Picture of Julie James next to tree she has planted.
Picture of Julie James next to tree she has planted.

NFU Cymru was delighted to welcome Julie James MS for Swansea West and the Minister for Climate Change out on a farm in her constituency to plant a tree as part of the union’s #GrowingTogether campaign.

Julie James MS visited Richard, Cath and Robert Powell’s farm in Waunarlwydd on 3 December to plant an oak tree, kindly supplied by Coed Cadw – The Woodland Trust in Wales, as part of NFU Cymru’s recently launched #GrowingTogether strategy for tree planting in Wales.

Against the background of ambitious targets to increase tree cover in Wales to help mitigate and adapt to the challenges presented by climate change, the #GrowingTogether initiative promotes a philosophy to future tree planting in Wales that advocates more trees integrated into farming systems – allowing food production, farming, trees, nature, landscapes and rural communities to thrive.

NFU Cymru President John Davies, who was also in attendance said: “We are delighted that the Minister could join us to plant a tree at Waunarlwydd. Engaging with politicians like Julie James MS is a vital component of spreading awareness of our #GrowingTogether campaign and sharing our ambitions with all those who have an interest in delivering the outcomes we all want to see.

“At NFU Cymru we firmly believe agriculture is uniquely placed to be part of the solution to climate change, and are working towards the goal of net zero agriculture by 2040, producing the most climate friendly food in the world. We recognise the vital role that our trees, hedgerows and the wider landscape will play in carbon storage to help achieve our net zero goal.

“We want to ensure that Wales’s ambitious targets for tree planting are progressed in a way that safeguards the multiple economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits that Welsh farming provides.”

The NFU Cymru #GrowingTogether pledge stems from the union’s Growing Together: A strategy for sustainably increasing tree cover in Wales report, launched in September. The document is a blueprint identifying the barriers and opportunities that exist to deliver on these objectives while safeguarding thriving rural communities and ensuring the continued production of high quality, affordable food in Wales.

Julie James said: “I want to thank Richard, Cath and Robert for having me. It was an absolute pleasure to join them on their farm and plant a tree. The #GrowingTogether campaign is a fantastic idea, especially in light of the fact that the Welsh Government has also 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. Everyone in Wales is going to have a part to play if we are to be successful in tackling climate change and realising our ambitions to create a National Forest for Wales. I hope that everyone enjoys planting their tree or getting someone to plant it on their behalf as much as I have! Everyone in Wales should get the chance 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.”

For more information about NFU Cymru’s tree strategy and the #GrowingTogether campaign, please visit www.nfu-cymru.org.uk.

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