Planting a forest! 

As we reach the end of the tree planting season, it’s nice to have a look back on what we have achieved.  

With 8 tree planting days and 2 hedge planting days this season, we have managed to plant a whopping total of 4,376 individual trees! These have been planted across all corners of Eryri; from Cwm Anafon and Nantmor in the north, and Yr Ysgwrn near the centre of the park, to Llanuwchllyn in the east, and Cwm Mynach to the south-west.  

We are so grateful to the volunteers and student groups who made this happen by coming out with us in all sorts of weather! 

Volunteer Terry getting stuck in to planting trees at Llanuwchllyn

During a total of 208 voluntary hours, we planted a range of native trees including willow, alder, hawthorn, hazel, oak, crab apple, rowan, birch, dog rose and blackthorn. Much of the UK’s tree cover is comprised of conifer plantations whose needles alter the pH balance of the soil so that few species can tolerate growing beneath them. It is really important that we plant native species because native, deciduous trees support greater biodiversity over their lifetime than conifers. Some deciduous trees such as oak can also live for centuries, providing valuable long-term habitat for numerous insects, birds and mammals. Some of the areas we have planted in this season are remnants of ancient woodland. By planting here, we are ensuring that these areas remain wooded, maintaining both their classification and the precious ecosystem that ancient woodlands create.  

Of course, trees regenerate naturally, but planting them as saplings gives them an extra helping hand as they have already made it through the tough early stages of life. Therefore, they are more likely to survive in contrast to the many that don’t in natural regeneration.  

Conservation Officer Many securing the sapling’s support stake.

During our two hedge planting days in Llanuwchllyn, Snowdonia Society volunteers and Aberystwyth University Conservation Volunteers planted 2,530 saplings that will grow into beautiful mixed-native species hedgerows. Once they have been given time to grow, we are likely to return to these sites to lay them using traditional hedge-laying techniques. For more information on this, have a look at our learning about hedge laying article. Native hedgerows increase habitat connectivity by providing corridors between pockets of habitats. This increases biodiversity within Eryri by allowing species to move between areas to access food, water sources, new territory and to find mates.  

Now that planting season is over we have turned our attention to other tasks including footpath maintenance, litter picks, removing invasive species and helping out at nature reserves.  

Why not take a few minutes to register to be a Snowdonia Society volunteer so that you can join us on our days out, sign up to receive e-bulletins, or become a member to support our work financially? 

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