PLANS to plant 50 million trees to create a new ‘Northern Forest’ appear to miss out Lancashire.

A new map shows where the trees will be planted across Northern England, but it misses out towns including Preston and Blackburn.

It has prompted Lancashire’s Liberal Democrat peer Lord Tony Greaves to ask why the county does not appear on the map.

This is despite Lancashire being included in the Government’s long-term plan for the environment ‘to create a a new Northern Forest stretching from Cheshire to Lancashire and Yorkshire.’

Lord Greaves, who tabled a House of Lords parliamentary question to the government, said: “If you look at the map, there is a bite-shaped area to the north-west just missed off the area of the proposed forest.

“There is no explanation for this and the proposed area just stops on the tops of the Pennines.

“I want to know why and who has decided this – is it the Government, the Woodland Trust, or Lancashire County Council which has refused to join in?

“I am not sure if Lancashire is the Cinderella of the Babe-with-no-Wood but it is very odd.”

The area of the map includes a broad strip from Hull and the North Sea coast to Liverpool and the Irish Sea. It also covers the Peak District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park and parts of North Yorkshire.

Large conurbations of Leeds and Bradford, Greater Manchester and Merseyside are all included.

The Northern Forest is set to form part of the Government’s long-awaited 25-year environment plan, and £5.7 million of public money is being committed to launch the scheme.

Planting is planned over the next 25 years across a 120-mile stretch of northern England along the M62 corridor to boost habitat for wildlife including birds and bats, protect species such as the red squirrel and provide more access to woodlands for millions of people living in the area.

The government did not comment specifically on the map.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “This new forest will help us deliver a Green Brexit and help to deliver on our pledge to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.”

Austin Brady, director of conservation at the Woodland Trust, said: “The Northern Forest will accelerate the creation of new woodland and support sustainable management of existing woods right across the area.”

Cllr Michael Green, cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning at Lancashire Council, said the county council hasn’t been asked to contribute to this plan at present.

He said: "Lancashire is not part of the Community Forest partnership and in turn is not included in the Northern Forest proposal, although there is an opportunity in the future for the area it covers to expand into the county.

"The county council is interested to explore this initiative further with regard to potential benefits for our area.

"Lancashire currently has a woodland cover of 6.5 percent which provides all the benefits associated with social forestry, including health and wellbeing, recreation, landscape enhancement and increased biodiversity."