The planting of 18,000 trees over the next five years will transform parts of two Denbighshire towns into nature havens.
Denbighshire County Council will plant 11,000 trees at Rhyl’s former tip site Glan Morfa, transforming it into a multi-use community green space, and a further 7,000 trees at other sites in Rhyl and Cae Fron, Denbigh.
The extensive tree planting is part of the Council’s corporate priority to protect and enhance the county’s environment and will include improved access opportunities to quality green open spaces.
Cllr Tony Thomas, Denbighshire’s lead member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said: “These towns were chosen as they have one of the lowest percentages of canopy cover in Wales and when the community was asked what was important to them, green infrastructure, including trees, came out strongly.
“This project will provide positive change. The areas are easily accessible for local residents on foot and will enhance them as clean, green and safe open spaces for people to enjoy.”
All activities will be delivered with sustainability in mind with materials sourced locally and the trees will be a mixture of species native to the area.
In Denbigh the Council is working with a local landowner to plant a community orchard and woodland on land known as Cae Fron and once completed a valuable green open space will be created in the middle of the town.
The Council will be working closely with the community throughout the project with a number of opportunities to get involved, including community planting days.
Cllr Thomas added: “It is not just about trees as other habitats will be created by way of wetlands and wildflower meadows which will transform derelict areas into valuable reserves for wildlife and people. Spending time in well-designed, green open spaces is needed for both physical and mental well-being.
“The project will enhance the environment and give residents the chance to enjoy and experience nature within their towns.
“Investment and improvements to green infrastructure can help change people’s attitudes and behaviour, changing their perception of an area and encourage positive use.”
The Council’s priorities over the next five years were drawn up after the County Conversation consultation with residents and can be found in the ‘Corporate Plan, Working Together for the Future of Denbighshire’ document at www.denbighshire.gov.uk/corporateplan