Shoppers and office workers found a new attraction in Liverpool's Williamson Square on Wednesday last week – a living breathing forest.
The 15 large trees (Betula Jaquemontii, a type of birch) transformed the urban square providing some welcome shade in the hot weather. Installed for EU Green Week by the Urban GreenUP team, the trees were a practical demonstration of the value of greening Liverpool.
Visitors to the square were overwhelmingly positive. Comments includes:
"Our trees are our future. They sustain our wellbeing. We need to bring back the elegance and beauty nature provides - naturally!"
"It's lovely to have in town. If you sit there you wouldn't think you were in town. It's tranquil."
"Is it staying? It's beautiful!"
A thermal imaging camera was used to visually demonstrate the cooling effects a tree canopy has on hot summer days:
Over the next two years Urban GreenUP (a partnership between Liverpool City Council, Mersey Forest and the University of Liverpool) will be installing a number of nature-based solutions that help us better manage a changing climate, alleviate air and water pollution and reduce floods. These nature-based solutions will include planting trees, installing vertical green walls and green roofs, and creating rain gardens – as well as planting lots of wildflowers to brighten the city!
Shoppers and office workers were asked for their views on the first of the new proposals which involve creating or improving green corridors in the Baltic area
, Princes Park, Sefton Park and Otterspool Park
. Many were enthusiastic about the scheme:
"Fabulous to see this initiative. The city centre needs greening-up"
"It will make Liverpool city centre a more attractive place to visit or go around in"
The UrbanGreenUP improvements will be evaluated to measure their impact on local people and businesses as well as on the local air quality, surface water flooding, and the numbers and types of flowering plants and insects. This research will allow us to assess which nature-based solutions work best and suggest cost-effective options for future projects in Liverpool.
The Pop Up Forest made the news as Liverpool BID Company Chief Executive, and The Mersey Forest's Clare Olver were interviewed by BBC local radio and the day was closely followed on social media:
Give your views on the proposals
Baltic, Princes Park, Sefton Park, Otterspool Park