The newly updated Mersey Forest Plan aims to plant millions more trees across the local area, with long-term aspirations to plant urban trees, copses, and larger woodlands and improve their management for people and wildlife.
The Rt. Rev. James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, said:
"Our forests are nature's playground for the adventurous, pleasure for the curious, hospital for the stressed, cathedral for the spiritual, and livelihood for the entrepreneur.
"There is no finer example of this than The Mersey Forest's achievements of the past 20 years. I have no doubt this success will continue, and would encourage people to have their say on this new plan for the decades ahead."
The plan has been created by The Mersey Forest Partnership which has planted more than 9 million trees since 1991. The partnership is made up of seven local authorities, the Forestry Commission, Natural England, Environment Agency and local communities and businesses.
The draft document can be found at www.merseyforest.org.uk/plan, where residents can see proposals for their local area on an interactive map, and put forward their views until the end of April. Printed copies of the plan are also in libraries in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St.Helens, Warrington and northern areas of Cheshire West and Chester (call 01925 816217 for further details).
The Bishop's comments follow hot on the heels of a new national approach to forestry unveiled by the government in January. This confirmed that England's public woodlands will be held in trust for the nation, and saw the government endorse the vast majority of recommendations made by the Independent Panel on Forestry, chaired by the Bishop.
The Panel was set up in 2010 following an uproar over plans to sell many public woodlands and forests.