Earlier this year we asked people which local woods they love and where they'd like to see more trees planted. The campaign was a way to help members of the public to be involved in the ongoing refresh of our guiding Mersey Forest Plan.
We created an interactive online map as a visual and fun way for people to participate, and launched this in June. As well as promoting the map via our website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, we took a stickers-and-pens version of the map on the road to the Cheshire County Show, Green Safari Day at Risley Moss and the Southport Flower Show.
We offered the chance to win tickets to Chester Zoo as a prize to encourage people to take part (thanks to Chester Zoo for donating these, and well done to our winner, Sarah Tandy).
The public's excellent response meant that we received a total of 1188 votes and comments over the course of the campaign.
These spanned a staggering 331 different locations:
• 207 locations of favourite trees and woodlands
• 87 suggestions of places where trees are needed
• and 37 suggestions of sites that could be made even better
The Mersey Forest Team has since been busy analysing the whole lot as part of the upcoming refresh of the long-term Mersey Forest Plan which guides our work to create a well-wooded, healthy and prosperous Merseyside and North Cheshire.
A draft of the new document is near complete, which has also incorporated a range of feedback from local authorities and other important stakeholders. The draft will be available for full consultation early in 2013.
We are planning to keep the interactive map "live" as a long-term resource, so if you've not done so already, visit the map to check it out and add your own comments.