New scheme to boost growing trees in Snowdonia
18 October 2016
A new grant is available to landowners who wish to plant parkland trees within the boundaries of Snowdonia National Park.
There are currently approximately 36,400 hectares of woodland in Snowdonia National Park, which is about 17% of the Park’s total area. However, parkland trees are in decline for several reasons including ageing and the lack of planting of replacement trees. As a result, wood pasture and parkland trees are now protected in Wales under section 7 of The Environment (Wales) Act 2016.
In an attempt to reverse this decline, Snowdonia National Park Authority has joined with the Woodland Trust to provide grants to landowners who wish to establish new parkland trees in Snowdonia. The scheme offers up to 10 trees per property to land owners within the Park boundaries, with a choice of oak, hawthorn, rowan, small-leaved lime or Scots pine for dry land, or black poplar, or oak for wetland.
Gethin Davies, the Authority’s Ecosystem and Climate Change Officer explains further,
"Parkland trees are usually very large, ancient trees located within areas of open grasslands and heathland. But unfortunately, they are slowly disappearing mainly as a result of ageing, which leaves the trees more susceptible to storm damage and diseases. The purpose of this new grant scheme is to encourage landowners to plant new trees which will eventually replace these ancient trees, whilst providing shelter for livestock, breeding areas for birds, migration corridors for bat, and opportunities to recycle nutrients by providing habitats for fungi, lichens, mosses and invertebrates which are dependent on old trees and rotting wood."
Clare Morgan, the Woodland Trust’s Woodland Creation Manager for North Wales added:
“Woodland pasture is a hugely valuable habitat in wildlife terms as well as cultural terms, supporting birds, bats, fungi and lichens, as well as offering real agricultural benefits in terms of shelter and shade for livestock. Planting new field trees is an excellent way to make the landscape more resilient as well as helping to provide the ancient trees of the future. That’s why we’ve been delighted to provide free trees for this project that are UK sourced and grown.”
The grant aid will include a payment of £40 towards the fencing of a tree to prevent stock (a fenced stock enclosure) and up to 10 trees with protected screens. For more information or to apply for a grant, contact the Agriculture and Woodland Section, Snowdonia National Park Authority, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd, LL48 6LF, 01766 770274.
Notes to Editors
Photo details: Young trees being planted. SNPA Images