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Over 5 million invested in new tree planting across The Mersey Forest

08 February 2020

£2.4M from The Urban Tree Challenge Fund has been secured to plant large urban trees and small saplings across Merseyside and North Cheshire.
This is one of thirteen projects in urban communities in England that have been awarded a share of the £10 million in the first round of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund.
Across the country over 22,000 large trees and 28,000 small trees will be planted in urban areas to help areas improve health and wellbeing, as well as playing a crucial role in the fight against climate change, supporting the UK's journey to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
In total over 6,500 trees will be planted throughout The Mersey Forest including 1,500 small sapling trees and over 5,000 large, high impact trees in urban areas across Liverpool, Knowsley, St.Helens, Sefton, Cheshire West, Wirral Borough and Wirral Waters.
The trees will be planted over the next two years, with locations in Knowsley, Hunts Cross in Liverpool and Ellesmere Port in Cheshire West and Chester.
Carl Smethurst fromThe Mersey Forest team, who is co-ordinating the programme with six local councils and other partners, comments:

"We're delighted to have secured such a significant amount of funding for large urban trees across the areas that need it most across Merseyside and North Cheshire. This will help to improve the quality of access routes, encouraging active travel and recreation and improving our wellbeing through increased physical activity.

He continues: "The aim of the Mersey Forest  Plan is to get "more from trees", to increase tree and woodland planting, and to engage communities in understanding  and  supporting  their  role in helping to tackle key issues such as the impacts of climate change, natural flood management, poor air quality and loss of biodiversity. The funding from the Urban Tree Challenge Fund is a great boost to continuing to deliver that vision."
The fund is being delivered by the Forestry Commission, as part of their work to expand woodlands and tree cover across England.

Chair of the Forestry Commission, Sir Harry Studholme said:

"It is such great news that the first year of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund has been so successful and able to reach so many places. "The fund focuses on areas of high deprivation and low tree canopy cover where every tree planted has the change to provide the greatest impact.

"Not only do trees in urban areas help to improve wellbeing but they also offer benefits in many other ways like helping tackle climate change and mitigating flood risks. I look forward to seeing the second year of the fund re-opening for smaller scale planting later this year."

The new trees will also form part of the Northern Forest, an ambitious initiative to plant 50 million trees, stretching from Liverpool to Hull, within 25 years.

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