The Role Of Local Schools And Volunteer Groups

2171 WordsJan 13, 20159 Pages
Launched in 1994, The Mersey Forest is the UK’s largest community forest covering over 800 square miles of woodlands, green spaces, parks and street trees across Cheshire and Merseyside. With the work of several local authorities including The Forestry Commission, Natural England and the Environment Agency – along with help from landowners, business owners, local communities and a team of dedicated forest workers – the vision of transforming derelict land into high quality natural environments for recreational and cultural activities within 30 years became not only achievable but a reality (The Mersey forest, 2014a). Mersey Forest has several projects across the North West each with the aim of improving and protecting habitat biodiversity and enhancing landscapes, promoting healthy living, supporting education and aiding social development by encouraging active community involvement (Ridgers & Sayers, 2010). The involvement of local schools and volunteer groups offers a sense of ownership over the projects, allowing them to feel more connected with the projects and with each other as a community. An estimated 711 individuals contributed to at least one step of the consultation process, with many having an active involvement in more than one part of the process (The Mersey Forest, 2014b). With total costs reaching over £7 million, the projects are partly funded by the EU’s Merseyside Objective One Programme, and include: land reclamation, managing woodlands, supporting
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