A NEW strategy has been agreed to improve the quality of trees and woodland across the borough.

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) owns more than 500 hectares of woodland and around 28,000 trees.

In recognition of the "economic, cultural and environmental importance of these assets", its cabinet has now approved a Tree and Woodland Strategy.

This aims to help the authority:

  • Manage trees and woodlands safely.
  • Set high standards by which all the trees and woodland will be managed.
  • Raise awareness of the value of trees through consultation, education, and participation.
  • Use trees and woodlands as a resource to tackle economic and social issues.

Cllr Louise Gittins, cabinet member for communities and wellbeing, said: “Our trees and woodlands are an essential part of the landscape of Cheshire West and Chester and are cherished by people in the borough.

“The council has been the lead partner in The Mersey Forest since its inception, supports the aspirations of Northern Forest. Our new strategy will help us to manage what we already own better, delivering a wide range of benefits to our communities.”

The strategy will ensure that all authority-owned trees are consistently monitored, managed, and replaced when required.

The council says it is committed to supporting the delivery of the Mersey Forest Plan and Northern Forest.

The Mersey Forest Team said: “Trees and woodlands are a great asset for Cheshire West and Chester, providing large areas for walking and enjoying the outdoors as well as providing a high-quality environment. The new Tree Strategy will help to guide management of the trees and woods that are loved by residents.”

The strategy follows the Government’s 25 Year Plan for the Environment which aims to improve the quality of our natural environment. This includes support for more urban tree cover to establish a “Northern Forest”, which includes the Cheshire West borough area.