Climate Emergency

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The Climate Emergency facing our world is a very real issue, but there is plenty we can do to take action to help protect our planet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough in 2019 and put forward its Climate Emergency Response plan, which aims to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045.

This is a space to share ideas, stories and tips about what you are doing locally to reduce your carbon emissions and impact on the environment. Now's the time to react and play your part to make our borough carbon neutral.

The Climate Emergency facing our world is a very real issue, but there is plenty we can do to take action to help protect our planet.

Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in the borough in 2019 and put forward its Climate Emergency Response plan, which aims to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045.

This is a space to share ideas, stories and tips about what you are doing locally to reduce your carbon emissions and impact on the environment. Now's the time to react and play your part to make our borough carbon neutral.

  • Help plant wildflowers in Neston this weekend as part of Big Green Week

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    23 September 2021

    Join the Friends of Parkfields this Saturday at 11am to help sow a new wildflower meadow to benefit bees, butterflies, and local young people to help them enjoy, learn and care for local wildlife.

    The meadow will complement a pond recently created to attract wildlife at Parkgate, near Neston. Native wildflowers will also be sown on the pond edges along with other new wetland areas.

    Wildflower-rich grasslands are essential for bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other pollinating insects. They also provide food and shelter for other wildlife, including birds and mammals.

    Bees and other pollinators spend the spring and summer months collecting nectar and pollen to feed their young, in the process they pollinate our garden plants and crops, as well as other wildflowers.

    By doing this, they play a vital role in the production of the food we eat. Without pollinators we would have no apples, pears and other fruit. In fact, most plants need help from pollinators.

    A community orchard was planted adjacent to this area in the spring through Trees for Climate, a national multi-million pound woodland creation programme, part of the Government-led Nature for Climate Fund.

    The orchard is already looking great, producing some initial fruit in its first year. The introduction of the new meadow nearby will only help this orchard thrive even more.

    Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “What a wonderful event. I’m sure this wildflower meadow will look amazing next spring, not just for people using Parkfields, but for local wildlife too.”

    The Council’s Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Councillor Matt Bryan said: “Our bees and other pollinating insects are in trouble. Their populations have declined drastically in recent decades. We now have only a fraction of the abundance and variety of the insect wildlife that we once had so it is vital to support those that remain by providing habitats such as wildflower meadows as part of many actions to respond to the climate emergency in coming years.”

    The project to create an educational area is being led by the Friends of Park Fields with support from Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Total Environment Team, the local ward councillor, Neston Town Council and Cheshire Police Commissioner.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and has developed a Climate Emergency Response Plan that sets out the actions needed for the borough to become carbon neutral by 2045, including how residents can play their part. The Council has also recently approved its Environmental Management Strategy which covers wildflowers.

    Please register if you would like to attend on Saturday at:

    To find out more about the Friends of Parkfields, or to become a member please visit

    Find out about other Great Big Green Week events taking place across the borough on Eco Communities Great Big Green Week website.

  • Pupils urged to get cycling during Bike to School Week

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    22 September 2021

    Cheshire West and Chester Council is encouraging pupils across the borough to cycle to school during this year’s national Bike to School Week (27 September to 1 October).

    The national event, organised by Sustrans and supported by the Bikeability Trust, celebrates cycling to school and the positive impact an active lifestyle can have on pupils’ health and wellbeing.

    Choosing a more active form of travel to get to school, such as walking, cycling or scooting, will also help cut air pollution near the school gates and will help towards the borough’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2045 as part of the Council’s commitment to tackle the Climate Emergency.

    The Council’s Road Safety Team organises free Bikeability courses at both primary and secondary schools across the borough, providing pupils with important road safety knowledge and the bike skills to confidently ride their bike to school. Free courses for families and adult would-be commuters are also available.

    Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “It’s great that families have been getting active and heading out on their bikes to explore the local area. We’ve been encouraging families to keep this up as schools opened for the autumn term and lots of schools have signed up to our Bikeability courses to support their pupils to ride safely.

