LARGE swathes of land in Warrington will benefit from an ambitious plan which will see 50 million trees planted along the M62 over 25 years.

The Government has pledged £5.7 million to kick-start the Northern Forest project.

It is being led by the Woodland Trust, together with the Community Forest Trust, and will see the trees planted along a 120-mile stretch of land next to the M62.

The scheme is expected to cost £500 million over 25 years.

The Woodland Trust has also committed more than £10 million, with the remainder still to be raised.

The Northern Forest area has just 7.6 per cent woodland cover, which falls below the UK average of 13 per cent and EU average of 44 per cent.

The project is expected to reduce flood risks for more than 190,000 households, improve water quality and tackle climate change by 'locking up' around eight million tonnes of carbon.

Planting in Warrington will be targeted in line with the Government-approved Mersey Forest Plan.

Plans include agricultural land around the M62 in Burtonwood, Winwick, Croft and Culcheth, as well as moss lands to the south of the motorway, around Risley and Rixton.