Bury Council and the Forestry Commission have worked in partnership since 2011 and are now jointly considering the future management of some additional woodland areas within Bury.
The Forestry Commission, the government agency responsible for managing the nation’s woods and forests, currently manages 73ha of woodland on behalf of Bury Council at Waterdale and Drinkwater Park. Feasibility work is under way to see if the Forestry Commission could manage additional land on behalf of the council including Philips Park, Outwood, the Outwood Trail and Prestwich Clough.
This feasibility work will look at the legal, environmental and economic aspects of the land and how it could be managed for the future. Once this information is agreed, community roadshows will take place to allow people living and working in the area to see what is being proposed and have their say before any final decision is taken.
Councillor Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment, said: “Bury is home to some fantastic forests and open spaces, which makes this project an important opportunity to make sure they stay this way for future generations in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. It’s not only protecting a swathe of public accessible space, from Radcliffe centre through to Prestwich, it could also bring potential investment to improve those sites involved.”
This partnership work could contribute to wider initiatives, such as the City Forest Park project that the Forestry Commission is working on with City of Trees, and vision of the Northern Forest.
The initial aim of both Bury Council and the Forestry Commission is safeguarding these sites for future generations by having well managed natural resources and sustainable income streams so that the benefits for local people and wildlife can be maximised, and to provide a positive contribution to the economy.