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It may be his busiest time of year, but Father Christmas took some time out to celebrate National Tree Week with children at a snowy Loggerheads Country Park in Denbighshire.
Pupils from Wood Memorial School in Saltney met Santa during a special festive visit organised by the Forestry Commission Wales Woodlands for Learning (WfL) team in partnership with Denbighshire Countryside Service.
As families all over the country decorate their Christmas trees, Santa explained to the children how FC Wales replants all the trees it cuts down in Welsh Assembly Government woodlands so that they can be enjoyed by future generations.
The children watched as forest craftsperson Dai Williams safely cut down a Christmas tree in the park and learned how to tell how old a tree was and where seedlings come from.
Dai showed the children a selection of forestry tools from chainsaw to axe, and they also had an opportunity to ask him why it was important to plant trees, how to plant them so they can grow and at what time of year.
The children then went for a walk along a forest trail and made a bouquet of woodland greenery before visiting Father Christmas in his grotto.
WfL team Education Officer Carolyn Threlfall said, “It’s important that children understand the wide range of environmental benefits that trees provide and the importance of woodland management for the future.
“By visiting Santa in the woodlands they also learn about different aspects of forestry and management work while having fun.”
The day was part of the annual Christmas visits for local schools organised by the WfL team, which this year coincided with National Tree Week, which ran from 27 November 27 to December 5.
The team also held similar visits at other sites in north-east Wales, including Chirk Castle and another Assembly Government woodland at Bod Petruel.
WfL Team Leader Sue Williams said, “Our Christmas visits are very popular again this year and over 2,000 children across Wales will benefit from a woodland learning experience and get a chance to meet Santa in his woodland grotto and receive a present.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Woodlands for Learning team delivers woodland based learning experiences throughout Wales, supports the development and delivery of Forest School and facilitates the Forest Education Initiative on behalf of its partners.
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.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email email@example.com