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2,000 local residents help protect natural heritage through skills programme

22 September 2009

More than 2,000 local people have received training in how to restore the natural environment thanks to The Mersey Forest's Green Bridge project which reached completion at the start of 2009.


Over a three-year period, The Mersey Forest provided materials, advice and training costs to help local people implement projects across the Forest area that they had identified as contributing towards the restoration of natural heritage.


For example, in Cheshire West and Chester nearly 40 people got involved at Dutton Park to install 20 bird boxes and 10 bat boxes, and at The Russet School in Weaverham more than 70 people helped create new wildlife habitats for frogs, newts, hedgehogs and birds.


From an original target of 200 people trained, the Green Bridge project in fact succeeded in training 2,200 happy volunteers across a total of 161 training events.


Eight thousand trees

Over 8,000 trees were planted including new woodland areas and hedgerow, wildflower areas totaling the size of a football pitch were created, and four ponds were created or restored. These were just some of the highlights achieved from a £25,000 grant secured by The Mersey Forest from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Additional match funds of £22,000 were provided through volunteer in kind time and other sources.


'How to' guides for the whole community

An exciting legacy of the project has been the production of a range of habitat guidance leaflets for communities in The Mersey Forest area on topics identified by Green Bridge volunteers including planting and caring for trees, creating ponds and planting hedgerows.


The free guides can be viewed, downloaded or printed here.

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