LESSONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS FROM THE MERSEY FOREST BY NETWORKING PARTNERSHIP FOR TWENTY YEARS
Keywords:Green Infrastructure, Environmental Regeneration, Community Forests, Postindustrial Landscapes
In the UK, community forest projects have created an increase of new accessible open green
spaces in post-industrial areas. However, there is a scarcity of sustainable funding for long-term management.
Therefore, the partnership is recognized to be a key mechanism to maximize the benefits and to share the risks
with a range of organization to maintain the quality of green spaces. This study is to clarify the achievements
and the roles of the Mersey Forest over the last twenty years in developing partnership approaches in the
Northwest of England. The study methods are based on literature reviews regarding on published literature on
environmental regeneration and the data provided from the Mersey Forest, and interviews with representatives
of the Mersey Forest. The first 10 years from 1994 to 2004 focused on planting trees for creating new and
extending woodland. After that opportunity for large-scale new planting decreased and there was a need for
managing the newly created open green spaces. Therefore, it has entered in the management phase and the
role of the Mersey Forest is shifting to strengthen partnership working by providing advice to landowners. It
also became clear that community forest approaches have been achieved together with landowners and partners
through partnership working led by the Mersey Forest for over twenty years. Thus, the Mersey Forest has
evolved from a governmental inspired organization to a community empowered organization.