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WOODLAND FACE-LIFT FOR CITY WASTES

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The transforming of England's urban wastelands by planting woods and forests of derelict industrial sites will be a...
The transforming of England's urban wastelands by planting woods and forests of derelict industrial sites will be announced by the government this week, reported The Sunday Telegraph (p7). About£40m a year is to be made available for new forestry, under plans to be revealed by junior agriculture minister Elliot Morley.

The programme aims to increase forest cover - at present only 7% of the country, the second lowest in Europe. Only Ireland has a smaller percentage. Ministers hope the strategy will lead to more than 400,000 acres of new urban woods and forests on derelict land in areas including Merseyside, the midlands, the north west, north east and some parts of south east England within the M25.

Mr Morley said the new woods and forests would help regenerate many cities and towns. 'This is a new concept of forestry and will improve the quality of life for many citizens', he said. Most new woodland would be around 50 acres.

Though the strategy covers only England, the Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly are likely to develop similar programmes next year.
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