Woodland boost for Biodiversity swots – naturally!

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21 JUNE 2011NEWS RELEASE No: 14718

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Children throughout Wales have been swotting up on nature during Biodiversity Week with a little help from the most diverse habitats in the world – our woodlands.

Forestry Commission Wales education officers are using Welsh Government woodlands to highlight the amazing abundance of flora and fauna right on their doorstep.

With more plants and animals than any other habitat type, woodlands are the ideal venue to bring Biodiversity Week to life for hundreds of children all over Wales.

Woodlands provide wonderful habitats for many species of butterflies, insects and bees – for example, a mature oak tree can support as many as 284 different species of insect living on it, in it and under it!

Just over 14% of Wales is covered in woodland and FC Wales manages 126,000 hectares (311,000 acres) of Welsh Government woodlands, including ancient woodlands.

Trees provide food and shelter for all manner of creatures, areas that have been felled can be excellent hunting grounds for nightjars and holes in the trees make ready established homes for bats, woodpeckers and owls.

Officers from the Commission’s Woodlands for Learning (WfL) team have been showcasing the rich diversity of these habitats with a series of events to encourage children and young people into their local woodlands.

Among the activities were teaching groups about the sustainable woodland management practice of coppicing, learning how to identify trees and how trees can help to combat climate change.

Most of the activities took place during Biodiversity Week (6 to 10 June) but other events are taking place throughout the month, including sessions on the inter-dependence of mini beasts within the woodland ecosystem and how biodiversity changes the woodland landscape.

Sue Williams, WfL team leader, said, “An endless variety of plants and animals rely on the woodland ecosystem to survive and thrive.

“Forestry Commission Wales is committed to protecting the biodiversity of our wonderful woodlands and balancing society’s environmental needs, alongside our timber producing objectives.

“Our Biodiversity Week sessions will ensure that we pass this message along to the next generation.”

Caption: Children from Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Pontardawe discover the wonder of woodlands during Biodiversity Week.


A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.

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

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.

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email