SOUTHPORT'S NEW £1.78M COMMUNITY WOODLAND IS LAUNCHED
newest community woodland was unveiled at Town Lane, off Bentham’s
Way - Monday, 23 November 2009. The Forestry Commission transformed
the 2 former landfill sites, and other neglected areas, with months
of intensive reconditioning to bring it back to life and establish
the new community woodland.
In just 4 months
47,000 tonnes of sand from Rainford’s former sand extraction site
north of Southport was mixed with 5,730 tonnes of peat to create
soil-forming material for trees and wildflowers over the 26 hectare
site. It is hoped that a new cycle track, mountain bike skills
course and wildlife habitats will be created.
The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) gave £1.78 million
to the project. Town Lane is the latest community woodland from the
‘Newlands’ partnership between the Forestry Commission and NWDA to
regenerate the area’s disused landfill sites.
As part of the
launch, children from Greenbank High School and Our Lady of Lourdes
Roman Catholic Primary School took part in a cycle training
maintenance session provided by Sefton Council, and there was a
cycle demonstration by the Butler Trials cycle team. This activity
was designed to help promote healthy activity, the site's links with
the national cycle route network and Southport as an official Cycle
To mark the occasion,
children from neighbouring Birkdale Primary School got getting their
hands dirty planting trees at Town Lane during the day, with help
from the Woodland Trust.
The Forestry Commission and Liverpool Biennial commissioned the
European artist and architect collective Raumlabor, to temporarily
install their work Jantar Mantarat Town...
...continued... ...Lane to
signal the beginning of a new life for the site. The
structure, an enormous sun-dial and observatory, was originally
conceived as part of their installation, the Promising Land, shown
in Bootle in September 2009.
A tour of the Town
Lane community woodland was conducted by Tim Oliver (Newlands
Tim Oliver from the Forestry Commission is
the Newland Programme Manager. He says:- “After months of hard
work and investment, we're delighted that the Town Lane community
woodland is now complete. The Town Lane project is really important
to the ongoing regeneration of Southport and the 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 people
to play, live and work. It will also help reinforce Southport's
official Cycle Town status."
Work on Town Lane has taken advantage of the raised ground height of
the site by creating a scenic viewing platform looking out across
the West Pennine Moors, Southport Mosses and Blackpool Tower.
Joe Dwek, Chair of
the Environment Sub Committee from the Northwest Regional
Development Agency (NWDA), which invested £1.78m into the Town Lane
project, says:- “The Newlands programme is a prime example of
how the regeneration of brownfield land can directly impact on
improving the quality of life for local people, delivering real
benefits to communities and increasing investor confidence. I am
delighted to be able to attend this exciting launch.”
In the future, local residents and schools from the site's large
neighbouring communities will also get the chance to see their ideas
incorporated into further developments at Town Lane, with an
emphasis on improving recreational facilities.
Newlands is a unique
£59 million NWDA-funded regeneration scheme, which is regenerating
over 800 Hectares of the Northwest’s brownfield 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
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.
Over £300,000 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
forestry.gov.uk/newlands. More information about the Southport Cycle Town project is available