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Issue Date:- 11 August 2008


A team of foresters are launching a 4-month mission to shift 42,000 tonnes of sand from Rainford’s former sand extraction site north of Southport to a closed landfill site at Town Lane, to help complete the 1st stage of a new community woodland.

From Monday 4 of August, the Forestry Commission’s contractor will move on to the site, near Bentham's Way, to kick start the green makeover. The sand will be mixed with 5,730 tonnes of peat to create soil-forming material for tree and wildflower meadow planting.

The make-up of the site includes 2 former landfill sites, unmanaged grasslands and large sections of land that has suffered from years of neglect, so will need intensive reconditioning over the coming months to bring it back to life and establish the new community woodland.

26 hectares of brownfield land at Town Lane will then be transformed into a recreational green space for the public and over time it is hoped that a new mountain bike skills course, bridges and wildlife habitats will be added.

£1.78million of funding is being provided for the Town Lane community woodland via the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the Forestry Commission partnership programme, ‘Newlands’, to regenerate the area’s disused landfill sites.

Andy Glover, Community Engagement Officer for the Forestry Commission at Town Lane, says:- “The Town Lane project is really important to the ongoing regeneration of Southport and surrounding area, providing a wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits.  The regeneration of the site will help turn the area into a greener, cleaner and more attractive space for local......"

...continued...  "......people to play, live and work.”

Local residents and schools from the site's large neighbouring communities will get the chance to see many of their ideas incorporated into the plans for Town Lane, with an emphasis on improving recreational facilities.

Work on Town Lane will also take advantage of the raised ground height of the site by creating a scenic viewing platform looking out across the West Pennine Moors and Southport Mosses.

Newlands is a unique £59 million NWDA-funded regeneration scheme, which is rejuvenating around 381 hectares of the Northwest’s derelict, underused and neglected land to stimulate economic growth and further opportunities for leisure and environmental improvements.  Newlands, which stands for New Economic Environments via Woodlands, is a partnership scheme involving the NWDA and the Forestry Commission.

The NWDA is providing resources to keep Town Lane maintained for the next 20 years and the Forestry Commission will manage the woodland it creates through the project for a further 79 years, making a secure period of nearly 100 years of management for the area’s green space.  A number of local delivery partners, including Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, Mersey Basin Campaign, Environment Agency, The Mersey Forest, BTCV and Groundwork Merseyside are also involved in the project.

Approximately £225,000 of additional funding has been secured from European Union Objective One Programme via The Mersey Forest Trust.  Town Lane is 1 of 6 Newlands projects being developed in the Mersey Belt area of Northwest England.

More information about Town Lane and other 'Newlands' projects is available at:-  or by longing onto:-

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