Nov 28 2008 by Marc Waddington, Liverpool Echo
Cultural woodland takes root
THE planting of ?the world?s most colourful woodland? here on Merseyside gets under way today.
More than ?700,000 will be spent on planting more than 40,000 trees which will form the city?s ?cultural forest?.
The project has been hailed as a lasting legacy of the Capital of Culture year and a showpiece for the 2009 Year of the Environment.
More than 25 hectares of brownfield land around the Mab Lane area of West Derby will be transformed into dense forest, which will also take in land close to Stockbridge Village and Croxteth Country Park. The first seeds are to be sewn today.
Forestry Commission and culture chiefs say they hope the woodland will be a boost for both the environment and the local economy.
Lord Clarke of Windermere, the chairman of the Forestry Commission, said: ?A new community woodland is also the ideal emblem for the city?s commitment to enhancing the natural environment as we move towards the Year of the Environment.
?The site is set to become an inspiring and peaceful space, which will be well-used and treasured by the local community as well as providing a valuable habitat for wildlife.
?This is truly a woodland for the people of Liverpool.?
Alongside the 20,000 native trees that will be planted, a dazzling array of wildflowers, a community orchard and seasonal wetland areas are also planned.
The Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) has put forward ?440,000 of the money in partnership with the Forestry Commission. The rest will come from the city council, the Riverside Group, the Lottery and Europe.
Phil Redmond, creative director of the Culture Company, said he was thrilled to see the plans made at the very beginning of the Capital of the Culture year bearing fruit.
?This is a brillant example of how a cultural initiative can bring people together to share their enthusiasm, expertise and resources to make something that could be good, actually great.
?It?s also a real example of a living, sustainable legacy of 2008 and I would like to thank everyone involved for helping us fulfil that promise made on the opening night of the Capital of Culture year.?