Biggest urban woodland in north Wales will be grant scheme’s grand legacy

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The creation of a new woodland on a Wrexham housing estate is to become the 1,000 legacy of a grant scheme which has just come to an end.

The Better Woodlands for Wales (BWW) scheme which has been run by Forestry Commission Wales since 2006 recently closed to new applications, to be replaced by a new woodland creation grant under Glastir.

More than £8 million has been paid out for woodland projects throughout Wales in BWW’s lifetime, and one of the final projects to be helped will see a “green lung” created on Wrexham’s Caia Park housing estate.

Local schools and community groups will be involved in establishing the largest area of urban woodland in north Wales by planting broadleaved trees and shrubs such as oak, ash, hazel and willow on the estate.

Seven areas linked by footpaths will help to create a “green lung” for Wrexham on a site which was once used for landfill before being capped in the 1970s.

The total area of planting will be 3.05 hectares (7.5 acres), making the sites the largest green open spaces in Wrexham.

The scheme is jointly funded by the BWW grant scheme and the Welsh Assembly Government’s Plant! initiative which aims to plant a tree for every child born or adopted in Wales from1 January 2008.

The combined grants will go towards planting the trees, fencing, creating wheelchair accessible gravel paths and weeding and protecting the trees as they become established.

Lajla Cash, Plant! project manager for FC Wales, said, "It's great to see funding from the BWW grant scheme used in an urban situation.

“Trees really are vital to our mental and physical well-being in towns as well as in the countryside. They can help screen out urban noise, absorb greenhouse gases and filter out pollution.

“We will be involving local schools and community groups in the planting of this woodland and we hope that everyone will enjoy its benefits far into the future.”

Medical research has shown that green spaces in the heart of our towns and cities can also protect us from strokes and heart disease by cutting our stress levels and encouraging exercise. They have even been shown to help people heal more quickly after surgery.

For more information on grants available for planting new woodland, ring 0300 068 0300 and ask for the Forestry Commission Wales Glastir woodland team, e-mail or look online at


About 14 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.

Since its launch at the Royal Welsh Show in 2006, Better Woodlands for Wales has paid out £8,017,935.63 to create or manage existing woodland.

It was announced last October that BWW is to be replaced by a new Glastir grant developed by FC Wales to create woodlands. The new grant, which was launched at the end of October, aims to help fulfil the Assembly Government’s commitment to increase the amount of tree cover in Wales, as well as the range of tree species.

FC Wales will continue to deliver woodland creation grants until January 1, 2013 via Glastir on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, e-mail