PLANS to plant millions of trees across Northern England could yet be extended to include Lancashire.

The Woodland Trust, the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK, and six other community forest groups lodged plans to plant 50 million trees and create a new ‘Northern Forest’ as part of a 25-year environment plan spearheaded by the government last month.

A map has revealed planting sites across Northern England, including a broad strip from Hull and the North Sea coast to Liverpool and the Irish Sea, but Lancashire has been excluded.

It has prompted Lancashire’s Liberal Democrat peer Lord Tony Greaves, who is also a Pendle councillor, to present a motion to Pendle’s full council seeking the support of councillors in trying to get the Northern Forest extended across the county.

Lord Greaves, who represents Waterside, wants to bring a resolution to the attention of Michael Gove, who is the Secretary of State for Environment, to ask for his support to include Lancashire in a revised Northern Forest plan.

The Liberal Democrat peer aims to promote the idea within Pendle and to seek the support of Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, town and parish councils, the Forest of Bowland AONB and the Ribble River Trust.

Lord Greaves is also seeking the support of Lancashire County Council and other local authorities in the county as well as neighbouring local authorities in Yorkshire which have been included within the boundary of the Northern Forest.

In response to Lord Greaves’ proposal, a Woodland Trust spokesman said: “The Northern Forest partners would be interested in supporting local partners across the North to join the partnership and would very much welcome the inclusion of Lancashire-based tree planting opportunities.”

“There is still plenty of scope for including sites in the wider North, such as Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Cheshire East in the Northern Forest and our mapping work to identify the best sites for planting has included these areas.”

Lord Greaves’ motion will be discussed at Pendle’s full council meeting at Nelson Town Hall, in Market Square, tomorrow from 7pm.