    “Active travel, such as cycling, provides a range of physical and mental health benefits for our children and helps set them up for a great day of learning in the classroom. Using the journey to school to get active will not only benefit your child’s health but will also improve the air quality in our communities.”

    Comments from parents and guardians about the Bikeability courses include:

    “I couldn’t recommend this more and I’m hugely grateful for it. My youngest child has really struggled with confidence riding and the course has transformed his ability. Both instructors were so kind and helpful. I still can’t believe this opportunity was available, thank you so, so much.”

    “George had an absolutely fantastic time and the whole experience boosted his confidence dramatically. Thank you.”

    “We did our training with Mike. When we got home Seth couldn't wait to show everyone what he had learned. We really hope bike right offers more sessions in the next holidays. We really enjoyed, and Mike was amazing. Thank you”

    Parents are also advised to check their school's website and social media channels regularly for the latest information from their school and details about drop off and pick up arrangements.

  • Step It Up during Recycle Week 2021

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    20 September 2021

    Cheshire West and Chester Council is supporting Recycle Week which launches today, Monday 20 September.

    The theme for Recycle Now’s 18th annual Recycle Week is Step It Up. We can all take action to drive down emissions, clean up and shake up the climate crisis by recycling more, particularly aerosols and bathroom plastics.

    The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “Recycle Week this year is an opportunity to take things up a level. Look out for messages on how you can play your part on our social media channels.

    “Residents have really boosted recycling in the borough during the pandemic and I would like to express my sincere thanks for that but now we can all Step It Up a level to really make a difference.”

    Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, Councillor Matt Bryan added: “By recycling more of the right things, more often in our home and everyday lives we can help tackle the climate emergency. Currently the UK’s recycling saves 18 million tonnes of CO2 per year from being emitted. We’re ready to take this fight to the next level and Step It Up this Recycle Week.”

    The Council is promoting recycling as part of its new Waste Management Strategy, find out more on the Council’s website.

    Top tips for recycling:

    1. Flatten cardboard boxes so that you can fit more in your green box.
    2. All plastic bottles can be recycled, from water bottles to shampoo bottles, so put all of them in your recycling container.
    3. It is not just newspapers that you can recycle at home. Also, recycle, envelopes, birthday cards and phone books.
    4. All sorts of cardboard can be recycled, even toilet and paper towel tubes.
    5. Recycle metal, such as empty spray cans and tin foil, and of course, all empty soda, fruit, vegetable and other food cans.
    6. Keep a space in your kitchen so that you can recycle as you are cooking or cleaning. It will make it easier for you to put the recyclables in their proper place.
    7. When going out, stop at your local recycling centre and drop off anything that cannot be recycled at the kerbside.
    8. If you are ever unsure about what you can recycle, check the Cheshire West and Chester Council website.
    9. Glass can be recycled endlessly; so be sure to always recycle your glass bottles and containers.

    For more information on Recycle Now, visit

  • Blacon High School benefits from net zero extension

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    25 August 2021

    Students at Blacon High School are set to benefit from a £2.1 million extension which has been completed ready for the start of the autumn term.

    The new two-storey building, funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council and Blacon High School, has achieved net zero carbon status as the building generates more energy than it consumes.

    This is one of several projects that will help the Council achieve its priority of tackling the Climate Emergency and achieving its objective of the borough becoming carbon neutral by 2045 and the Council, as organisation, by 2030.

    The new facility will allow the school to increase its capacity by 150 students to 750 and includes provision to support students with special education needs, a dining area and two dedicated rooms to support the creative curriculum on the ground floor. There are also six new classrooms located on the first floor and additional bicycle storage has been installed on site to encourage more pupils to cycle to and from school.

    The building, which is one of the first projects to be supported by the Council’s Climate Emergency capital funding, is powered from on-site and off-site renewable energy sources, including solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof, with the remaining carbon balance offset to achieve net zero carbon status.

