New strain of tree 'rarer than giant panda' found

The 14 trees found at Rhewl are a completely new strain of Black Poplar. Credit: Cadwyn Clwyd

A group of Britain's rarest trees have been discovered alongside a main road in Denbighshire.

14 previously unknown Black Poplar trees, each about 150 years old, have been identified in the hedgerow by the A525 near the village of Rhewl.

They were found thanks to a survey commissioned by rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd, and carried out by woodland organisation Coed Cymru.

It has found 99 Black Poplars in the Vale of Clwyd – there are only 2,500 in the whole of the UK.

The 14 trees at Rhewl are a completely new strain, and have been given their own clone number.

Mike Hughes, Coed Cymru Woodland Officer for Denbighshire, said: "It is the rarest British hardwood although it was widely planted in previous times though these were usually through rooted cuttings because it is very difficult to pollinate the trees."

"There are more giant pandas in the world than there are Black Poplars in the UK."