The launch of the National Forest programme, an exciting concept running the length and breadth of Wales, was celebrated at Coed y Felin woodland near Mold by Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn today.
The National Forest, backed by £5m in this year’s budget, will be a connected ecological network of woodland running throughout Wales. It will play an important role in protecting nature and addressing biodiversity loss.
And a further £10m of Glastir Woodland creation and restoration funding will be available to increase tree planting across Wales.
Coed y Felin, near Mold, is a new native woodland designed and planted with help from the local community. Managed by the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) it includes new paths and it is popular with locals and visitors alike.
The National Forest will be a Wales-wide asset, and communities across the country will be able to take part.
I’m particularly pleased to be at the community woodland of Coed y Felin on the day this ambitious programme to restore and maintain our precious woodlands is launched.
Our forests play a vital role in sustaining both our wildlife and our communities. By investing in our community woodlands like Coed y Felin as part of the National Forest, we can create new opportunities for people to experience in their own communities as part of our wider efforts to reform and improve access.
The Deputy Minister was welcomed to Coed-y-Felin by Rebecca Good, who manages the site for the Woodland Trust.
She said :
I’m delighted that Hannah Blythyn was able to come to Coed-y-Felin today to celebrate the launch of the National Forest for Wales. Created just 20 years ago as a new community woodland, to celebrate the millennium, Coed-y-Felin demonstrates that’s is quite possible to establish a new woodland and create a much loved community asset within a relatively short period.
The National Forest will also provide a boost for tourism, in a similar way to the Wales Coastal Path, which was developed over years of collaboration between government, businesses and landowners.