Not only is The Mersey Forest helping local authorities, businesses, private landowners and others to create new woodland across the Forest, it is also ensuring that this investment is safeguarded through management plans that will ensure healthy woodlands for decades to come. (NB: If you own or manage land in Merseyside or Cheshire find out about advice and grants that we may be able to provide).
The Mersey Forest is widely acknowledged as a key player in the development of the "green infrastructure" approach in the North West. Green infrastructure is the region's life support system – the network of natural environmental components and green and blue spaces that lies within and between the North West's cities, towns and villages which provides multiple social, economic and environmental benefits.
Woodlands, hedgerows and ponds created as part of The Mersey Forest provide shelter for wildlife and connect together areas of valuable habitat. A strategically planned, well connected landscape will help wildlife move to new locations as temperatures rise due to climate change.
Trees and woodlands have a crucial role to play in helping our region adapt to inevitable climate change. Creating green infrastructure in targeted areas can keep towns and cities cool, reducing heat stress and saving lives in the face of heatwaves. Flood risk is also reduced thanks to improved surface water management, with green infrastructure also providing increased opportunities for outdoor recreation in a hotter climate.
If we increase our tree cover in towns and cities by just 10%, we can keep surface temperatures at current levels despite climate change. This is the message of the ASCCUE (Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change in the Urban Environment) project at the University of Manchester on how the North West can rise to the challenge and 'beat the heat'.
Trees and woodland are a core part of our urban green infrastructure. Their powerful cooling effect is thanks to their ability to provide shade as well as the 'evaporative cooling' that takes place as they breathe.
There are no technical barriers to going the extra 10%, it is solely a question of political will. This is why The Mersey Forest is committed to engaging as many partners as possible to work together to achieve this vital target.
By adding your name to our list of supporters of The Mersey Forest, you will help show the demand for community forestry and help us to continue our work to transform the local area.