Shadowing the path of the east-west M62 Highway, the new forest will create a broad green rib across England from Liverpool to the east coast city of Hull.
If fully realized along the lines announced this week, the forest will ultimately contain 50 million new trees, stretched in a dense 62,000-acre patchwork along a 120-mile strip.
That first attempt lies roughly 100 miles south, in the English Midlands, where a vast new woodland stretching across a 200-mile strip is steadily reaching maturity.
The existing National Forest nonetheless shows how attractive and sustainable such projects can be, provided they are not created at the exclusion of other conservation efforts.
By offering funding incentives for mainly private landlords to plant, it has steadily joined up existing woodlands to create what will ultimately become a seamless forest habitat.