Every household in Wales will be offered a free tree to plant as part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackle climate change.
The new policy will give people the chance to choose a tree of their own to plant or opt to have a tree planted on their behalf.
Speaking at a Coed Cadw woodland creation project in Neath during National Tree Week, the minister confirmed the Welsh Government had partnered with the Woodland Trust to deliver the campaign.
The first trees will be available to collect from March, from one of five regional community hubs that will be established. The Welsh Government aims to set up a further 20 hubs across wales by October 2022.
Earlier this year Deputy Minister Waters set out a number of actions the Welsh Government wished to take forward to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change.
Mr Waters said:
“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.
“I am therefore pleased to announce we have partnered with the Woodland Trust to deliver a campaign that will provide every household in Wales an opportunity to plant a free tree in Wales.
“This will enable people in Wales to further understand and experience the many benefits that trees can provide, not only to the environment but also to people’s health and wellbeing.”
The Deputy Minister added that everyone in Wales could benefit from the campaign.
“We understand that not all households will be able to plant a tree themselves, but will still be keen to get involved.
“That is why we will make an option available to ‘plant a tree for me’, which will allow for people to opt to have a free tree planted on their behalf at locations across Wales via the community hubs and volunteers.”
Natalie Buttriss, Coed Cadw Director said:
“While tree-planting is only one way to help tackle climate change, it is a simple and enjoyable way for every single person in Wales to have the chance to plant a tree and watch it grow.
“We want people from all backgrounds to be part of planting the National Forest for Wales.”
The Deputy Minister also revealed this week that a consultation would begin in early in 2022 on plans to create a National Forest for Wales.