By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 06 December 2021 • 10:04
The Welsh Government have offered a free tree for every home in Wales, just one part of a plan to tackle climate change. The deal being offered in conjunction with Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust, will allow residents to take a tree of their own choosing and if need be have the Trust plant its for them.
The scheme, which will come into effect from March next year, will see regional community hubs opened across the country. The first five of these will be up and running in March 2022 and will be able to handle the arrival of residents looking to choose and collect their tree. It is hoped by the October to have 20 such hubs in operation.
Deputy Minister For Climate Change, Lee Waters has said that the project will cost about £2 million and that “We need to plant lots more trees to meet our climate change targets by the end of this decade, we have to plant 86 million more trees in Wales. Our tree-planting record has not been great and we need to increase it by 15-fold every year. That is a massive challenge.”
“We want households to play their part. We’ve issued a call to arms really. It’s a practical thing, because if every household planted a tree, we’d have a million trees planted. But it’s also about awareness raising and getting people to think about nature and the role trees can have.”
“Our message is trees are amazing. We’ve been neglecting them, we need to plant lots, lots more of them, and you and your family can play your part.”
Mr Waters in announcing the deal of a free tree for every household in Wales said that they will need to get the farming community involved if they are to reach their target. It is thought that around 10% of land will need to be turned into woodland. Mr Waters insisted that this will be a small loss of production land and that this was “not a huge shift”.
“There are good practical reasons for why trees can help farmers go about their normal business. We’re also going to be changing the subsidy regime so farmers are incentivised to do it. There’s a lot of anxiety in the farming community at the moment and it’s easy to see the tree as the bogeyman. Actually trees are a part of the solution of how we deal with the current crisis and it needn’t be at the expense of farming.”
A consultation on plans to create a national forest for Wales will be launched early next year, he added.
A free tree for everyone, but warn that involving the general public may be a lot more difficult in practice.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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