First government-funded tree of Northern Forest takes root

6 December 2018

Forestry minister David Rutley joined the Woodland Trust, Community Forest Trust, government Tree Champion Sir William Worsley and students from St Andrew’s CE Primary School in Radcliffe, Bury where they began the planting of 200 saplings as part of the government’s £5.7m investment.

Over the next 25 years, the Woodland Trust and Community Forest Trust are aiming to plant more than 50 million trees from Liverpool to Hull, connecting the Mersey Forest, Manchester City of Trees, South Yorkshire Community Forest, the Leeds White Rose Forest and the HEYwoods Project.

Spanning more than 120 miles, the Northern Forest will help boost habitats for woodland birds and bats and protect iconic species such as the red squirrel, alongside providing a tranquil space to be enjoyed by millions of people living in the area.

The creation of a Northern Forest is at the heart of the government’s 25 of plan and demonstrates the commitment of the Government to backing growth, investment and jobs bringing a green dimension to the Northern Powerhouse as part of efforts to create an economy that works for everyone, complementing the planned £75bn of hard infrastructure investment across the M62 corridor. The Woodland Trust and Community Forest Trust estimate this new forest will generate more than £2 billion for the country’s economy.

Forestry Minister David Rutley said: ‘It is a privilege to be here to see the Northern Forest take root, and to plant the first of many government-funded trees which will contribute to what will one day be a great forest. ‘This new forest will benefit communities across the north of England and deliver on our pledge to leave the environment in a better state for future generations.’

City of Trees is the Greater Manchester part of the Northern Forest.