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The Big Halton Forest

Growing more trees and greenspaces in Runcorn & Widnes

The Big Halton Forest won’t just be in one place, it will be across the borough from single trees to large groups of trees and associated planting. That way everyone has the chance to help create tree cover equivalent to a new forest.

Abo​ut Us...

​The Big Halton Forest is part of delivering a green recovery after the Pandemic and tackling the climate emergency head on, by planting trees and enhancing the green infrastructure of Runcorn and Widnes & its villages.

It will work with individuals, communities, organisations, and businesses with the aim of adding a new tree for every citizen by 2030 across the Borough of Halton. This will be in addition to the approximate 1,500 new trees we plant each year.

Our Goals

  • Plant 130,000 trees, one for every person across Halton, within 8 years.
  • Restore or expand greenspaces and woodlands for the benefit of both communities and wildlife.
  • Inspire a passion for trees, woods & waterfronts

A symbolic launch of the Big Halton Forest took place on Thursday 24th March outside Runcorn Town Hall by the Leader of Halton Borough Council Cllr Mike Wharton and Cllr Phil Harris the Executive Board member for Climate Change. Discussion are already underway with a number of organisations to provide external funding for the project and to take part in the creating the Forest.

One of the features of the Big Halton Forest will be to encourage donations to the Forest Fund that is being established In the year ahead from businesses, individuals and organisations who support the aims of the Big Halton Forest. More detail of that will follow in the weeks and months ahead.

Find out more.... 

You can find out about our projects as they develop in the coming months and years as we will post links to them on dedicated web pages. We will be adding useful resources and other information to help people get involved in tree planting and signposts to potential funding sources. Please bear with us.

Improving Bio-diversity...

In addition to the 2030 pledge on trees, the Big Halton forest will also include exploring the establishment of a localised source for trees and eventually other plants to support the development of the forest.

This will see the Council tender an offer to nurseries or farmers to act as a supplier for the Council by agreeing to grow the trees it supplies to the council from seeds and cuttings from Halton’s existing trees. It is also intended to explore if certain plants could likewise be included.

The aim is to start cultivation of the trees in 2023 with a view to supplying local trees for The Big Halton forest in 2024. In the meantime, other traditional procurement will take place.

All seed and cuttings will be taken from trees and plants within Halton, meaning that they are much more adapted to our climate and conditions than plants that come from other parts of the UK. By choosing local provenance it also reduces the risk of introducing foreign diseases and pests to the area and preserves local genetics and regional variations within plant species.

The plants and trees grown at the supplier selected will be used to help boost biodiversity within the borough, through providing more wildflowers for our pollinators and more trees for our birds and other wildlife. The initial focus will be on trees.

The Environment Bill that was passed into law in 2021 will help to secure more improvements from developers and help ensure Bio Diversity Net Gain with a 10% minimum in future. Halton BC will be putting such gains into improving our greenspaces and waterways, especially when the regulatory framework is finally in place.

Funding Opportunities...

If you want to find out what funding information is available for you to get involved in planting your own trees please see a list of suggested organisations below.

  • Mersey Forest
  • Woodland Trust - Schools & Community groups.
  • Tree Council - Branching out fund & Orchards for schools.
  • Queens Platinum Jubilee - The Big Halton Forest is exploring how the Council will be marking the jubilee over future months and will post updates that concern tree planting events in the months ahead and will post updates that concern tree planting events in 2022

Residents, businesses and community groups can of course add to the Big Halton Forest by letting us know when they plant trees to mark the jubilee or anything else for that matter, including individual trees in memory of loved ones, etc.

Trees for Farmers

As part of the Big Halton Forest we will be talking to farmers and exploring how funding sources for planting might be assisted and we will be posting updates on this in the months ahead. Many in the farming community are already aware of such schemes but we will include this as part of the wider public consultation on a borough-wide climate change strategy for all of Halton and the specific concerns of the farming and rural community in Halton

Halton’s Waterfronts & Estuaries.

As part of the Big Halton Forest the Council will also be seeking to improve our waterfronts and estuaries as part of the roll out of the forest and the public consultation on the borough-wide climate change strategy later this year.


World Environment Day

We Will be marking WE Day each year as part of the calendar of events for the Big Halton Forest. This year it’s 5th June.

National Tree Week

Britains Largest Tree Planting Week. Please see our press release for more information

Press releases

 from the newsroom

Retrieving Data

More News..... ​​​

The Big Halton Forest has been instigated by Halton Borough Council as part of its commitment to a green recovery and tackling the Climate Change Emergency. Over future months and years these web pages will be added to with further information and projects