    Building materials have been selected to ensure the extension is well insulated to help reduce heat loss and, in turn, the amount of energy needed to run the building.

    The additional teaching block, which was designed and built by Pave Aways Building Contractors, has scored an A+ energy efficiency rating with a building emission rate of 0.08 kg CO2/m2 per year.

    Headteacher Rachel Hudson said: “We are absolutely delighted to see the completion of this project, which will enable us to meet the demand and need for places within our local community. This is testament to the belief and confidence in Blacon High School by all those involved.

    “This outstanding facility will help us to support students to achieve the best outcomes in a high quality learning environment.”

    Councillor Bob Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “It’s great to see the new building completed and ready to welcome students when they start back in September. The additional facilities will be a great asset, providing them with an ideal base for their learning so that they can achieve their best.”

    Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Climate Emergency, said: “It’s fantastic to see one of our new buildings achieving a net zero carbon status, something that will not only benefit the school, with lower running costs, but also the borough as we aim to reduce our emissions and become carbon neutral by 2045.”

    Pave Aways Managing Director Steven Owen said: “We are delighted to have achieved such a highly sustainable building that will benefit the students and the environment for years to come.”

    “Securing an A+ energy rating is always an achievement but is especially rewarding as it has been a challenging time for construction with the COVID pandemic and material shortages. Reaching this very high standard of construction is a credit to our team and sub-contractors.”

  • Borough hosts judges for North West in Bloom bid 2021

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    18 August 2021

    Cheshire West and Chester has hosted a visit from the judges for this year’s North West in Bloom competition.

    North West in Bloom is the voluntary regional organisation that administers the Britain in Bloom competition in Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, and is one of the 18 regions and nations that comprise Britain in Bloom.

    Britain in Bloom is one of the most effective, and longest running environmental competitions in the United Kingdom and each year it grows in size and importance and involves more people, groups and organisations within the community.

    The aim of the competition is to encourage the improvement of our surroundings through the imaginative use of trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping. It also aims to achieve a litter free and sustainable environment.
    Entries in the competition are asked to focus on its three key areas: Horticulture, Environment and Community.

    The Council has four entries in the competition this year – a whole borough entry and entries for Grosvenor Park, Chester, Marbury Park and Alexandra Park, Hoole.

    The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “Of course, all our parks and greenspaces are wonderful assets to the Borough and it was difficult deciding which locations to enter into the competition, however the whole borough entry was a great opportunity to showcase all the amazing work that takes place throughout the entire borough.

    “Teams from across the Council have contributed ideas for projects and schemes to be included in the entries.

    “Our entries are also strengthened by close partnership working with organisations like Cheshire Oaks, Barons Quay, Northwich BID and, of course, the various ‘Friends of’ groups and volunteers, who make a huge contribution to maintaining and caring for these much-loved parks and greenspaces. A big thank you to everyone who has been involved.”

    The entries focus on meeting the three Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) themes and are very much not just about horticulture but also how the Council engages with communities and its work to tackle the Climate Emergency.

    North West in Bloom judges, Bernard Pendleton (Chair of North West in Bloom) and Neil Harvey visited the borough over two days this week to meet Council representatives, businesses, volunteers and community organisations.

    Judges assess entries against the RHS criteria but also provide constructive feedback and suggestions to help the entrants improve for next year. Results will be announced in October this year.

  • Council reviews waste and recycling collection rounds to create greener and more efficient service

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    10 August 2021

    Waste and recycling collections in west Cheshire are about to be transformed to create a greener, more efficient service for residents.

    Approximately 60 per cent of all properties in the borough will receive a new collection day.

    Cheshire West Recycling (CWR) has reviewed the existing arrangements and proposed a new model. It will increase working efficiency and create a fairer system for collection staff. This will reduce CO2 emissions and contribute to the borough’s Climate Emergency agenda.

