Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn, will today launch ‘Woodlands for Wales’, the updated woodlands and trees strategy for Wales.
The strategy has been updated to take into account new legislation and policies since the previous strategy was published in 2009.
Provided they are managed carefully and sustainably, woodlands provide shelter for livestock, reduce noise pollution, slow down flood waters and improve air, soil and water quality. They are havens for biodiversity, provide recreational opportunities and are a means for improving general health and well-being. Timber and non-timber products from our woodlands are also vital renewable resources which aid the sustainability of key Welsh industries.
The Strategy will be a practical document which gives guidance on the kinds of trees and woodlands needed in Wales. It will help ensure woodland managers can deliver sustainable management for all natural resources in their day to day work. Among ongoing work by the Welsh Government is a review of the Woodland Opportunities Map, which identifies areas for potential tree planting.
There are also plans for more forestry training opportunities, including a new project which aims to create up to 30 new apprentice positions in the Valleys Taskforce area during 2019.
The Minister for Environment said:
“This is a bold strategy which reflects the diversity of opportunity our woodlands and trees offer and the essential part they play in our lives. I am determined that people who want to plant trees have certainty about the kind of woodland we need and the places where trees can be planted. In the right place, it should be straightforward to plant the right tree.We need more woodlands and trees to help us manage all our natural resources sustainably, which will contribute to our long term goal of becoming a more circular economy.” Roger Cooper, Chair of the Woodland Strategy Advisory Panel, said:
“Woodlands and trees play a vital role in Wales and bring a wide range of benefits for our environment, our economy and our own health and well-being. I welcome the updated ‘Woodlands for Wales’, which supports woodland expansion, responsible woodland management and is a strategy which can be taken forward with confidence.”