3:35pm Tuesday 19th July 2011
By Guardian correspondent
MORE than a thousand people celebrated The Mersey Forest’s 20th birthday.
They visited Risley Moss for a woodland carnival.
The birthday bash was opened by chairman of the Forestry Commission Pam Warhurst, Warrington North MP Helen Jones, and chairman of Risley Moss Action Group, Andy Pearson.
They enjoyed storytelling, woodland walks, den building, puppet shows and willow weaving.
Liverpool musicians Urban Strawberry Lunch performed using instruments made from recycled junk.
Mrs Jones said: “It’s great to see so many people coming out to celebrate their community forest.
“The Mersey Forest brings so many benefits, from providing habitat for wildlife to improving our health and wellbeing, and shows exactly why our trees and woodlands are so highly valued in society.”
Paul Nolan, director of The Mersey Forest, added: “A huge variety of people are involved in creating The Mersey Forest, from schools who have planted woodlands in their grounds, to community volunteers helping look after their local woods.
“Today was about thanking them all, as well as looking ahead to the next 20 years of continuing to improve the local environment.”
Over the past two decades, The Mersey Forest Partnership, which includes Warrington Borough Council and neighbouring authorities, has planted more than eight million trees across Cheshire and Merseyside.
If you want to support the forest and keep up to date with activities, visit merseyforest.org.uk/supporters or call 816217.
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