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Pendle Council puts weight behind Northern Forest

Published: Monday, 14th October 2019

Pendle Council’s leader is one of 120 cross-party northern leaders and MPs to sign a letter which asks the Prime Minister for his support and commitment to the Northern Forest.

The Northern Forest will see 50 million trees planted over the next 25 years in the North of England by the Woodland Trust and their partners, with more than 600,000 already in the ground.

It will span 120 miles, connecting the towns and cities of Liverpool, Manchester and Lancaster to the West and Sheffield, Leeds and Hull to the East, benefiting 13 million residents and generating £2.5 billion in social, economic, and environmental benefits.

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council, said: “Currently, only 7.6% of the North of England is covered by woodland - considerably lower than the 10% national average.

“The letter asks for the Prime Minister’s commitment to deliver the Northern Forest and look at opportunities that support the development of green investment models.

“It also includes an invitation to the Prime Minister to visit the North to plant a tree as part of the Northern Forest.”

In July, Councillor Tony Greaves took a motion to Pendle Council’s full council meeting for the extension of the Northern Forest into Lancashire, in particular Pendle.  

Councillor Greaves, Chair of the Climate Emergency Working Group, added: “The Northern Forest initiative would help reduce the risk of flooding, lock up millions of tonnes of carbon and help provide the clean air we need.

“It seems very odd that Lancashire is as yet not an integral part of the scheme.”

Darren Moorcroft, CEO, Woodland Trust, said: “The Northern Forest represents the green lungs of the Northern Powerhouse.

“This pioneering project spearheaded by the Woodland Trust and the Community Forests, will deliver millions of new trees planted, and billions of pounds worth of economic, social and environmental benefits to the region.

“If we are to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises the world faces, internationally significant projects like the Northern Forest must be at the forefront of bold, ambitious domestic thinking."