Wirral, United Kingdom
City population: 319680
Duration: 2006 – 2008
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level, Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: 680000 m2
Type of area: Previous derelict area
Last updated: October 2021

Until the 1990's Bidston Moss was a landfill site and was "unsafe for public access", thus giving a negative impression (close to several residential areas). Restoring work begun in 1995, and in 2006 development started in Bidston Moss through a Newlands scheme: including new features and landscape enhancements to “unlock the full potential” of the area (“as a valued and well-used community woodland for local people and wildlife.”). (Ref. 1, 2)

Bidston moss


Nature-based solution

  • Parks and urban forests
  • Large urban parks or forests
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Lakes/ponds

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Conversion of former industrial areas
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Social cohesion
  • Social interaction
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Enabling physical activity
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Economic development and employment (SDG 8)
  • Economic development: industry
  • Economic development: service sectors
  • Real estate development


Creation of new green areas, Ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems, Transformation of previously derelict areas

Project objectives

A former landfill site of 40 hectares (extended with 28 hectares) to be transformed into community woodland with the aim to deliver much needed contribution to inner Wirral's social, economic and environment needs. (Ref. 3, 4, 6) Objectives included are: provide image improvements for the City region of Liverpool through woodland creation (around Junction 1, M53), deliver a beacon site within the Mersey Waterfront Regional Park, create a zone of influence around the project area for e.g. inward business investment, and contribute to 'Merseyside's Biodiversity Action Plan' targets. (Ref. 6) Additional aims include encourage more marginal vegetation and improving wildlife habitats (with regards to the lake mentioned below) (Ref. 3) and bring the people of Europe together. (Ref. 3, 4)

Implementation activities

“Bidston Moss was transformed into a thriving community woodland. Investment from Newlands meant that the fishing lake could be renovated, making it a destination for local residents and schools. Overall access to the site was improved thanks to the addition of the footbridge over the mainline railway. The improvements to the site also made it a popular venue for many sporting events. A number of community events, including fun runs and family open days, were held on site to introduce local people to their new community woodland. In 2007, Bidston Moss became the home for the world's first Green Billboard - a living structure of willow trees stretching over 20 metres, onto which a message board is mounted. Located on the edge of the site and close to a main road, it was a great way to promote an environmental message and raise awareness of Bidston Moss at the same time.” (Ref. 1)

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Rehabilitate and restore damaged or destroyed ecosystems

Main beneficiaries

  • National-level government
  • Local government/Municipality
  • Private sector/Corporate/Company
  • Citizens or community groups


Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • National government
  • Regional government
  • Citizens or community group

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Co-planning

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The Newlands land regeneration scheme is a Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) initiative. The Forestry Commission is managing Bidston Moss over the long term. The management is in partnership with MWDA (Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority), Groundwork Wirral, The Mersey Forest and Wirral Council. (Ref. 1, 2, 3) Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) delivered the Newlands scheme in partnership with the Forestry Commission and various local authorities, along with several major landowners such as United Utilities and Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority around North West England. (Ref. 7)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Yes (One of the aims is that the quality place created at Bidston Moss will enhance the gateway to Liverpool which is a European Capital of Culture (2008), a European City of Culture project launched in 1985 aiming to bring the people of Europe together. (Ref. 3, 4) )
... a national policy or strategy? Yes (Bidston Moss has been developed through the Newlands scheme – an initiative of the North West Development Agency and Forestry Commission. (Ref. 2) The Newlands project was launched by the Deputy Prime Minister in 2003 to reclaim derelict land in North West England and transform them into community woodlands. (Ref. 7))
... a local policy or strategy? Unknown


Total cost

€2,000,000 - €4,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • EU funds
  • Funds provided by non-governmental organization (NGO)
  • Other

Type of funding

  • Direct funding or subsidy
  • Other

Non-financial contribution

Type of non-financial contribution
  • Provision of land
  • Provision of labour
Who provided the non-financial contribution?
  • Public authorities (e.g. land, utility services)
  • Private sector (businesses, financial institution)

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Environmental quality
  • Improved waste management
  • Improved soil quality
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased conversion of degraded land or soil
  • Restoration of derelict areas

Economic impacts

  • Unknown
  • Stimulate development in deprived areas
  • Generation of income from NBS
  • Increased market share for green economies

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Safety
  • Increased perception of safety
  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved social cohesion
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Improved physical health
  • Improved mental health
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Education
  • Increased knowledge of locals about local nature
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits
  • Other

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting


Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports


Availability of a web-based monitoring tool



Bidston Moss