The Mersey Forest is contributing to and learning from green infrastructure best practice at a European level while also developing training for local community groups at home.
The Mersey Forest and sister project Red Rose Forest (both working on behalf of the Northwest Regional Development Agency) are now part of the European Green and Blue Space Adaptation for Urban Areas and Eco Towns (GRaBS) project.
This has allowed the Forests to continue their work exploring the potential for green infrastructure (what is this?) to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts, whilst enabling them to work with experts from across Europe to learn best practice and collaborate on solutions to similar challenges.
The Mersey Forest is also one of 21 European partners in ForeStClim, an EU-funded forestry and climate change project that runs until December 2012.
As part of the GRaBS project, The Mersey Forest has developed a draft action plan now open for consultation entitled: 'Green Infrastructure to Combat Climate Change: Action Plan for Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside'.
The consultation will run until 29th October with workshops also being held. The aim is to complete the final action plan by the end of 2010, with a key challenge being to embed the action plan in newly emerging structures.
Last year The Mersey Forest developed, with Groundwork, a day-long course for environment professionals on using green infrastructure to adapt to climate change. Now, as part of the Climate Change Local Area Support Programme (CLASP), the Forest is developing training on the same topic tailored for local community groups.
The aim is to provide information to groups to inform their management of green spaces, with four trial training sessions being held in autumn 2010. Community involvement professionals are also providing input to help fine-tune the training.