Halton Housing and Halton Borough Council are working in partnership as part of the Big Halton Forest initiative.

The Big Halton Forest project has first agreed by Halton Borough Council in 2022 as part of its Climate Change action plan. The plan includes the planting of 130,000 new trees across Runcorn and Widnes by 2030.

Halton Housing becomes the first major social housing landlord to join the Big Forest initiative and will be identifying planting areas across land in its housing estates that can take trees and shrubs. The Council will supply the trees and Halton Housing will plant them and maintain them. The funding for the trees is being secured from various external funding sources.   

Neighbourhood Manager, Chris Featherstone, said: ‘’This is a fantastic example of how partnership working can help achieve great results for the community and the environment.  As well as providing homes for our customers, we’re also focussed on improving communities and spaces where people live so we were delighted to be given the opportunity to support this fantastic initiative.’’

Halton Borough Council is working to establish more partnerships across the borough to ensure a rolling programme of planting sites whether large or small is in place each year.
In addition to schools and others who can use their land for plantings, developers or housing and commercial sites are also being approached to include more trees in their developments alongside biodiversity gains that will become law later in the year.

The Council is also exploring the idea of creating new orchards in the borough.

Cllr Phil Harris, the Council’s Executive Board member for Climate Change, said: ‘’It is a large logistical challenge to deliver these plantings over the next seven years but we believe it can be done by working in partnership with a range of groups and organisations and we welcome this first partnership arrangement with Halton Housing.”

While the Big Halton Forest is principally about tree planting and other green infrastructure it also includes ambitions to improve local waterways, which will also be explored during 2023/24 as part of efforts to improve bio-diversity in Halton.

Pictured left to right: Jimmy Unsworth (HBC Divisional Manager, Environment Services), George Peters (HH Environmental Services Operations Manager), Chris Featherstone (HH Neighbourhood Manager), Wendy Magee (HH Neighbourhood Officer), Cllr Louise Goodall (Bankfield ward councillor), Cllr Phil Harris (Climate Change).

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