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Conserving and enhancing the countryside of St Helens
Around half of St Helens borough is open countryside with some areas of distinctive rural character, such as in Billinge and Rainford, and areas of Bold and Sutton Manor, which are recovering from the scars of past industries including coal mining and glass making.
St Helens viewed from Billinge Hill
The St Helens Landscape Character Assessment provides a breakdown of the borough’s landscape and its differing character. This document is used by developers and planners to minimise the impact of development on the landscape.
The Council works closely with a range of organisations including the Mersey Forest and the Forestry Commission to increase the amount of trees, woodlands and wildlife habitats in order to repair land damaged by the industries, on which the town developed. Through a programme called Wasteland to Woodland, over two million trees were planted between 1988 and 2000, turning unsightly and often dangerous sites into pleasant woodland parks.
Colliers Moss Common Local Nature Reserve before and after restoration
Much of this work was carried out in the south of the borough at Sutton Manor, Clock Face and Bold collieries. This was supplemented by farmland being planted by the Forestry Commission at Wheatacre and Maypole Farms. Now the Council is working with partner organisations to develop this area into Bold Forest Park, an area for walking, cycling and horse riding.
Bold Forest Park is the subject of an Area Action Plan, which was formally adopted by the Council on 12 July 2017.