P-05-945 The Climate Emergency and a National Forest for Wales



P-05-945 The Climate Emergency and a National Forest for Wales

This petition was submitted by Coed Cadw - The Woodland Trust in Wales having collected a total of 4,354 signatures.


Text of Petition                      

We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to urgently increase tree cover to help address this climate emergency & the well documented collapse of nature.

The Welsh Government's 'State of Natural Resources Report' said no ecosystems in Wales are resilient.

We need more trees in urban & rural areas to address high levels of air pollution, lessen heatwaves & floods, increase wildlife & create a carbon store above & below ground.

Rivers, hedgerows & verges can provide quality habitat connectivity, these criss-cross Wales from mountains to coast.  Many have biodiversity rich ancient woods, meadows & marshes alongside them, but their range & quality has massively declined in the last 50 years.

Our rivers are healthiest when bordered by wide strips of lightly grazed broadleaf woodland river banks. Trees provide some dappled shade keeping rivers cool & protecting them from pollutants, reducing unsustainable soil loss, whilst helping to keep farmers on the land.

To help nature recover we need to recreate more wildlife friendly landscapes by creating more & healthier interconnecting habitats.

Placed & funded correctly, a new national forest can deliver many solutions for all future generations, a more 'resilient Wales'.

We call for a comprehensive strategy to deliver:

  • an increase of 5000 hectares per year in tree cover in urban areas, on farms, & in the uplands
  • tree cover that is at least 50% native broadleaf trees, best for biodiversity, & public well-being
  • sustainable management of existing trees, forests, woodland & hedges, to protect them from damage & provide a mixed mosaic of habitat for wildlife & people
  • new funding for farmers for 'Hedges & Edges' & traditional woodland pasture -agroforestry
  • funding for community tree nurseries, for people to be involved in finding sites, planting, & growing trees right across Wales
  • a truly national & innovative 'National Forest for Wales'


Additional Information




Climate Emergency: https://gov.wales/written-statement-welsh-government-declares-climate-emergency 


State of Natural Resources Report: https://cdn.naturalresources.wales/media/682366/sonarr-summary-september-2016-edited-august-2017.pdf 


A Resilient Wales: https://futuregenerations.wales/aotp/resilience/ 


Bordered by wide strips of lightly grazed broadleaf woodland: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281902234_Beyond_cool_Adapting_upland_streams_for_climate_change_using_riparian_woodlands


Community tree nurseries https://www.longforest.cymru/news/community-tree-nurseries-guest-blog


Agroforestry: combining agriculture & trees https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2018/07/agroforestry-wales/




Biodiversity: the variety of life found on earth. It includes all species of plants & animals, their abundance & genetic diversity


Ecosystem resilience: means how well ecosystems can deal with disturbances - either by resisting them, recovering from them, or adapting to them. Resilient ecosystems are able to carry on delivering services & benefits despite these disturbances.


Habitat: the natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism


Habitat connectivity: how patches of habitat are linked together to form a connected habitat network that allows species to interact & move.


Hedges & Edges: the habitats that make up hedges, tree lines, verges, river & stream margins, ditches, stone walls & other boundaries


Public Goods: commodities or service that is provided without profit to all members of a society, either by the government or by a private individual or organisation


Tree Cover: the area that is shaded by the canopies of trees & shrubs





This petition was considered completed by the Petitions Committee at its meeting on 17/11/2020.


The Committee considered an update on the petition and, in light of the further information received about the ongoing development of the National Forest in Wales concept and the petitioners’ involvement in the Woodland Strategy Advisory Panel, agreed to thank the petitioner and close the petition.


Full details of the consideration of this petitions by the committee and related documents can be seen on the Meetings tab above.

It was first considered by the Petitions Committee on 10/03/2020.



Assembly Constituency and Region

  • Cardiff West
  • South Wales Central


Further information


Business type: Petition

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 02/03/2020