    The changes are also a response to the increased number of properties in the borough. Between 2012 and 2020, the number of households in the borough increased by 13,000. This has resulted in a nine per cent rise in the demand for the waste and recycling service.

    Cheshire West Recycling Managing Director, Rob Edmondson, said: “The increase in demand means we have had to rebalance the collection rounds to provide a better value for money and more efficient service. It means we can reduce the number of collection rounds, which in turn results in reducing costs and will have a beneficial effect on the environment.”

    “It is standard practice for waste and recycling collections services to periodically review their rounds to ensure they are maximising resources. It will also support the long term changes to the service introduced through the new Waste Management Strategy.”

    Mr Edmondson added: “We would like to thank all our customers in advance for continuing to work with us to help create the best collection service we can.”

    Last month, Cheshire West and Chester Full Council approved plans for the new Waste Management Strategy, which seeks to encourage residents to reduce the amount of waste the borough produces and to recycle more. The changes include the introduction of larger capacity recycling bins. Food waste collections will continue to be weekly and there will be the introduction of a charge for the garden waste collection service, which residents can choose to take up or make their own arrangements.

    Householders in the borough affected by the changes will be notified by a tag fixed to their bins. New waste and recycling collection calendars outlining the changes will also be delivered to residents. Householders with bag collections will be informed by letter.

    The bin tags and letters informing residents of the changes to their collections will be delivered to residents between Monday 30 August and Friday 10 September.

    Delivery of the new waste and recycling collection calendars will begin on Monday 20 September. These will also include information about the annual suspension of the garden waste collection service and collection arrangements during the festive period.

    It is anticipated that the new routes and rounds will be introduced from Monday 11 October.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Cllr Karen Shore, said: “The transformation of the waste and recycling collections in Cheshire West and Chester will provide us with a modern service that will help us to meet the challenges we face both in terms of reducing costs and in supporting our ambitions around climate change.

    “There will be several changes to the waste and recycling service over the coming months that will transform the service. We want people to embrace these changes. We will continue to listen to our residents throughout this process and keep them updated on any developments.”

  • Cheshire West and Chester Council approves plans to transform waste and recycling services

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    28 July 2021

    Councillors have approved plans for the future Waste Management Strategy for west Cheshire following a special Full Council meeting.

    At the meeting held at Chester Racecourse on Tuesday 27 July, the majority of council members voted to accept the new strategy.

    The move means that the Council can now progress with its plans to transform the way waste and recycling services in the borough are delivered.

    The new model will support residents in reducing the amount of household waste the borough produces and give people more capacity to recycle.

    It will help the borough to respond to the challenges of climate change through waste reduction and by cutting Carbon Dioxide emissions.

    The Council will work alongside its waste and recycling partner Cheshire West Recycling to deliver a range of innovative new measures. These will be designed to encourage community recycling and tackle litter.

    The plans also reaffirm the Council’s commitment to continue its good performance in diverting as much waste as possible from costly disposal in landfill sites.

    The Council will continue to explore opportunities to use energy from waste and emerging technology to further reduce costly waste processing and treatment.

    The strategy will also review the borough’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, looking at their locations, access and opening times.

    The Council’s fleet of refuse collection vehicles will be updated to make it more efficient and cost-effective. This will include options for new energy-efficient and electric vehicles.

    There will be an ongoing education campaign to encourage people to reuse and recycle more.

    The current system of kerbside sorting of waste and recycling will be replaced. The new service will respond to residents’ concerns by removing the existing boxes that some people find difficult to carry and are easily damaged.

