A free outdoor photography exhibition displaying photographs captured from all over the world is now open at a Warrington nature reserve.
Risley Moss (which is open 6 days per week, but closed on Fridays), in Birchwood, Warrington, is playing host to the International ForeStClim Photography Exhibition, a collection of two hundred photos arrayed around the woods.
The photographs are themed around the impact of climate change upon people and forestry. They were previously exhibited in Germany, and will be on display in Risley Moss, a Warrington Borough Council-owned site, until February 2013 before moving to Brittany in north west France.
The exhibition was officially opened to the public by Cllr Terry O'Neill, Leader of Warrington Borough Council, and Pat McCloskey, Chair of The Mersey Forest Partnership on 13 November.
Cllr O'Neill said: "I am very pleased that Risley Moss has been chosen for the location of this pertinent and timely exhibition, and hope it will encourage even more people to come and explore the fantastic community woodlands that Warrington has to offer."
The opening of the exhibition was part of the final conference of ForeStClim, a project which has brought together 21 organisations from across Europe – including The Mersey Forest, whose offices are based at Risley Moss – to develop new ways to help our woods and forests to cope with the pressures of climate change.
Dr. Gebhard Schueler, director of the ForeStClim project, which is funded through the EU Interreg IVB programme, said: "The exhibition displays poignant images of the impact of climate change on humans and forestry.
"We believe that photographs can touch people and instigate change more effectively than scientific reports or studies."
The main ForeStClim conference took place in Liverpool's Merseyside Maritime Museum on 14 November, and was followed by a field trip to Sefton's coastal pinewoods, one of the project's study areas.
Pat McCloskey said: "It's been really beneficial for The Mersey Forest to work with experts from across Europe. Learning from countries with hotter climates is helping us to prepare our local woods for the increased temperatures and other challenges that they will face in years to come."
Cllr Geoff Settle, Member for The Mersey Forest, Warrington Council, who accompanied the scientists throughout their three-day stay, said: "I discussed the impact that pest and diseases are having on French and German woodlands with the environmental scientists. They warned me that these changes will cross the English Channel within the next 20-30 years, just as ash dieback disease has.
"Their vital work is helping us to understand what is happening and leading us to a position where we will be hopefully able to take action to protect our woodlands. However with climate change, nothing is certain, which is why their contribution is so important."