More than 310,000 trees are to be planted across 500 acres of land in the north-west in order to bring back native woodland that disappeared 150 years ago.

The five-year project, jointly funded by the Forestry Commission and United Utilities, is to be focused on Bowland in Lancashire and parts of the Peak District, and is being undertaken as part of the Agenda for Growth framework operating in the area.

In addition to recreating lost woodlands, it is hoped that rare bird species, including the wood warbler and pied flycatcher, will be brought back to the area by the presence of dense woodland.

Farmers in the area are also set to benefit, with 22 land owners on areas covered by the scheme asked to take on responsibility for woodland management and being offered £60 a year for the next 15 years for every hectare of land replanted.