Welsh culture and landscapes could be ruined by environmental targets to plant trees.
That’s according to charity the Snowdonia Society, which claims that investment from large scale companies to build farms throughout the country could have detrimental impacts on heritage, language and culture.
Wales has committed to having 86 million trees planted by the end of this decade to mitigate climate change and meet its 2050 net zero target.
The Welsh government launched a Woodland Investment Grant Scheme, providing up to £250,000 for projects to expand existing woodlands or cultivate new ones.
Global woodland developers have reportedly been in consistent contact with the Snowdonia National Park Authority regarding possible investments and expansion, however, the Snowdonia Society warn that the financial and environmental lure should not come before a respect for heritage and wildlife.
Director John Harold said: “We need a conversation about where we want trees and where we can accommodate them.”
He explained that a key issue Wales has faced in the past has been the planting of trees without surveying the chosen areas.
“We’ve been here before, in the ‘70s and ‘80s when great dark blankets of plantation forestry were dropped on the landscape at random and we’ve been dealing with the consequences ever since. It impacts communities, landscape and wildlife.”
Welsh Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, stressed: “The Welsh government will only fund woodland projects that are able to demonstrate they meet the high standards required by our schemes.”
The Snowdonia National Park Authority has been contacted for a response.
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