year plan that will greatly enhance the environment for people in northern cities.

The government’s long-awaited 25-year environment plan is coming to fruition in the shape of the new and exciting ‘Northern Forest’, which will comprise an immense 50 million trees.

Spanning a 120-mile stretch of the M62, the woodland will boast a mix of native broadleaf trees such as oaks and conifers, including spruce and pine, and will be targeted at areas where they can boost health and wellbeing. Planting will begin in March at the Woodland Trust’s 1,680-acre site at Smithills, Bolton.

Defra this week pledged an initial £5.7 million to launch the scheme which will be administered by The Woodland Trust and the Community Forest Trust. It is hoped funding to kick-start planting will encourage private landowners to also sign up to the project.

The Northern Forest will connect the five Community Forests in the north of England: the Mersey Forest, Manchester City of Trees, South Yorkshire Community Forest, the Leeds White Rose Forest and the HEYwoods Project.

Improving the environment and reshaping the north

Tree planting rates are 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 will help tackle climate change and improve the environment by soaking up emissions and carbon dioxide as well as boosting wildlife habitat and greening our towns and cities.

Paul Nolan, Director of the Mersey Forest stated: ‘We have shown that we can lock up over seven million tonnes of carbon as well as potentially reduce flood risk for 190,000 homes.’

Friends of the Earth Senior Nature Campaigner, Paul de Zylva, added: ‘England is one of the least wooded nations in Europe, so government backing for the new Northern Forest is extremely welcome.’

Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said: ‘This new Northern Forest is an ambitious and exciting project that will create a vast ribbon of woodland cover in northern England stretching from coast to coast, providing a rich habitat for wildlife to thrive, and a natural environment for millions of people to enjoy.’

UK Property

The plan, which will see 62,000 acres of woodland planted before 2050, is expected to generate £2 billion for the economy through tourism, and by boosting rural business and generating jobs. The Northern Forest is also likely to increase property values and reduce the economic impact of flooding.

This comes as excellent news for the north of England, which is currently experiencing significant regeneration as part of the Northern Powerhouse initiative. The government initiative is bringing together the core cities of the north, investing in their economy and innovation, to form a powerful collective that will alleviate the country’s north-south divide.

Here at RWinvest, we’re excited to be playing a role in the ongoing regeneration happening within the Northern Powerhouse. Our headquarters are based in the heart of Liverpool City Centre where you can visit our fully-fitted show apartments. Additionally, you can  browse our Liverpool property for sale here and our Manchester property for sale here. Alternatively, you can contact RWinvest directly.

Beth Thompson | 8th January 2018

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