13 October 2021 – The Mersey Forest Team has been working closely with Wirral Council and the Wallasey Tree Planting Group providing trees for land along the Leasowe Loop, a former horse pasture.
Trees thrive at neglected Wirral site
Just under a hectare of land was prepared by Wirral Council planting a mixture of coniferous, shrub and native broadleaf trees thanks to funding from the Trees for Climate programme.
Over 80 volunteer days were organised over a five-month period by the Wallasey Tree Planting Group, ensuring the trees were protected, mulched and weeded. Training and support has been provided by The Mersey Forest Team for these sessions.
The site has had many challenges with weeds growing at a phenomenal rate over the summer. The group intends to use its learning to plant more trees that are growing at their nursery nearby.
Carbon Storage and Biodiversity Enhancement:
Besides the more obvious benefits of improving air quality and reducing noise pollution the trees will be a valuable carbon store and provide a haven for biodiversity – addressing Wirral’s Climate Emergency challenge.
Contribution to Net Zero:
The trees contribute to Wirral Council’s target of the borough reaching ‘net zero’ emissions by 2041.
Public access and management:
Wirral Council intend to permit public access to the site once it has become established. They are responsible for the future management of the site and a grant has been awarded through the funding for this purpose.
Engagement, health and wellbeing:
By working with the Wallasey Tree Planting Group volunteers have gained new skills, whilst experiencing mindful activities in nature, learning the names of the many wildflower and tree species around the site. The group has gained new contacts through their experience and can take and share their experiences to new sites across Wirral. They also remain very active in the community, continuing to assist in the maintenance of the site and assisting Wirral Council in forming policy around the Environmental Agenda and identifying new sites for tree planting with the support of the wider community.
Innovative delivery practices:
The Mersey Forest has reduced the need for the watering of trees on this site by applying recycled wood chip to keep moisture in the ground around the trees. The group used both new plastics, recycled and alternative materials to plastics in tree protection around the trees. Tubes were made from recycled plastic as well as corn starch and cardboard. The effectiveness of different materials will be monitored, and tree protection will be further recycled once used after three years or so of tree growth.