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Residents invited to dig in at the Countess of Chester Country Park

13 January 2017

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029 - Mersey Forest 01 - DSCF1021
Local residents are being encouraged to help green their local area by mucking in at a community tree planting event.

The tree planting event will take place at Countess of Chester Country Park on Saturday 21st January. Interested residents should follow the signs to meet the team on site any time between 11am and 3pm on the day to get involved with the planting. Please wear warm waterproof clothes, suitable boots or wellies and bring gloves.


The event is being supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council, TCV, the Friends of the Countess of Chester Country Park, the Land Trust and The Mersey Forest.


Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said: "We'll be planting a variety of young native broadleaf trees on the site to encourage even more wildlife into the country park. We're keen to see as many residents as possible on the day. It's a great opportunity for people to get involved with an activity which provides a great asset to their local area."


The planting is being supported by Councillor Matt Bryan, who is a member of The Mersey Forest Steering Group using his Members' budget. The project will link in with the ongoing work to deliver The Mersey Forest's vision which aims to 'get more from trees' and make Merseyside and North Cheshire one of the best places to live in the country.


The project will link in with the ongoing work to deliver The Mersey Forest's vision which aims to 'get more from trees' and make Merseyside and North Cheshire one of the best places to live in the country.


Since opening in September 2014, the park has become a thriving natural space for the whole community to enjoy. As well as encouraging health and recreation activities, it has improved existing habitats through tree planting, hedge laying and the creation of a reed bed.


As well as the upcoming planting day, there are opportunities to get involved with the Friends of Countess of Chester Country Park group to help support and care for the park. To find out more, come along to The Little Owl on Tuesday 17th January at 7pm.


There are regular events and activities at the park, including Green Gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am, health, buggy and Nordic walks throughout the week, and Chester Parkrun every Saturday at 9am. For more information see our Nature4Health page.


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What do trees mean to you?

12 January 2017

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The Mersey Forest is home to 1.7m people – many living in dense urban areas where tree planting has made a huge difference to quality of life since we began in 1991.

charter_logo.pngTrees and woodlands bring enormous benefits to people across Merseyside and North Cheshire – and now we need to hear your views and stories for a major new campaign.


We're standing with 60 organisations, led by the Woodland Trust, to call for a new Charter for Trees, Woods and People. The Charter aims to highlight the value of trees to all of us at a time when many are under threat from development, climate change, pests and more. 

Through collecting stories about what trees and woods mean to people, we are building a picture of their value to everyone in the UK. These stories will be used to create a set of guiding principles, around which the charter will be written. The final Charter for Trees, Woods and People will influence policy and practice and celebrate the role that trees and woods play in our lives.

The new charter will launch on 6 November 2017, the 800th anniversary of the original mediaeval Charter of the Forest.

We're keen that the Charter reflects the voices of people who live within The Mersey Forest. If you live in a place that's seen transformation of derelict land through tree planting, tell your story about what that's meant to you. If you value the trees in your street or your park, if you walk or jog through local woodland, if you've seen your children benefit from contact with trees and nature, please add your voice to the Charter.


You'll be hearing a lot more from us about the Charter during 2017 and we hope you'll get involved.


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Defra Minister Therese Coffey visits Mersey Forest projects in Liverpool

21 December 2016

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The Defra Minister recently visited St. Vincent de Paul Primary School where she planted a tree with pupils.

St Vincent De Paul Primary is a school based right in the heart of the city which has little green space, but thanks to funding from supported by the Ernest Cook Trust and Smurfit Kappa Foundation their school grounds have been transformed.

The school was keen to develop a Forest School, so with help from The Mersey Forest Team, parents, children and staff a grassy area was planted with trees and logs brought in for seating. That was back in December 2015 and since then a member of staff has trained as a Forest School Leader. The pupils started their Forest School sessions in October 2016, and supported by Jo from the Mersey Forest team, but soon teacher Miss Bethel will be leading her own sessions and hopes to be a fully qualified leader by Summer 2017.

The Minister then continued with a walking meeting through the city's Business Improvement Districts where she discussed the current green infrastructure planning being delivered by the Mersey Forest with the BID Company's Andi Herring. This was followed by talks with Paul Nolan, Iain Taylor and Forestry Commission's Keith Jones around urban flood risk management and adapting to climate change.

The Mersey Forest Team developed the Liverpool Green Infrastructure Strategy in 2012 which led to significant investment in green infrastructure programmes from the health and transport sectors. Most recently the Strategy has been the basis for a successful £3.5m Horizon 2020 bid, led by the City Council with The Mersey Forest and University of Liverpool support. This funding will deliver a range of environmental improvements including increasing biodiversity, improving air quality and alleviating surface water issues. Work will include planting trees, introducing green walls and sustainable urban drainage systems, whilst enhancing pedestrian and cyclist routes in and out of the city.

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Help shape the future of outdoor learning for children with special educational needs

19 December 2016

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 As part of our Green Learning Environments project, we are researching non-formal learning in the natural environment, and are asking for help in identifying good and best practice.

There is increasing evidence of the importance of learning in the natural environment. Playing and learning in nature stimulates the imagination and enhances creativity. The positive impact of a green learning environment appears particularly important in children with special educational needs.

The Mersey Forest Team, Bluebell Park and Green Lane Schools along with partners and schools from Slovenia and Belgium are working to identify best practice from schools and other organisations. This is part of a project co-funded by the Erasmus + Programme.

We are particularly interested in approaches to non-formal learning in the natural environment for children and young people from 2 - 25 years old with special educational needs. The project is mainly focused on schools for children with special educational needs, but we know that there are many organisations who support or deliver programmes outside school.

We have created a simple questionnaire asking about your experiences of non-formal learning in the natural environment. This will only take a few minutes to complete.

The information will be used to help to shape and test a toolbox for teachers and educators. For each response received, we will plant a tree in The Mersey Forest. Moreover, responses are entered into a draw to win a voucher worth £50.


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Explore the Mersey Forest in 2017

13 December 2016

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A winter walk in Risley Moss
Make a new year's resolution to get active by exploring parts of the Mersey Forest. Here's two suggestions: a brand new trail and a site much improved during the last year:
saltscape_banner.jpgThe new Saltscape Trail

Saltscape is the unique salt-shaped landscape in mid-Cheshire along the River Weaver. This brand new walking trail takes you through six miles of beautiful scenery passing attractions such as the Anderton Boat Lift, the award-winning Lion Salt Works and Northwich Woodlands. View full details and map of the trail.


The trail was developed and managed by the Friends of Anderton and Marbury (FoAM), as part of the Saltscape initiative.


Getting there:

You can walk to point 16 on the Saltscape Trail map in less than 20 minutes from Northwich railway station. Alternatively, take a bus from Northwich bus interchange to the Swing Bridge, and walk from there to Anderton Boat Lift (point 1 on the map). Car parking is also available by the boat lift (details on the map download).



Colliers.jpgThe reinvigorated Colliers Moss 

It was once a bleak colliery spoil tip, but over decades Colliers Moss near St.Helens has been transformed into a wildlife haven with lagoons, wetlands, woodlands and more. This year much work has been carried out to make the Moss a better place to visit, with overgrown paths cleared and heritage features rejuvenated. 


Getting there:

The entrance to Colliers Moss on the south side is about 20 minutes walk from St Helens Junction railway station. Alternatively, take a 31 bus towards Derbyshire Hill from St Helens Bus Station and alight at Concourse Way, walking a few minutes down Moss Lane to the northern entrance. 



For more ideas on walks and woodlands to visit, browse Discover the Mersey Forest 

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