This autumn the Snowdonia National Park Authority and the Woodland Trust will work in collaboration to implement a special new project with the aim of planting more trees and hedgerows within a designated area of the National Park.
As well as helping to combat climate change and mitigating flooding, trees and hedgerows form an essential part of the countryside ecosystem. Hedgerows play an important role in connecting habitats in a fragmented landscape.
Small tree clusters and hedgerows that form boundaries around agricultural fields are also characteristic of Snowdonia’s landscape, and is one of the qualities that makes the area so special. But with the rapid spread of ash dieback disease many of our mature trees are endangered, and so one of the aims of this project is to supplement those trees that will be lost to this disease.
Thanks to funding by the People’s Postcode Lottery – the Woodland Trust will fund over £25,000 worth of fencing work to protect the new trees and hedgerows while they become established. The trees will be supplied from the Snowdonia National Park Authority’s tree nursery at Plas Tan y Blwch, with the aim of planting 8,000 native trees and 1,800 metres of hedgerow. The project area encompasses 27 Community Councils and runs from Beddgelert to the north, all the way south to Pennal and Aberdyfi, and stretches to the east as far as Rhydymain and Mawddwy.
Rhys Owen, Head of Conservation, Woodland and Agriculture for the National Park Authority says:
“As well as the clear benefits to the environment and biodiversity, this scheme will also bring agricultural benefits through the creation of solid and reliable field boundaries as well as essential shelter for livestock.
Planting more trees outside woodlands in the south of the National Park will also safeguard the wooded landscape that is so characteristic of the area, and which has inspired and attracted visitors over the years.”
Natalie Buttris, Director of Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales says:
“Hedges are part of an ancient agroforestry tradition along with wood pasture. Together with hedgerow and ancient trees as well as field edge habitats, they form an extensive habitat network that’s crucial to wildlife and defines our landscapes. They provide lots of practical benefits including protecting livestock from weather extremes, aiding biosecurity, mitigating flooding, and enhancing soil, carbon and water resources.”
Coed Cadw’s involvement in the Trees Outside Woods project, in collaboration with the Snowdonia National Park Authority, is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery says:
“Trees and hedgerows are vital in helping to combat climate change. We are pleased support from our players will fund the fencing to protect the new trees and hedgerows planted as part of the Coed Cefn Gwlad project, ensuring as many as possible will thrive.”
Owners of land falling within the project area are invited to register their interest with the Park Authority by Monday the 13th of September 2021.