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Action plan launched to deliver the Woodlands for Wales strategy
The Woodlands for Wales strategy identifies the significant contribution woodlands and trees can make to delivering social, economic and environmental benefits and to addressing the impacts of climate change.
The action plan was developed by Forestry Commission Wales on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.
The plan includes actions that will encourage the use of trees to help control flooding, and that will introduce more trees to urban environments – where they provide shade and improve drainage, as well as a making towns and cities more attractive.
Actions to increase the demand for timber and other woodland products also feature in the plan. An increase in demand for timber will sustain and expand our forest industry and business sector and its contribution to the Welsh economy.
The plan also highlights the use of wood as fuel and timber as a replacement to more energy-intensive materials like steel and concrete, which will help reduce the country’s carbon footprint as trees can store carbon for hundreds of years or more.
Elin Jones, the Minister for Rural Affairs, said:
“This ambitious strategy recognises that Welsh woodlands and trees can deliver more benefits through taking bold actions.
“Woodlands and trees not only provide the more obvious products such as timber or sites for recreational activities but also the less obvious services such as addressing the effects of climate change and protecting soil and water resources.
“What makes woodlands and trees particularly valuable is that they can provide many of these services all at the same time.
“Through the actions in this plan, we aim to increase the woodland cover of Wales and to increase the range of tree species in those woodlands, making them more resilient to climate change.
“Local woodlands have so much to offer – opportunities for enjoying recreation, improving health and well being, learning and developing skills, supporting small business and developing local communities.”
The delivery of the action plan will be undertaken by a wide range of organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors who are signed up to take actions forward.