Spring 2013 newsletter - Forest Plan special

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The Mersey Forest
Newsletter / Spring 2013 What is The Mersey Forest?
Forest Plan special

We've had more than 100 great responses so far to our consultation on The Mersey Forest Plan, covering topics from education to climate change, health to renewable fuel. We've shared some of them below, and invite you to have your say (you could even win a prize - read on to find out more).


We're also extremely grateful to the Bishop of Liverpool, chair of the Independent Panel on Forestry, for his kind foreword to this special edition of our newsletter.

In this issue
// Foreword by the Bishop of Liverpool
// What is The Mersey Forest Plan?
// Responses so far
// Win Easter chocolate goodies
Bishop's welcome

When I was invited to chair the Independent Panel on Forestry one of the insights I was able to contribute was my experience of the way The Mersey Forest has greened our urban landscape.


The Government has now responded to our Report and endorsed the vast majority of our recommendations. It has said unequivocally that our public forests will be held in trust for the nation. It has also rescinded the 15% sell-off to balance the books. It wants to see more woodlands closer to where people live and to engage local communities in the future of forests. All this is music to the ears of those who value Mersey Forest.


One of the big surprises when I was chairing was to realise that our forests provide the biggest source of recreation in our society.


As I said in the foreword to the Panel's report "our forests are nature's playground for the adventurous, pleasure for the curious, hospital for the stressed, cathedral for the spiritual, and livelihood for the entrepreneur. They are a microcosm for the cycle of life in which each and every part is dependent on the other; forests and woods are the benefactor of all, purifying the air we breathe and distilling the water of life".


There is no finer example of this than Mersey Forest. Every leaf that blossoms in the forests tells a simple story – trees are for life.


In this spirit, I would encourage everyone to have their say on this updated Plan to develop The Mersey Forest for the decades ahead.


The Rt. Rev. James Jones

Bishop of Liverpool

What is the Forest Plan?

The Mersey Forest Plan guides the work of The Mersey Forest Partnership, which over the past two decades has planted 9 million trees. The Plan was launched in 1994, and is currently being updated.


It sets out our vision to deliver "more from trees" in Merseyside and North Cheshire, with partners and communities transforming their landscape and revitalising a woodland culture in and around our towns and cities. Woodland will cover 20% of the area thanks to the planting of new woods and individual trees, complementing other habitats. Woodlands will be managed so that they achieve their potential. And all of us will prosper thanks to the economic and social benefits of environmental regeneration.


Read the draft Plan, view an interactive map of the area, and send us your comments (by the end of April 2013) on our Forest Plan webpage.

Responses so far

"My estate has grown massively but still has some green space, and it's vital for the wellbeing of the community that this is retained."

Read the Plan's health and wellbeing section

"I'm particularly interested in the educational benefits of woodlands and their biodiversity and its potential for the national curriculum."

Read the Plan's education section

"The more trees the better for sound protection from noisy roads and reduction of the effects of pollution."

Read the Plan's sustainable travel section

"What can we do to make it beneficial to landowners and developers to keep existing small woodlands or add to them?"

Read the Plan's landowners section

"I'd like to see trees that not only were attractive and treasured but that also appeal to an abundance of wildlife."

Read the Plan's biodiversity section

"Managing forests for biomass as well as providing logs for local communities should also be considered, as sustainable fuels prevent the need to burn fossil fuels."

Read the Plan's woodfuel section

Win an Easter treat

Take part in the consultation soon to be in with the chance of winning an Easter selection of luxury chocolates handmade in Merseyside by The Chocolate Cellar. All you need to do is visit the Forest Plan webpage, read the Plan and add a comment either to the map or the "general comments" section.


Get your comments in by noon on Friday 22nd March 2013 to be part of the draw (see full rules). The consultation itself continues until the end of April.


Read the Forest Plan and take part

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