The first people in Wales have started to collect trees as part of an ambitious Welsh Government project to fight climate change.
It follows a promise made by Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters in December that every household in Wales would be offered a free tree.
Welsh Government has teamed up with Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales, to deliver the project.
The collections started today (Friday, February 25) in Cwmbran and will run throughout March at five regional hubs as part of a pilot that will see the release of 5,000 trees to local households.
In autumn, and to coincide with the next tree planting season, the scheme will be extended to 25 regional hubs across Wales where 200,000 will be available to collect.
Speaking at a visit to Blaen Bran Woodlands in Cwmbran where the first trees were being collected, Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters said:
It is great to be here to see the start of this project that will make a real difference in our commitment to reach net zero by 2050.
We are in a climate and nature emergency and Wales is particularly vulnerable to increased flooding and coastal erosion as our weather changes, in order to become a Net Zero Wales by 2050 and strengthen our natural flood defences, we must plant 86 million trees over the next decade.
It’s great to speak to families today and it is already clear to see that this project will help people further understand and experience the many benefits that trees can provide, not only to the environment but also to health and wellbeing.
I would like to thank all involved at Coed Cadw for partnering with us to deliver this project and I look forward to seeing it extended later in the year.
The March giveaway will run from five regional hubs in Llanrwst, Wrexham, Machynlleth, Swansea and Cwmbran.
People living near those sites can visit National Forest for Wales | GOV.WALES to find details of their hub and how to collect a tree.
On collection they will receive advice from trained volunteers on how to plant and care for their new tree.
Natalie Buttriss, Director of Coed Cadw said:
This project is a great example of how ‘the will’ to do something, becomes ‘the way’ in a short space of time.
We know from our experience of tree planting projects how much people care about the tree they are planting, and how this can inspire the whole family and their network of friends.
It’s great to also have on board our community partner, Llais Y Goedwig, who have helped us to set up the tree hubs that will be central to this project.
To find out more about the first phase of the project and to make sure you’re first to know about the next collection, visit National Forest for Wales | GOV.WALES.