New scheme launched to enable more woodlands to become part of new National Forest
The creation of Wales’ new National Forest takes a further step forward today as a new scheme to enable more woodlands to become part of the network is launched.
The National Forest for Wales Status Scheme paves the way for woodlands not owned by the Welsh Government to become part of the Forest.
These could be small urban or community woodlands, private land or farms, or large areas of land owned by local authorities, charities or timber-producing woodlands.
Any landowner or manager will be able to apply to the scheme and any type of well-managed woodland will be eligible, from newly created to ancient woodlands.
First Minister Mark Drakeford launched the scheme during a visit to Pencoedtre Coetir Bach in Barry, a new tiny forest and the first non-Welsh Government woodland site to be given National Forest for Wales status.
“We’re fortunate to have so many thriving woodlands across Wales. We want to protect them and help them flourish, increasing their biodiversity and strengthening their ecosystems,” he said.
“There are clear benefits from doing so – opening up more outdoor spaces, which are good for our wellbeing, as well as creating new green job opportunities.
“Creating a National Forest for Wales is a key part of the actions we must take now to keep us on track to becoming a net zero nation by 2050.”
The National Forest, announced in 2020 by the First Minister, will create a network of woodlands running the length and breadth of Wales, with interconnected ecosystems. In the future there will also be opportunities to grow Welsh timber sustainably.
Minister for Climate Change Julie James added: “Today’s announcement sets us on our course to create a connected network of woodlands throughout Wales through the National Forest.
“Helping to tackle climate change, it will also bring social, economic and environmental benefits to Wales. I would encourage everyone who is eligible to contact their National Forest for Wales Liaison Officer to see if their woodland can join our vision of creating a National Forest for Wales which extends the length and breadth of the country.”
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