EiF Urban Forestry Award
Urban Forestry Award winners 2013
The purpose of the Award is to encourage and recognise inspiring projects involving trees in any land use within urban areas. These may be in streets, parks, urban woodlands or within social housing. Entries are expected to show a strategic and innovative approach to urban tree management and regeneration.
Entries were invited from landowners or partnerships within the public, private or voluntary sectors.
- 1st: Northwood Forest Hills, Knowsley
Front (from left): “Northwood Mums” Nicola Drury and Carole Birchall with Eddie O’Connor. Back row (from left): Philip Hurst (Knowsley Council), Clare Olver and Ben Greenaway (Mersey Forest) with Keith Jones, Forestry Commission England Area Director who presented the award. © Les Starling
The Award recognises the rejuvenation of the Northwood Forest Hills – part of The Mersey Forest – as well as the community scheme to plant over 200 street trees along the streets that link Northwood Forest Hills with The Rough, a more formal park about half a mile to the south. Judges Les Starling and Trefor Thompson praised Northwood Forest Hills, which was created on an overgrown and little-used green space on the edge of the estate, for the way it has transformed the area and helped bring the local community together.
The judges said: “It has been transformed into a delightful wooded green space with a mosaic of water and wetland features, grasslands and wildflower meadows, overseen by an active residents group known as the ‘Northwood Mums’ who take a hard line on any antisocial behaviour!”
Keith Jones, Area Director, the Forestry Commission, said: “The transformation of Northwood Forest Hills, and the network of new street trees that connect the site to the wider community, are both excellent examples of how trees and woodlands can bring real benefit to urban areas. The site has been created with the community at its heart, and I’m sure it will offer the local people of Kirby a place for recreation, exercise, relaxation and community activity for many years to come.”
Cllr Eddie Connor, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Community and Culture for Knowsley Council, said: “We are delighted to have secured such a prestigious award within our local community. The woodland project and street tree programme has completely transformed that part of our community and I’m proud to see that the community has received such recognition for its efforts.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of local residents and a whole range of partners and funders.”
The forestry and infrastructure development works carried out between 2010 and 2013 were supported by Northwood Community Allotments, Knowsley Council, the Mersey Forest, Groundwork, Merseyside Environmental Advisory Services and 2020 Knowsley, with funding secured through the BIS ‘Setting the Scene for Growth’ Fund, Big Lottery Fund ‘Community Spaces’, Marks & Spencer ‘Greener Living Spaces’ Fund, Knowsley Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, Knowsley Housing Trust and the Forestry Commission.
- Joint 2nd: Woodbank Wood, Stockport
Jim MacRitchie, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, receives the award from Keith Jones, Forestry Commission England Area Director. © Les Starling
The judges praised Woodbank’s mix of formal and informal trees and woodland and its ‘very positive’ approach to multiple use, biodiversity and community participation.
The judges said: “The Friends Group is very active, and the range of organisations and groups that use and work in the Park is amazing. A community orchard is being established and we were impressed by how the many features and assets of the Park are inter-linked.”
Woodbank runs adjacent to the River Goyt from Woodbank Memorial Park near Stockport town centre towards Poise Brook and Chadkirk.
Keith Jones, Area Director, the Forestry Commission said: “Woodbank Wood is an excellent example of how many benefits trees and woodlands can bring to an urban area. As well as transforming the local environment and biodiversity, the Wood is already bringing local people together, and I’m sure it will offer the local people of Stockport a place for recreation, exercise, relaxation and community activity for many years to come.”
Councillor Stuart Bodsworth, Executive Member for Communities and Sustainability, said: “We are delighted that Woodbank Wood has won this award; it reflects the hard work put in by local volunteers and the Council’s Greenspace team who help manage the site.”
A member of Stockport Tree Wardens team, added: “It’s been a fantastic learning experience which has resulted in more public interest in Stockport’s woodlands and orchards.”
- Joint 2nd: Hollins Wood, part of Woodnook Vale Nature Reserve, Accrington
From left, Chris McHugh and Kim Coverdale, Lancashire Wildlife Trust with Keith Jones,
Forestry Commission England Area Director who presented the award. © Les Starling
The judges praised this wood's ability to link with other green spaces among the city sprawl, and remarked on the level of co-operation and support between the various organisations.
The judges said: “The woodlands spread like tentacles up the slopes from the old railway in the valley bottom creating strong linkages with other woodland sites and green spaces within the adjacent urban sprawl.”
Hollins Wood is owned by Lancashire County Council. Much of Woodnook Nature Reserve is owned by Hyndburn Borough Council and Lancashire County Council. The project is co-ordinated by Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside Wildlife Trust with the help of an active Baxenden Community Forum.
Keith Jones, Area Director, the Forestry Commission said: “Hollins Wood is an excellent example of how trees and woodlands can connect urban communities to the natural environment. By linking up with a series of other woodlands and green spaces, Hollins Wood is now giving the people of Accrington a fantastic area for recreation, exercise, relaxation and community activity for many years to come.”
Kim Coverdale of the Wildlife Trust said: “I am delighted that the judges have recognised our work with a Silver award. Local volunteers, including students from The Hollins Technology College and Baxenden Community Forum have been working very hard to improve Hollins Wood for wildlife and people.”