Planting starts on Northern Forest project

Beccy Speight
Beccy Speight
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The first trees have been planted in an ambitious project to cover the north of England, including Wigan, in greenery.

The Woodland Trust embarked on the first step of the Northern Forest scheme to plant 50m new trees today.

The event in Bolton marks the start of an incredible 25 years of work to transform the environment from Liverpool to Hull.

The borough has not been forgotten either, with a scheme to regenerate land around Bickershaw Colliery included.

The City of Trees and Lancashire Wildlife Trust put 1,000 or so specimens in the ground at the site after teaming late last year.

City of Trees is also helping the Friends of Amberswood manage 122 hectares of countryside.

The Northern Forest will eventually sprawl 120 miles and funding is currently being sought for the £500m scheme.

Woodland Trust CEO Beccy Speight said: “The Northern Forest is a ground-breaking project which is bold in its aim and never more needed.

“England is losing trees, with planting rates stalling and woods lost. The north in particular needs to benefit from investment of this kind with woodland cover woefully meagre.

“Investment in green spaces and trees improve our health and well-being.”