Mayor leads the way to grow the Northern Forest

Sheffield City Region Mayor and MP for Barnsley Central, Dan Jarvis is taking the issue of climate change straight to the heart of Government, as he writes to the Prime Minister asking for his support and commitment to grow the Northern Forest.

Mayor Jarvis has brought together more than 120 cross-party northern leaders and MPs to support the growth of 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. The forest 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.

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. The letter also includes an invitation to the Prime Minister to visit the North to plant a tree as part of the Northern Forest

Mayor Jarvis said: “I’m proud to be working with the Woodland Trust and their partners in growing the Northern Forest. It will be transformational for more than 13 million residents, improving their health and wellbeing. It will help habitats thrive, a woodland culture to flourish as well as helping to tackle climate change, reduce the risk of flooding and create thousands of new jobs.

“As the world faces a climate crisis and local authorities across the UK declare a climate emergency, we all have a responsibility to care for our planet and protect our environment.

“The Northern Forest is an initiative of international significance and I’m helping to lead the way and playing my part in growing it. I’m now calling on the Prime Minister to back this project, bestowing a legacy we can all be proud of.”

Darren Moorcroft, CEO, Woodland Trust commented: “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.”

More than 120 cross-party Members of Parliament and Council Leaders, as well as Metro Mayors Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham, MPs Rosie Cooper and Sir Graham Brady and Leaders Susan Hinchcliffe and Louise Gittins have signed a letter to the Prime Minister.

Currently, only 7.6% of the North of England is covered by woodland, considerably lower than the 10% national average This is at the detriment of resident’s quality of life, but also to wildlife and their natural habitats.

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