Martin has added his name to a letter to the Prime Minister calling for the creation of a Northern Forest.
This initiative will see 50 million trees planted over the next 25 years across the North, including the core area of the Northern Powerhouse with its actively expanding industry, transport and housing. While the Northern Forest is progressing well, including more than 600,000 trees already in the ground, it needs your support.
Woodland cover in our Northern counties is only 7.6%, far lower than England’s average (currently 10%). At the same time 650,000 new homes are planned, with £75 billion of infrastructure already in the pipeline. While this progress is most welcome, it is vital that the right balance is reached between development and the environment, not least for the 13 million people who live here and the people we are hoping to attract. This is where the Northern Forest comes in.
The Northern Forest offers a multitude of benefits to people and nature alike. From reducing the risk of flooding, to locking up millions of tonnes of carbon to ameliorating the impact of climate change, to providing shade and the clean air we need in our towns and cities, trees offer effective solutions.
It is believed that the Northern Forest will help create happier and healthier communities, economic benefits from wood fuel and timber, and provide abundant opportunities for recreation, tourism and leisure. Our nation’s wildlife population will benefit too, particularly from safe green corridors and more abundant and better-connected habitats. This project will be a major step in ensuring your government leaves the environment in a better state than it was found.
The letter requests the Prime Minister to:
- Commit to supporting the delivery of the Northern Forest
- Look at opportunities to enable its delivery, including supporting the development of green investment models, government grants, developer levies and contributions and support from offsetting planned government infrastructure projects
- Visit the region and plant a tree as part of the project