But last year the NECF
was placed in the hands of administrators.
Fourteen offenders performing community payback work have now succeeded in gaining City and Guilds qualifications in horticulture, while others are involved in a range of projects, including the NECF
wood workshop at South Bank and work on nature reserves and country parks in Stockton and Darlington.
Clive Davies, NECF
chief executive, said: "As far as developers are concerned, building green elements into their plans is not just a case of showing altruism, but pursuing their best commercial interests.
As a further indication of the political agenda of the current government, Senator Campbell has also stated that he wishes to change the composition of the NECF
, the key non-government advisory body on environmental issues.
Ian Green, NECF
co-ordinator, based at the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) Coventry and Warwickshire office in Binley, Coventry, said: "With an additional pounds 5,000 Pathfinder Project funding direct from the government, students from across the North East of Coventry can access the Animal Care Student Apprenticeship at Cardinal Wiseman.
The North East Community Forest (NECF
) was a merger four years ago between the Great North Forest and the Tees Community Forest.
Simon Blenkinsop, NECF
's Green Streets co-ordinator, said: "We have consulted with local people by carrying out door-to-door questionnaires.
Janine Ogilvie, Regional Health Manager, North East Community Forests, said: "NECF
commissioned a significant piece of research last year to identify more about what people want from their local green spaces and what types of activities they would like to do."
Gone are the days, says the North East Community Forest (NECF
), when greenery meant patches of grass whose only function was to be mowed.
North East Community Forests (NECF
) will use the grant to fund its Green Exercise project.
works with Tees Forest and the Great North Forest on improving the environment and wildlife in the North-east through projects including tree planting, school wildlife grounds and footpaths.