The Local Nature Partnership Cymru is working with communities across Wales to build a nature recovery network. One of their many projects is Plant Pembrokeshire, which aims to plant 1,300 trees on council owned land. The project was supported by the charity, Tir Coed, and brought to life by wonderful volunteers from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Hywel Dda NHS Health Board.
The trees are planted by the people of Pembrokeshire, for the people of Pembrokeshire. The project was first proposed by a local midwife who was inspired by the Plant! Scheme, which plants a tree for every child born or adopted in Wales. The number of babies born in Pembrokeshire every year is ~1,300, which was reflected in the 1,300 trees planted in the county. This will then continue every year, resulting in a thriving future woodland.
There are many benefits of creating woodlands, including biodiversity, flood prevention and connectivity. The location of the new trees is between two existing woodlands, meaning that woodland species will be able to extend their habitats and increase diversity. Unfortunately, climate change is making flooding an increasing threat near rivers and the coast. The new woodland is located near the Cleddau River which is especially prone to flooding. Trees can intercept overland flow and increase infiltration, keeping the area protected.
The project could not have happened without the help of Pembrokeshire Lamb, the land provided by Pembrokeshire County Council and funding from the Welsh Government.
Local Nature Partnership Cymru
The Local Nature Partnership is a 3-year project running until April 2022, funded by the Welsh Government, and coordinated by WCVA. The partnership was set up as part of efforts to make Wales a nature-rich nation as well as supporting the wellbeing of the communities. Working with environmental groups, businesses, communities, public bodies, and citizens, the LNP has successfully started 10 nature projects across Wales. Other fantastic examples of their work include the rewilding of a golf course in Porthkerry and transformation of a nature reserve in Monmouthshire.
Working on land on the public estate ensures benefit to society as a whole and makes it easy to gain assurance that woodland created will be maintained in future. The landowner gains by being part of a project which delivers under both the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
Overlaying maps of woodland ecosystems with maps of public land can easily identify gaps in woodland ecosystems on the public estate – these are opportunities.
Always survey the current ecological value of the site before planting trees. Woodlands are great, but so are many other habitats. You wouldn’t want to create woodland by destroying important grassland or wetland habitats.