£2M scheme launched giving free tree for every home in Wales to tackle climate change

Every household in Wales will be offered a free tree to plant - part of a scheme to tackle climate change.

Every household in Wales will be offered a free tree to plant – part of a scheme to tackle climate change.

The Welsh government said people will be able to choose a tree of their own to plant or have one planted on their behalf by Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust.

They can be collected from March at one of five regional community hubs, with 20 more hubs to be opened across Wales by October.

The project is estimated to cost around £2m, according to Deputy Minister For Climate Change, Lee Waters.

Mr Waters said: “We need to plant lots more trees to meet our climate change targets by the end of this decade – we have to plant 86 million more trees in Wales.

“Our tree-planting record has not been great and we need to increase it by 15-fold every year. That is a massive challenge.

“We want households to play their part. We’ve issued a call to arms really.

“It’s a practical thing, because if every household planted a tree, we’d have a million trees planted. But it’s also about awareness raising and getting people to think about nature and the role trees can have.

“Our message is trees are amazing – we’ve been neglecting them, we need to plant lots, lots more of them, and you and your family can play your part.”

While every tree makes a small difference, land owners such as farmers will need to get involved to reach the target, Mr Waters said.

It is thought that around 10% of land used for food production will need to be turned into woodland, with Mr Waters insisting this was “not a huge shift”.

“There are good practical reasons for why trees can help farmers go about their normal business.

“We’re also going to be changing the subsidy regime so farmers are incentivised to do it.

“There’s a lot of anxiety in the farming community at the moment and it’s easy to see the tree as the bogeyman – actually trees are a part of the solution of how we deal with the current crisis and it needn’t be at the expense of farming.”

A consultation on plans to create a national forest for Wales will be launched early next year, he added.