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Call for Welsh towns to have 20% tree canopy cover

Credit: Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/PA Images

The Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) is launching a petition calling for all cities, towns and villages in Wales to have a minimum 20% tree canopy cover.

It also backs the planting of native trees which, it says, can provide a habitat and nectar source for pollinators and fruit trees which will provide a sustainable source of food.

Credit: Marijan Murat/DPA/PA Images

It says the tree canopy cover in Wales varies dramatically, from just 4.5% in Fochriw in Caerphilly to 34% in Trimsaran in Carmarthenshire.

It also cites a study in Wrexham, last year, which, it says, showed trees save the local economy £1.3m every year by:

  • Intercepting 27 million litres of rainfall from entering the drainage system, the equivalent of saving £460,000 in sewerage charges.
  • Absorbing 1,329 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Improving health by removing 60 tonnes of air pollution, saving the health services £700,000.

People often refer to the more attractive areas of towns as being ‘leafy’. Areas like this can provide a more attractive and healthy environment for people to live and work in, for all kinds of reasons.

We want everyone to benefit from trees, so we’re working to persuade local authorities around Wales to plant more trees where people live.

– Angharad Evans, Campaigns Officer

Woodland Trust plans Great War memorial

The Woodland Trust have plans to plant woods to mark the centenary of WW1 Credit: PA

The Woodland Trust have unveiled plans to plant a new wood in Wales to mark the centenary of the Great War.

Four new woodlands will be planted across the UK. The project will cost around £12m and will see millions of trees planted.

More than three million free trees will given to schools, communities and youth groups. The project is intended to be a legacy to those who died, fought or lost loved ones between 1914 and 1918.

The site of Wales's centenary wood is still being discussed.

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Felling to undermine years of conservation work

Years of conservation work by the Woodland Trust will be undermined by the felling of trees at Wentwood Forest.

Restoration work the charity began in 2006, involving the gradual removal of conifers to allow native broadleaf trees and characteristic ancient woodland flora and fauna to return, will be destroyed.

Large swathes of Wentwood Forest are to be felled Credit: Natural Resources Wales
Wentwood Forest Credit: ITV Wales

Much of Wentwood Forest was planted with confiers in the 1940s and 50s as a means of providing fast-growing wood for building. This has led to the decline of many species and unique characteristics of ancient woodland. Larch trees are part of attempts to restore the forest to its natural state.

Large swathes of Wentwood Forest are to be felled Credit: Natural Resources Wales

Larch tree disease expected to spread further

Wales' largest ancient forest is to have many of its trees felled due to a fungus-like disease. Hundreds of acres of Wentwood Forest near Newport will be cut down. It's thought that the disease will continue to spread in the coming months and further felling will be required.

Trees will be felled in Wentwood Forest Credit: PA
Trees will be felled in Wentwood Forest Credit: PA
Trees will be felled in Wentwood Forest Credit: PA

Wentwood tree felling is "serious and devastating"

Natural Resources Wales says it will spend £500,000 immediately to try to stop the Phytophthora ramorum tree disease from spreading further.

An extra £2 million will be provided for carrying out future work.

This is the most serious and devastating action we’ve had to take on our estate because of tree disease and it again highlights both the need to tackle tree disease and the importance of restoring as much of our damaged ancient woodland as possible to make it more resilient in decades to come.

Following the felling the Trust believes that the best approach is to immediately replant the wood with native broadleaf trees such as oak and cherry in the hope of preserving woodland specialist plants that only thrive when sheltered by tree canopy.

– Barry Embling, Woodland Trust

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Hundreds of acres of Wentwood Forest to be felled

Trees in Wales' largest area of ancient woodland - Wentwood Forest near Newport - are being felled due to a devastating disease.

The Woodland Trust says larches in have been attacked by Phytophthora ramorum, which can damage and kill trees.

Work has already begun to remove 500 acres of the woodland.

The disease is already affecting thousands of larch trees elsewhere in Wales, the South West of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Tree planting rates across Wales 'disappointing'

The Woodland Trust fears fewer trees will be planted next year. Credit: Coed Cadw Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust says tree planting figures in Wales were just 900 hectares, only 18% of what's needed to meet the Welsh Government’s own target.

The aim is to create 100,000 hectares of new woodland across Wales over a 20-year period.

The Trust also claims because of reform of the Common Agricultural Policy to be implemented from 2014, no new grants will be made available to landowners looking to plant trees in 2014.

The Woodland Trust fears planting rates in Wales will fall next year because of the reform.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Government says it'll respond later.