Urban trees showcased in new photo exhibition

29 August 2014
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A collection of photographs which showcase urban trees in Merseyside are being exhibited in Liverpool from 17 September. 


The photographs, taken by The Mersey Forest's official photographers, Mccoy Wynne, explore the need for trees in urban areas. 


They will be exhibited at the John Stephenson Gallery at the University of Liverpool School of Architecture from 17 September to 23 October. 


Some of the photographs in the exhibition were commissioned by The Mersey Forest and funded by ForeStClim.  


You can view some of the collection on the Mccoy Wynne blog. 



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Hundreds attend community celebration at Ilchester Park

23 August 2014
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Over four hundred people descended on Ilchester Park, near St James' Centre, today to attend a community celebration in Birkenhead.


The park was transformed for the day for "Ilchester Festival", with teepees and gazebos housing activities such as face painting, drumming workshops, flower-pot planting and arts and crafts.


There were singing and dancing performances from St James Harmony Choir and Espire Morris Dancers, and attendees were also given the opportunity to take part in the street parade that passed through the park in the afternoon.


The event was opened by local MP Frank Field, who thanked the event's organisers in his opening speech for their support: "Well done for beginning to form a new community in Birkenhead."


The event was organised by The Mersey Forest and North Birkenhead Development Trust, and was held to celebrate the transformation of Ilchester Park, a former housing demolition site, into a natural play area. This work is ongoing and is being funded by The Veolia Environmental Trust through the Landfill Communities Fund. It also celebrated local creativity through the street parade, which was put together by local businesses, community groups and residents.


The event follows weeks of natural play sessions organised by local charity Play Out, with the aim of reconnecting children with their local green spaces.


Local mother Emma said: "This is a fantastic event. My little girl has made a headdress and we've made a flowerpot for our garden, and it was all free!"


Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest, said: "It was fantastic to see so many families enjoying themselves during Ilchester Festival today.


"We hope that the changes taking place at Ilchester Park over the coming months will have a lasting impact on the local community and encourage people to take ownership of the park."


The Mersey Forest is set to continue transforming Ilchester Park into a space where children can reconnect with nature. The completed site will feature wildflower meadows, improved pathways, and natural play equipment.


Paul Taylor, Executive Director at The Veolia Environmental Trust added: "We look forward to seeing the transformation of Ilchester Park. It is wonderful to see Landfill Communities Fund money being used in this way."

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Family fun day to be held in Ilchester Park, Birkenhead

13 August 2014
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Birkenhead residents are being invited to a family fun day at Ilchester Park, Birkenhead, on Saturday 23 August between 12-4.


Ilchester Festival will include activities for all of the family such as learning how to face paint, football and sports coaching, a climbing wall, jewellery-making and craft stalls.


The event will also feature singing and dancing performances and a street parade organised by North Birkenhead Development Trust, to which many local organisations and members of the community have contributed.


The festival will be opened by Birkenhead MP Frank Field.


Ilchester Festival is being held to celebrate the improvements taking place at Ilchester Park, which is being transformed as part of a project funded by The Veolia Environmental Trust. A grant from the Trust totalling £67,055 is being used to provide new pathways, trees, wildflower meadows and natural play equipment at the park.


The event has been preceded by weeks of activities with local children, run by local charity Play Out and organised by The Mersey Forest, to help kids reconnect with nature and take ownership of local parks.


Sarah Morton, Urban Forestry Project Officer at The Mersey Forest, said: "We're holding Ilchester Festival to celebrate the transformation of one of Birkenhead's least loved green spaces into a place where children can benefit from natural play in an urban area.


"We hope that the event, coupled with the consultation events we have held in Birkenhead during the development of this project, will leave a lasting legacy in this neighbourhood."


The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, adds: "Urban green spaces like this play a vital role in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds, with them providing a place where they can relax, reflect, play and enjoy nature. It is one of our priorities to help projects protect and improve them and I look forward to seeing this project complete."




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Birkenhead children get in touch with nature this summer

04 August 2014
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Birkenhead children are being given the opportunity to explore the changes taking place at Ilchester Park this summer.


A programme of play sessions is being held at the park to help kids reconnect with the local green space.


The sessions are being organised by The Mersey Forest and run by Play Out, a local play charity. The sessions will focus on introducing kids to natural play, helping them to reconnect with nature, and teaching them the value of local green spaces.


Ilchester Park is currently undergoing a transformation after a project to improve the park was granted £67000 by The Veolia Environmental Trust through the Landfill Communities Fund.


The improvements will include tree planting, improved pathways, wildflower meadows, and the addition of natural play features such as climbing logs. So far, trees have been planted on site, with the rest of the improvements set to commence over the course of this year. A celebration event to mark the changes and their significance to local people will be held on 23 August.


Play Out sessions will be held every Wednesday and Friday between 23rd July - 20th August from 12 - 4pm.


Children of all ages are invited to take part in the free open access play and craft activities and can bring a picnic. During wet weather, sessions will take place at the nearby St. James Centre.


Kath Shaw from North Birkenhead Development Trust, who is coordinating the activities, said: "It's great to see so many children enjoying the improved park space and appreciating the value of natural play in a green setting, amongst all the new park trees."


The Executive Director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, added, "With the improvements currently being undertaken in the park, it is clear that these play sessions are the shape of things to come for the park's young visitors."

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Two green jobs up for grabs at Groundwork Cheshire

29 July 2014
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Groundwork Cheshire are looking for two talented people to help deliver the Saltscape Landscape Project, which has recently won funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 


Saltscape, which The Mersey Forest will be involved in delivering, is a heritage project in Northwich, Winsford, Middlewich and Frodsham. Over the next 3 years, the project aims to conserve and restore important features connected to the area's landscape, increase awareness and appreciation of the special qualities of this unique area, promote new opportunities for people to access, enjoy and learn about the salt heritage of the area, and develop training programmes for the local community to develop their heritage skills.


To help make this happen, a Project Officer and Project Manager are being sought by Groundwork Cheshire. 


Project Manager
Salary £25,000 to £28,000 (with terminal bonus)
3 year fixed term
37.5 hrs/week

You will be the lead responsible officer within the project team for the preparation, management, monitoring and evaluation of a 3 year work programme to deliver the Landscape Partnership scheme – providing regular reports on progress and key issues to the Project Board and Heritage Lottery Fund as required. You will coordinate the activities of the project officer and the various delivery partners to ensure the successful completion of agreed outputs within the approved timescale and budgets.

You will be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to and experience of environmental/heritage issues alongside a clear understanding of local distinctiveness and reinforcement of the sense of place as a valued link in people's lives.

Project Officer
Salary £22,000 to £26,000 (with terminal bonus)
3 year fixed term
37.5 hrs/week


You will be work closely with the Project Manager, local groups and schools and project partners to deliver and help coordinate the projects within the scheme. The project activity has been designed to increase understanding and ownership of the local landscape, heritage and wildlife.


You will have experience of successfully co-ordinating or managing community, heritage based and education projects and working effectively with a range of organisations. You will also be able to demonstrate an understanding of countryside access and interpretation issues and current natural and man-made heritage issues that are relevant to the scheme.

To apply for either of this roles, please contact Louise Ashley on 01606 723160 or email Full job descriptions can be found on


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