    The key changes approved by Full Council include:

    • Household waste will be collected fortnightly using a 180 litre wheeled bin (as per the current arrangement).
    • Two larger capacity recycling bins on wheels, which will be collected fortnightly to replace existing 55-litre boxes.
    • Food collections weekly using existing small food bin (as per the current arrangement).
    • People will be supported with special arrangements if their housing circumstances make it more difficult to accommodate larger bins.
    • A chargeable garden waste collection service to be provided over 40 weeks of the year, covering the growing season between March and November. Residents would be able to opt into this service or make their own arrangements.
    • The garden waste collections to continue fortnightly, in line with the frequency of the proposed kerbside collection service
    • There would be a charge of £40 per year per container for garden waste collections. This equates to £2 per collection and is in line with the current additional capacity charge.
    • The changes to the services would reduce carbon emissions by 220,000kg a year. This supports the Council’s ambition of making west Cheshire a carbon-neutral borough by 2045.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council is facing unprecedented pressure on its budgets. The Council faces a funding gap of up to £31m between 2021 and 2024. The new strategy will help the Council reduce the cost pressures surrounding the Waste Management Service.

    The changes will be introduced in 2022, with the charge for garden waste starting from March 2022.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Cllr Karen Shore said: “The decision by Full Council to approve the plans for the new Waste Management Strategy means we can now move forward and start to make the changes.

    “We know that people in our borough feel strongly about waste reduction and recycling and we would like to thank everyone who has taken an active role in shaping our new strategy. It represents the best option for the future of our borough if we are to meet our climate change commitments.

    “Given the financial pressures the Council faces, we have had to make some tough decisions if we are to continue to provide those services people in our borough rely upon.

    “We now need to work together as a community to embrace the changes the new strategy suggests and safeguard the future of our borough.

    “We have consulted with our residents throughout this process and we will keep this conversation going as we move towards implementing the new strategy.”

    Cheshire West Recycling Manager Director, Rob Edmondson, added: "The focus of the company is now to work collaboratively with the Council to ensure the new services are implemented effectively and with minimum disruption to our residents. I would also like to thank everybody within the Cheshire West Recycling for their personal commitment to maintaining essential waste services throughout the pandemic and know that they will embrace this new challenge with the same level of enthusiasm."

  • Cycle route plan for Chester City Centre

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    23 July 2021

    Plans for a new cycle route through the centre of Chester are about to be unveiled by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

    The new route will run along St Martin's Way in the city centre, from the Grosvenor roundabout to the City Walls roundabout.

    As part of Chester's new Northgate development and the Clockwise traffic management system, highways engineers have removed the central barrier that runs along the middle of St Martin's Way.

    The £72m Northgate project includes a new indoor market, a six-screen cinema, cafes, restaurants and officer space. It is expected to be completed in 2022.

    The one-way Clockwise traffic management system through the city centre has been implemented to support the development and the installation of a new drainage tunnel.

    The new cycle lane will be part of Cheshire West and Chester Council's ongoing Active Travel initiative. This aims to encourage more residents to choose greener forms of transport such as cycling over the car.

    The plan is to make the borough's towns and city centre accessible for everyone and support the Council's Climate Emergency pledges.

    Council planners have consulted with local residents and sustainable transport groups over the proposed new cycleway.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Inclusive Economy said: "The Northgate development is a once in a generation opportunity to create an exciting and dynamic shopping and leisure attraction for Chester City Centre.

    "We want as many people as possible to be able to access the new development. We also need to reduce traffic congestion on our roads, which will contribute to cleaning the air and reducing CO2 emissions."

    "The ongoing roadworks in Chester City Centre allowed us to look at the central reservation on St Martin's Way to create the new cycleway."

    "We will be publishing more detailed plans soon, which we will share with residents and other road users."

    For more information on Active Travel in Cheshire West and Chester, visit:

  • Council plans improvements to cycle lanes along Long Lane and Greenfield Lane in Upton

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    14 July 2021

    Highway engineers with Cheshire West and Chester Council are to introduce a series of changes to the cycle lanes along the A41 at the Long Lane and Mannings Lane junction in Upton, to improve traffic flow and speed up journey times.

    The Council introduced the cycle lane as part of a road resurfacing project. The aim of the plan was to allow cyclists to use the road safely.

    The scheme encourages commuters to leave the car at home for short journeys into the city. This helps to reduce congestion and contributes to the borough’s climate change commitments for reducing carbon emissions from vehicles.

