THE first collection point to claim a free tree promised to every household in Wales has opened in Cwmbran.

It is one of the first five regional hubs opened as part of a pilot that will see the release of the first 5,000 trees to local households. 

Deputy climate change minister Lee Waters promised in December every house in Wales will be offered a free tree to plant or can opt to have a tree planted on their behalf.

Speaking at Blaen Bran Woodlands in Cwmbran, where the first trees were being collected, the minister said: “It is great to be here to see the start of this project that will be part of our commitment to reach net zero by 2050. 

“Trees are amazing - they save lives by keeping our air clean, they improve people's physical and mental health, they are essential for tackling our nature emergency, improving biodiversity and, of course, in tackling climate change. 

“It’s great to speak to families today and it is already clear to see that this project will help people further understand and experience the many benefits that trees can provide, not only to the environment but also to health and wellbeing."

Where can I collect my free tree from the Welsh Government?

Trees are available from Blaen Bran Community Woodland Group, Upper Cwmbran, Cwmbran NP44 5AQ.

The hub will be open for people to collect their tree every Tuesday, Thursday and some Saturdays until March 31, from 10am-1pm.   

Trees will be given out on a first come, first served basis and people are advised to check availability before travelling to collect. 

More information is available on The National Forest for Wales website here.

The current My Tree, Our Forest pilot is being run with Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales. 

Every household that collects a tree will be provided with a tag that tells them how to effectively plant their tree and a link to a page on care and advice for their survival for the next few years. 

Native tree species including crab apple, wild cherry, sessile oak, alder or downy birch will be provided as small tree saplings of around 20-40cm which will grow into small-medium sized trees, suitable for gardens and smaller spaces. 

In autumn, and to coincide with the next tree planting season, the scheme will be extended to release more than 200,000 trees from 25 regional hubs across Wales. 

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From the autumn the project will include the ‘Plant a Tree for Me’ initiative where a tree will be planted on someone's behalf at an agreed location in conjunction with the project’s community partners.  

Natalie Buttriss, director of Coed Cadw said “This project is a great example of how ‘the will’ to do something, becomes ‘the way’ in a short space of time.  

“We know from our experience of tree planting projects how much people care about the tree they are planting, and how this can inspire the whole family and their network of friends.  

“It’s great to also have on board our community partner, Llais Y Goedwig, who have helped us to set up the tree hubs that will be central to this project.” 

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