Mersey Forest (Ecological Conservation area)

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  • Mersey Forest (Ecological Conservation area)
    • Characteristics
      • Managed by partnership of public, prviate and voluntary organisations (includ. 7 local authorities, landowners, forestry commision, charities and local community groups.
      • WIDE Habitat range: Grassland, Coastal salt marshes, oak & pine woodland coastal mudflats and rivers.
    • AIMS of the Mersey Forest
      • 1) Provide a green space for local people
      • 3) Bring money to local area through sustainable forestry and tourism.
      • 2) Protect the ecosystems in the area and preserve biodiversity.
    • Schemes Implemented
      • Bluebell Recovery Project has been protecting and replanting native bluebell population of the Mersey Forest since 1966, using bulbs grown from local British Bluebell seeds. Need to be protected as the introduced Spanish bluebell species is out competing native British Bluebell.
      • Friend of the Woodland initiative finds and advice the 10 community conservation groups in Merseyside N. Cheshire. These groups do voluntary work in Mersey forest area e.g clearing litter, running woodland art workshops, setting up projects to produce woodland products.
      • Urban schemes try to get people in urban areas involved in conservation and bring local communities together. E.g. Green Streets programme set up community groups to plant and care for trees in neighbourhood, which helps improve air quality, makes streets attractive & provides habitats for birds.
    • BENEFITS
      • Environmental: 1. Creates habitat for woodland and increases biodiversity. 2. 800 hectares of non-woodland habitats created, includ. 90km of hedgerows. 3. Reduction in pollution due to tree planting. 4. Planting trees reduces soil erosion. 5. Wildlife corridors created.
      • Social: 1. 60% of 1.5 million residents use woodland for recreation, so it improves health by promoting exercise and reduces stress. 2. Range of environmental education activities offered, encouraging people to explore forest.
      • Economic: 1. Improved image of area has boosted economy, e.g house prices in St Helens have increased by a total of £15million. 2. Sustainable forestry has created 150 jobs since 1994. 3. Increase in tourism, leisure and recreation creates jobs and brings money to the area.

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