National Trust Cymru grows Celtic rainforests of the future in new tree nursery - National Trust

A volunteer planting trees in Eryri, Snowdonia, Wales - credit National Trust Images & Paul Harris
A volunteer planting trees in Eryri, Snowdonia, Wales - credit National Trust Images & Paul Harris

National Trust Cymru has established a new tree nursery, located in a remote area of Wales, to nurture endangered native tree species to help protect the area’s sensitive temperate rainforest environments and tackle the climate crisis.

The nursery in Eryri (Snowdonia), which is run by National Trust Cymru lead ranger David Smith, ranger Hattie Jones and a team of volunteers, is the first of this scale in the care of the conservation charity across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The charity cares for 58,000 acres (23,471 hectares) of land in Eryri, and the trees grown at the nursery will be distributed to carefully chosen locations in the area to renew and future-proof the health of woodlands in the region.
In the nursery, which aims to grow 30,000 trees per annum, many of the young trees are rare and endangered native species, including black poplar, which is the most endangered timber tree in Britain due to its narrow genetic make-up.
Other species grown in the nursery, such as hornbeam, were chosen to boost woodlands’ resilience to the effects of climate change. These varieties will adapt better to warming conditions than those of Eryri’s current climate, while also being able to mitigate the impact of ash dieback by supporting wildlife including liverwort, fungi and invertebrates such as beetles which typically rely on ash.
David Smith, lead ranger for the National Trust in Eryri said: “Our focus is on planting the right tree in the right place. The nursery is a very exciting opportunity to grow all the trees that are needed in Eryri, and make a lasting difference to these local woodlands where the new trees will be growing for thousands of years, providing habitats for lots of different wildlife such as warblers, moths, bats and even otters.”
Grown from locally collected seeds, the trees are more biosecure and resilient to area-specific diseases than imported counterparts, while also being innately well-adapted to Eryri’s unique climate, which constitutes one of the last remaining fragments of Celtic or temperate rainforest in the UK. Characterised by especially high rainfall and humidity and a low annual variation in temperature, the Celtic rainforest is a key habitat for many rare mosses, liverworts, and lichens.

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Posted On: 17/05/2023

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