The Welsh Government’s ambition, as a part of their Woodland Creation Planning Scheme, is to plant 43,000 hectares of new woodland by 2030 and 180,000 hectares by 2050 to help Wales meet its carbon emission reduction targets. That is equivalent to planting at least 5,000 hectares per year.
To support the Welsh Governments target, NPTC Group has worked with The Woodland Trust since 2022 in an effort to encourage the planting of native broadleaf trees, throughout this time our Horticulture department has received nearly 1000 trees that have been planted across our College sites.
Woodlands improve the quality of the environment because they:
- help protect the quality of drinking water supplies
- help manage flood events
- capture harmful pollutants and improve air quality
- provide shade, shelter and absorb sound
- stabilise soils, reducing erosion and landslides
The saplings received by the College are enough to cover 2 football pitches and include Rosa Rugosa, Hazel, Crab Apple, Oak, Blackthorn, Elder, Dog Rose, and Rowan.
Susan Roberts, Horticulture Lecturer said “We are hoping the trees which have been planted as a hedgerow will provide a natural shelter and an important source of food and habitat for wildlife. The hedgerow will have a low maintenance upkeep which will help the environment as there will be minimal disturbance. The hedgerow will offer screening and privacy and offer much need protection from strong winds and rain.”
Susan added ‘Students have gained valuable skills and knowledge and regularly use the hedgerow to carry out practical assessments and plant identification to gain their Horticulture qualifications.
The students are extremely proud of their practical/written achievements and look forward seeing the hedgerow blossom and mature whilst studying with NPTC Group of Colleges. We have already seen an increase in wildlife behaviour such as them using the hedgerow as a natural corridor to travel and for protection. As you can see by the Brecon garden photographs it is in its infancy and hopefully within a few years the hedgerow will be teaming with activity from surrounding wildlife.”
If you’d like to learn more about the Woodland Trust and their goals, visit their website here: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/
If you’re interested in getting free trees for your school or communities, visit the Woodland Trust here: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/schools-and-communities/