Britain's Next Megaproject: A Coast-to-Coast Forest

Northern England is set to get a whole lot greener. On Sunday, the U.K. government unveiled plans for a vast new forest spanning the country from coast to coast. Shadowing the path of the east-west M62 Highway, the new forest will create a broad green rib across England from Liverpool to the east coast city of Hull.

If fully realized along the lines announced this week, the forest will ultimately contain 50 million new trees, stretched in a dense 62,000-acre patchwork along a 120-mile strip. Not only will the forest repopulate one of the least wooded parts of the country with local, mainly broadleaf tree species, it will also provide a band of newly greened landscape to escape to from the many big cities located nearby.

The goal of a thick green ribbon is still a long way off, of course. So far, the government has pledged just an initial £5.7 million of the £500 million needed to fully realize the project. But what’s significant about the plan is that it amps up a transformation that is in fact already underway—it is actually the second major attempt in recent years to re-green the English landscape.

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