Prescott launches new brownfield restoration trust
Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, launched the Land Restoration Trust this week, with the aim of restoring 10,000 hectares of brownfield land around the country.A partnership between English Partnerships, Groundwork, the Forestry Commission and the Environment Agency, the Trust will work to transform derelict, neglected brownfield land into open, green spaces to benefit local communities.
Launching the Trust, John Prescott said: "I hope to see the Land Restoration Trust helping communities across the country - from the former coal mining areas to the creation of new sustainable communities in the Thames Gateway."
The first three sites to be transferred to the Trust are Monkton in the North East, and Bentley and Hickleton in Yorkshire, all former coalfields from English Partnerships' National Coalfields Programme.
Euan Hall, Chief Executive of the Land Restoration Trust, said: "We are now well aware how much of an impact derelict land can have on a community in both social and economic terms. The Land Restoration Trust will tackle these issues head on by restoring under-used land for community benefit, improving quality of life and community interaction."
He said that each site would be assessed on its own merits as to the solution provided, which could mean creating woodland or wetland areas, or building skateboard parks and nature trails.
"Each site will be unique and require a different approach. That is why we need the expertise of a national organisation which can oversee these requirements and react accordingly," Mr Hall said.