In January 2018, the UK Government kicked off the year by backing a project to create a new Northern Forest.
The Government will provide £5.7 million to increase tree cover in this area. The project will cost £500m over 25 years, and the balance will be raised by charity.
The project will see 50 million trees over 25 years. They will stretch from Liverpool right over to Hull, embracing the major cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Chester and Hull alongside other major towns along the M62 corridor.
Woodland cover is at just 7.6% there, below the UK average of 13%. The EU has an average of 44%.
Tree planting rates are very low with there being only 700 hectares against the Government’s target of 5,000 hectares a year, so this project should help.
However, while it is one thing to create new forest, it is another to destroy ancient woodland which the Government is hell bent on, in part to create room for this ridiculous and incredibly expensive HS2 railway.
If this Government really cared about forests and woodlands, it would stop destroying ancient woodland and stop routing the high-speed train route through them.
Five Community Forests that sit within the proposed areas for the Northern Forest – you can find out more about the Community Forests here.