Enjoy the forest on your doorstep; CONSERVATION.THE chance to explore a forest might not sound possible in most of Merseyside, but all that is changing thanks to the creation of The Mersey Forest - a growing network of woodlands and green spaces taking root right here in our schools, on our streets and in our neighbourhoods.
Instead of creating a forest on a single site in a far-flung location away from where people live, the Community Forest concept brings trees into people's lives by helping them to green their own streets, to create and care for local community woodlands, and even to transform their schools - with lessons taking place in mini-forests planted by the pupils themselves.
Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest, says: "Woodlands and green spaces have such a positive impact on our lives, from helping children reconnect to nature to brightening our towns and cities to make them better places to live and work.
"That's why, when asked, 95% of people support the creation of The Mersey Forest in their neighbourhoods."
Started in 1994, more than eight million trees have been planted so far, thanks to a wide Forest Partnership that includes seven local authorities, the Forestry Commission The Forestry Commission (established in 1919) is a non-ministerial Government Department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. Its mission is to protect and expand Britain's forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment. , Natural England Natural England is a Non-Departmental Public Body of the UK government. It was formed (vested) on 1 October 2006. It is responsible for ensuring that England's natural environment, including its land, flora and fauna, freshwater and marine environments, geology and soils, are and businesses including United Utilities.
Fifteen years on, many of the woodlands are now mature enough to have become exciting places to explore, with the Discover The Mersey Forest website (www.discoverthe merseyforest.co.uk) offering free "route packs" of directions and maps to download To receive a file transmitted over a network. In any communications session, "download" means receive, and "upload" means send. The download/upload often implies a big/little scenario, in which data is being downloaded from the "big" server into the "little" user's computer. or print off for dozens of green walks and cycle rides.
There is also the chance to get involved with volunteer Friends of the Woodland community groups across the Forest, like the Little Woods of Stockbridge Association.
"The group helps look after the woodlands around Knowsley's Stockbridge Village, and their children's branch, the Stockbridge Junior Rangers Rapidly deployable airborne light infantry organized and trained to conduct highly complex joint direct action operations in coordination with or in support of other special operations units of all Services. , have just picked up a national Ecover Ethical Kids Award at The Observer newspaper's Ethical Living Ethical living is the philosophy of making decisions for daily life which take into account ethics and moral values, particularly with regard to sustainability and environmentalism. At present it is largely a personal choice, and not an organized social movement. Awards," explains Paul.
In Sefton too young people have been playing their part, with primary school pupils from Formby working with The Mersey Forest and the North Sefton City Learning Centre to create videos, radio shows and the www.pinewoods-project.org.uk website to have their say on their local woodlands.
As well as getting people involved, The Mersey Forest also has a major climate change role to play in the region.
Alongside its sister project in Manchester, the Red Rose Forest The Red Rose Forest is the second largest community forest in England and is a partnership initiative of the 12 Community Forests. The project was started in 1991 and is expected to last 40 years. , it is leading on part of the North West's Climate Change Action Plan to show how our "green infrastructure" of woodlands, gardens and other green spaces can play a vital role in both helping to reduce emissions and also helping us adapt to already inevitable elements of climate change by offering shade and helping to prevent flooding.
TO FIND out more visit www.merseyforest.org.
uk or see www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/environment.
WOODS: Speke's Mill Wood, tended by one of the Mersey Forest's community groups