A new national forest running the “length and breadth of Wales” has been announced by the Welsh Government under plans to protect nature and address biodiversity loss, as well as boost tourism.
The forest scheme, unveiled by First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford, would see existing woodland joined up with newly planted areas.
The idea is that people would be able to walk the entire length of the forest, from one end of the country to the other, drawing inspiration from the Wales Coast Path which attracts millions of visitors a year.
The National Forest will help prevent flooding, improve air quality, remove harmful greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, regenerate soil for food and provide a home for wildlife.
Mark Drakeford said: “There is no escaping the huge environmental challenges the world is facing – the February floods have brought that home to us in Wales in the most devastating way.
“We have a responsibility to future generations to protect nature from the dangers of our changing climate but a healthy natural environment will also offer protection to our communities from the dangers we ourselves face.”
Forming part of the National Forest, The Woodland Trust have also announced that a new woodland the size of 100 rugby pitches will be planted next to Gnoll Country Park in Neath over the next five years.
The announcement follows the recent planting of seagrass seeds off the Pembrokeshire coast as part of the UK’s biggest ever seagrass restoration scheme.
The project aims to help tackle climate change as seagrass captures carbon dioxide up to thirty-five times quicker than tropical rainforests.
Sky Ocean Rescue, WWF and Swansea University worked together to help plant the 750,000 seeds in Dale Bay, Pembrokeshire. It is expected that more seeds will be planted later this year.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com