Hundreds of thousands of trees have been planted across Wales thanks to the Welsh Government’s My Tree, Our Forest project, delivered by Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales, and Llais y Goedwig.
In 2022, My Tree, Our Forest was launched to help mitigate the effects of climate change with trees available through a number of routes.
The project saw thousands of households across Wales collect a tree to plant at home, free of charge, helping to kickstart a National Forest for Wales.
In a pilot phase in March 2022, five collection hubs facilitated by Coed Cadw opened across Wales. Subsequent phases in winter 2022 and 2023 saw a further 66 hubs opened to keep up with demand.
Ten different species of native and broadleaf trees were available to choose from and take home, meaning thousands of hazel, rowan, hawthorn, silver birch, crab apple, sessile oak, dogwood, dog rose, field maple and elder trees are now growing in gardens and communities around Wales.
Almost 30,000 trees were given away from the collection hubs, and 33,000 through a postal option, meaning over 60,000 trees have been planted in gardens across the country. A further 17,000 trees have been planted by landowners through the ‘plant a tree for me’ option, which allowed those with a Welsh postcode to apply online for a tree to be planted on their behalf, if they weren’t able to plant a tree at home.
225,000 trees were also distributed to various projects, community groups, private landowners with space for trees, charities (including the National Trust), local councils, and planting projects with public bodies on behalf of My Tree, Our Forest. Added to the 9,000 trees that were planted by schools in Wales through Keep Wales Tidy, the total number of trees in the ground came to more than 300,000.
Natalie Buttriss, director of Coed Cadw said: “People from every corner of the country came together to play their part in My Tree, Our Forest and we want to thank everyone who stepped up to claim their tree – whether that was to plant at home, or in their name. Together, we have laid the roots for positive action against climate change in Wales by collectively growing a National Forest.”
Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “My Tree, Our Forest has been an incredible campaign that has seen 300,000 trees planted in Wales. I want to thank everyone who planted a tree for themselves, their families and friends, and our future generations in Wales.
“Over the past year, people have collected native trees from one of our nationwide hubs run by our expert volunteers, have gone online to ‘plant a tree for me’ at one of our designated sites, or they have ordered trees through the post. With schools, local authorities and landowners signed up to plant trees in their playgrounds, communities and fields.
“I want to thank Coed Cadw and Llais Y Goedwig’s army of volunteers who distributed the trees – sharing advice, knowledge and smiles to everyone who took part.
“We’ve already had positive meetings with our project partners to continue building on the success of My Tree, Our Forest and the interest it’s generated with the people of Wales, playing a part in Climate Change Coalition’s ambitious target of planting 82 million trees in Wales alone.
“We hope that ‘Team Wales’ continues to help us by getting involved and doing their bit, whilst reaping the benefits of connecting with nature.”
For more information, please visit: woodlandtrust.org.uk/wales-giveaway.