Growing with Trees – reconnecting with nature by Nigel Pugh, Woodland Trust
To nurture a tree, is to nurture your own sense of environmental responsibility, whilst reconnecting us to our immediate natural environment, wildlife, nature, and to all future generations.
Community tree nurseries
If they were established right across Wales’ schools and communities with the right guidance we could all be vastly more engaged with the urgent need to plant trees. We can learn to identify and collect seed, to grow, to nurture, and to plant the right trees in the right places for right the reasons.
Some community tree nurseries have been set up by Long Forest Wales and others in community woodlands sites across Wales have too, though as yet on a small scale.
Sparking a reconnect to nature
If you don’t understand how your immediate environment functions healthily, how can you restore it, value it and respect it? Community growing with trees, relationships nurtured, beyond normal human life scales, an inheritance for future generations to reconnect with time and time again, closely tying into the Woodland Trusts ‘Tree Charter’. By establishing community tree nurseries right across Wales, we would harbour a greater understanding of how ecosystems and ‘we’ interconnect, for mutual benefit, whilst inclusively creating community climate resilience.
Tree planting ambitions
Tree planting targets in Wales are intended to deliver up to 4000ha per year until 2050; approximately 4000 rugby pitches a year! We also have a political wish to have a new national forest; a consideration of where these trees are to come from, and how best to deliver this should be planned. Currently tree nurseries in Wales stocking locally sourced trees are few, or not available.
Locally sourced tree stock is important for:
- not importing tree diseases
- ensuring genetic diversity
- reducing transportation miles, the carbon footprint of planting programs
- to meet a shortfall of locally sourced raised and grown trees
How can community tree nurseries improve our lives? Consider them as being an ‘outdoor classroom’ that increases our understanding of what the ‘right tree in the right place’ actually means in delivering ‘A Resilient Wales’, lessening this climate breakdown. How can we restore our environment right across Wales? Community tree planting would connect with neighbours, in a joined up way, right across Wales. This allows wildlife to travel more safely across our landscapes, creating wildlife corridors and assisting to reverse nature’s collapse. This is how the restoration of our wellbeing can be partly delivered, whilst delivering ‘A Wales Of Cohesive Communities’ and a ‘A Healthier Wales’, whilst contributing to a ‘A Globally Responsible Wales’.