The Mersey Forest is a growing network of trees and woodlands covering 1,370 square km of Merseyside and North Cheshire, which is home to 1.7 million people.
North Cheshire and Merseyside
Habitat types (UK NEA habitats):
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Partners, organisations and stakeholders involved:
The work of The Mersey Forest team and partners is directed by The Mersey Forest Plan, a long term strategic guide embedded within national planning policy.
The Mersey Forest Plan is delivered through partnership coordinated by The Mersey Forest team, the partnership includes:
- Seven local authorities
- Natural England
- The Forestry Commission
- The Environment Agency
- Other public, private and community sector organisations
Aims of the project/initiative:
The vision is to get ‘more from trees’ to help make Merseyside and North Cheshire one of the best places in the country to live. The focus of the Mersey Forest Partnership is on delivery of outcomes:
- Improved health
- Job opportunities
- Reduced risks of poor air quality
- Reduced risks of flooding
- Empowering communities.
Challenges and lessons learned:
This is a long-term initiative with an approved Plan, providing a continuous framework to achieve the vision. The achievements to date are due to a strong partnership, from national to community levels. Working at different levels enables a short chain between policy and delivery, and vice versa.
Monitoring and evaluation is vital to demonstrate the outcomes from investments and promote achievements.
The benefits of trees and woodlands are relevant to a wide range of agenda. This means that there is a need to work with many partners, and to access a wide range of funding sources. However, at present the funders or beneficiaries are usually interested in buying particular benefits of the trees and woodlands, but not necessarily all of the benefits. There is an ongoing challenge to pull together the different funding sources in order to be able to fund projects that truly deliver multiple benefits.
- Green infrastructure planning has provided a more strategic approach to planning for green space and the natural environment, bringing together different environmental organisations under a common framework and speaking in an appropriate language to non-environmental sectors.