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Speke Hall receive help from the community to create new woodland

On the site at the National Trust’s Speke Hall in Liverpool, community organisations and volunteers have planted a new woodland.

The conservation organisation thinks that it will help people become more connected to environment through improving habitats, storing carbon, and bringing people closer to nature.

The new woodland, which is made up of over 1,200 trees and is the size of three football pitches, was planted in conjunction with The Mersey Forest, one of England’s Community Forests, which has been building a network of woodlands and green spaces across Cheshire and Merseyside for 30 years.

Hundreds of locations throughout the area are being planted as part of the national Trees for Climate initiative, a multi-million-pound woodland creation project funded by the Government-led Nature for Climate Fund.

The National Trust worked with local schools, companies, and Merseyside Police officers who have a base nearby, as well as National Trust volunteers and employees, to assist plant the trees.

Speke Hall and its historic gardens and estate sits in an unusual position surrounded by industrial estates and Liverpool John Lennon Airport. In the early twentieth-century, the Speke Hall estate was vast in size, but most of it was subsequently sold to the Liverpool Corporation to create the new town of Speke.

The rare Tudor mansion is visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and is described as a ‘green oasis’ by the National Trust. While most visitors come to enjoy the landscaped gardens and explore the house, the wider estate is home to semi-ancient woodland and hay meadows which provide important green spaces for wildlife and people.

Simon Osborne, general manager, said:

“With a large urban population on its doorstep, this new woodland will mean Speke Hall’s estate will become an even better place for our local community and visitors to connect with nature. It will also help the National Trust achieve its ambition to plant 20 million trees by 2030 to help in the fight against climate change and create better homes for wildlife.”

“We’re delighted to be working with The Mersey Forest, England’s Community Forests, and members of the local community to bring this woodland to life, and we’re looking forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to nature and people as it grows.”

Paul Nolan, director of The Mersey Forest, said:

“Speke Hall is one of many sites across the country being planted this year as part of the national Trees for Climate programme. These trees will play their part helping the country tackle climate change with this new woodland storing 430 tonnes of carbon over the next 100 years. The wider range of benefits include reducing flood risk, supporting increased public access to woodland and creating more places for nature to thrive.”

Several tree species are being planted, including oak, scots pine and birch, which have been chosen to complement the native species already on the estate.

The new woodland will benefit a variety of wildlife, particularly birds, who already have a safe haven in the woodlands of Speke Hall and the nearby Speke and Garston Coastal Reserve. Smaller birds, such as tits, finches, and warblers, are expected to benefit, as will animals and bats, who will be able to feast on the variety of insects brought to the area.

National Trust’s Speke Hall estate, restaurant and play areas are open seven days a week. The house is open Wednesday-Sunday, between March and October. Entry is free for National Trust members, admission charges apply to non-members. For more information please visit website here.

READ MORE: Speke Hall celebrates Liverpool’s food heritage with local favourites on new menu

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