Strategic Planning for Urban Woodlands in North West England

  • Keith Jones

North West England (Fig. 13.1) covers the counties of Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and Cheshire, an area of 14,110 square kilometers (5448 square miles). The North West contains 11.3% (6.7 million) of England’s total population. Population densities, especially in parts of Greater Manchester and Merseyside, are among the highest in Europe. The region has the fourth largest (out of 12) United Kingdom gross domestic product (GDP) at £77,652 billion, but the ninth lowest GDP per person at £11,273. Environmental quality is especially high in Cumbria and the Lake District, and exceptionally poor, by Western standards, in parts of Lancashire, Greater Manchester, and Merseyside. The region also has one of the lowest levels of woodland cover at 6.5% (96,000 hectares [ha]) in England. In urban parts of the Region woodland cover is so limited that there is only 1.8 ha per 1000 population (Table 13.1).

Having a large work force, natural harbors (such as Liverpool), large coal reserves, and ample water supplies, large areas of the North West developed as the hub of Britain’s industrial revolution. Industries such as cotton, mining, chemicals, and munitions stamped large industrial footprints across the North West and generated vast wealth. However, during the late 20th century many of these heavy industries declined, leaving a legacy of unemployment and dereliction. Past industries’ footprints became industrial scars on the environment and landscape, particularly in West Cumbria, South East Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and North Cheshire. As a result the North West now has around 25% of England’s derelict land, perhaps as much as 30,000 ha. The 2002 Derelict, Underused, and Neglected (DUN) Land Survey recorded 3893 sites in North West England covering 26,385 ha with 1627 sites (14,915 ha) in previously developed land (North West Development Agency [NWDA], 2006; see also


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Forestry CommissionUK

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