New tree planting areas being identified across county

Bridgend County Borough Council is identifying new areas where more trees can be planted to benefit the local environment.

Thousands of trees have already been planted in places such as Sker, Kenfig, Caerau, Pyle, Heol y Cyw, Glanrhyd, Bryngarw, Porthcawl and land surrounding Bridgend Ford, and the council has now commissioned a tree feasibility study to see where planting will make the most difference.

Part of this commission will involve the production of a tree maintenance guide, including details such as good pruning techniques.

New trees have recently been planted at Litchard playing fields and when Covid-19 restrictions allow, work will start on planting more than 2,000 trees at Newbridge Fields in conjunction with Bridgend Town Council, including a heritage orchard in association with Mental Health Matters Wales.

There are also plans for 800 trees to be planted at Sker Farm in March, creating 2,000m of new hedgerow.

Work has started on the new community garden on the site of the former Berwyn Centre in Nantymoel, which will include tree planting in conjunction with Keep Wales Tidy.

Tree planting also forms a key part of the green infrastructure at the Sunnyside Wellness Village development, with plans for about 150 new trees, as well as protection and cultivation of existing ones at the site.

The council is in discussions with Swansea University about developing projects relating to woodland creation and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Cllr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, as the council’s biodiversity champion, said: “Trees help to improve air quality, cut down on pollution, reduce soil erosion and help prevent flooding, and the council is committed to working with partners on a number of projects to plant thousands more across the county borough.

“In situations where trees may have to be removed to accommodate plans for new developments, we require new trees to be planted in their place. An example of this is the Sunnyside Wellness Village, where the developers have countered the loss of trees at the site by introducing a specific green infrastructure scheme which will provide 150 new trees instead.

“The new feasibility study will help us to identify areas where trees can have the most benefit for our local environment, as well as developing best practice techniques to help us ensure they thrive and are in good health.

“The county borough already has an above-average number of urban trees and we want to maximise the benefits of this by increasing planting, especially in more heavily-populated areas.

“Once the study results have been published, we’ll be able to reveal more about our plans.”