Guest blog by Nigel Pugh, Coed Cadw - The Woodland Trust

Growing with Trees – reconnecting with nature

To nurture a tree, is to nurture our own sense of environmental responsibility, whilst reconnecting us to our immediate natural environment, wildlife, nature, and to all future generations.

First World War Centenary Wood Planting at Langley Vale. Photo by Simon Powell - WTML

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


Riparian Planting - keeping Rivers Cool. Photos by Edward Parker - WTML

If you don’t understand how your immediate environment functions healthily, how can you restore it, value it and respect it? Communities growing with trees, relationships nurtured, beyond normal human life scales, will create 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.

Tree Saplings on Pallet. Photo by WTML

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

Our wellbeing

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’.


The emergency

Now, we need to understand, we are not divorced from these vital life giving ecosystems, throughout our everyday lives. This is a ‘Climate Emergency’, and urgency is exactly what is required, to finally address connecting us all to the underlying values of a healthy environment.

On Coed Cadw’s  – The Woodland Trust’s stands in Wales people return year after year to receive free trees. People tell us stories of where, why, or for who they have planted a tree, and what they have learnt.

The simple act of planting trees creates deeply rooted, long lasting relationships and stories, way beyond just our sense of self. Community tree nurseries can deliver tree planting targets faster, whilst delivering so much more for all generations to come.

Long Forest - North East Wales Tree Nursery - Volunteers Building Polytunnel - Bodfari, Denbighshire

If you would like to visit an existing community tree nursery, or are thinking about setting up your own nursery site, contact: Llais Y Goedwig email: [email protected] or Long Forest


For further information:

  • Coed Cadw – the Woodland Trust in Wales for ‘advice on trees and woods’
  • See ‘Summit to Sea’ for how a landscape scale restoration program is looking to work with communities with nature based solutions, in creating community and economic, climate resilience.


Planhigfeydd coed cymunedol - blog gan Coed Cadw