Sir David Henshaw visited Hendy, near Caernarfon, the farm of new NFU Cymru President Aled Jones on Friday 25 February to plant an oak tree kindly supplied by Coed Cadw – The Woodland Trust in Wales.
Ambitious tree planting targets
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 NFU Cymru’s #GrowingTogether initiative promotes a strategy to future tree planting in Wales that sensitively advocates more trees integrated into farming systems – allowing food production, farming, trees, nature, landscapes and rural communities to thrive.
NFU Cymru President Aled Jones said: “It was a pleasure to be able to welcome Sir David Henshaw to Hendy to plant a tree as part of NFU Cymru’s #GrowingTogether campaign. I was particularly grateful for the opportunity to be able to talk in-person with Sir David in his role as Chair of Wales’ environmental regulatory body, to explain in greater detail the constructive efforts that farms across Wales are making to plant trees and hedgerows to boost carbon storage. This is, however, only one element of the wider efforts being advocated by NFU Cymru and adopted on farm in a bid to combat the effects of climate change and help the sector achieve its net zero 2040 ambition.
Sustainable and fair
“While Welsh farmers are more than willing to play their part, NFU Cymru is clear that efforts to achieve climate goals must be met in ways that are sustainable and fair. It is important that the narrative around tree planting targets is moved away from a simplistic, binary choice of farming vs forestry. Instead, all of those with a shared interest in helping achieve Wales’ ambitious targets should do so in a manner that protects our food producing capacity and safeguards the multiple economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits that Welsh farming provides.”
Natural Resources Wales Chair Sir David Henshaw said:
“I was delighted to attend the #GrowingTogether campaign, with my fellow Board member Zoe Henderson, and I’d like to extend my thanks to Aled and his family for hosting us. The twin challenges of a nature and climate emergency are too great to face alone and it’s essential we work together, in partnership, to tackle them. I very much welcome NFU Cymru’s ambition to meet the net zero targets and the aspiration to integrate tree planting into farming across Wales. I hope that we can continue to work together to deliver this alongside sustainable food production.”
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 2021. 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.
In addition to Sir David Henshaw’s recent planting, more than a third of MSs have now joined NFU Cymru on farm as part of the union’s #GrowingTogether strategy.