A 'National Forest' for Wales

In the spring of 2020, the Welsh Governmane announced plans for a National Forest for Wales. The plans are to create areas of new woodland and help to restore and maintain some irreplaceable ancient woodlands. It is hoped that in time it would form a connected network of woodlands throughout Wales to bring social, economic and environmental benefits. These managed woodlands may provide spaces for leisure and nature, help to capture and store carbon, provide timber - a sustainable resource for construction.

Grants have already been given for 14 sites. A new round of grant applications has not yet been announced.

Concerns have been raised that multinational corporations are benefiting from these grants to buy up privately owned lands above asking prices to create these areas of woodland for commercial purposes. This may be damaging the structure of rural communities and pricing local people out of land and house ownership. This has already happened over large areas of Wales when valleys were dammed to create reservoirs surrounded by commercial woodland and in the Flow region of Scotland where inappropriate commercial plantings damaged large areas of peat.
It is not clear that these adverse issues are being balanced against the potential benefits in decades to come by mitigating global warming etc.

Updated 20/12/2021