    Council engineers have been reviewing the cycle lane scheme since its introduction and listening to the comments of residents and road users.

    As a result, improvements have been proposed at the junction of Mannings Lane. The original plan saw the introduction of a left-turn only lane at the junction, which reduced capacity to a single lane for cars passing through.

    Council workers will now change the road markings to allow two cars to pass through the junction at the same time. This will increase the capacity of the junction and speed up the flow of traffic, reducing congestion.

    The two lanes will be extended beyond the junction in the direction of Chester, before returning to a mandatory cycle lane. The cycle lane will continue up to the Greenway overbridge at which point cyclists are encouraged to use the wide shared footpath.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Cllr Karen Shore, said: “The cycle lanes were introduced to encourage commuters to ditch the car for short journeys and use their bikes instead. Schemes such as this reduce the number of cars on the road and keep the air cleaner for residents."

    “We promised to work with residents and road users and listen to their feedback about such schemes. As part of this process, we have identified where we can make further improvements at this junction which should benefit motorists and cyclists alike.”

    "If we are to meet the challenges posed by climate change, we all need to think about how we can improve our environment. Choosing greener ways of travelling is a great way to start. We would encourage everyone to start thinking about using alternative methods of transport for short journeys. Not only is walking and cycling good for the environment but it's great for your physical and mental health and wellbeing. If you are travelling into work and need the car, why not think about car sharing with colleagues to help cut down the amount of cars on the road. These may be small changes to the daily routine but they can make a big difference to our climate change agenda."

    Work on the junction improvements is due to begin later this month or in early August. For more information about sustainable transport in Cheshire West and Chester, visit:

  • Innovative nature funding to tackle climate change

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    14 July 2021

    Cheshire and Merseyside are set to benefit from £90,000 of funding for nature projects in the area that will drive investment in nature and tackle climate change.

    Plans are in place to look at developing local approaches and innovation in attracting new, additional private sector investment in the natural environment to reduce flood risk, improve air quality and lock up carbon.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council, alongside Cheshire East Council, The Mersey Forest Partnership, Tatton Estates, Liverpool John Moore’s University, Natural Capital Solutions and the Environment Agency, secured the grant from the Government’s £10 million Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund.

    Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest, said: “There is overwhelming evidence to support investment in the natural environment to help tackle some of our most difficult challenges, climate change, loss of wildlife, health inequalities and wellbeing. This funding will enable us to work with the private sector to develop robust mechanisms that will enable more investment and, we hope, an acceleration in environmental improvements.”

    Funding will be invested in a range of initiatives that deliver environmental benefits, while also demonstrating innovative approaches to private investment in nature projects. These will protect and enhance the environment in line with the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

    One example could be the creation of new woodland, which provides habitats for wildlife, improves access to nature for residents whilst also capturing carbon. This could benefit both local businesses, allowing them to offset the impacts of their own operations by contributing to local environmental improvements, and enhance biodiversity in the area.

    Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Climate Emergency Response Plan includes a target for the borough to be carbon neutral by 2045 and sets out what the Council, partners, residents, industry, and businesses need to do, collectively, to achieve this. The Council is the host partner for The Mersey Forest and The Mersey Forest Plan, which covers Merseyside and the whole of Cheshire, shares the same ambitious targets. As an organisation, the Council aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.

    Identifying sustainable, long-term, private sector investment is a key element of both plans and will play a major part in helping to restore nature and provide environmental improvements in the area.

    Councillor Matt Bryan, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and the Climate Emergency, said: “We recognise that the actions in our Climate Emergency Response plan are ambitious for us to be carbon neutral as a borough by 2045. To achieve this, additional funding, above what the Council can provide, is needed to meet our targets. Many private organisations are looking for opportunities to invest in sustainable projects in this country and we have a fantastic opportunity to benefit from this and play our part to tackle the climate emergency whilst restoring nature and improving the area for our residents.”