One of the major advantages of the Local Nature Partnership (LNP) Cymru project is the way in which working collaboratively makes things possible that may otherwise not have been. A perfect example of this is the Llanidloes Woodland Creation project, coordinated by the Powys LNP and working with Llanidloes Energy Solutions.
The project aimed to restore and create native woodland around Llanidloes, and in doing so to also combat climate change and biodiversity loss. Trees and hedgerows play a major role in biodiversity, especially by connecting habitats. Habitat connectivity facilitates migration and dispersal of native animal species. Additionally, by planting a mixture of native broadleaf trees species, diversity and ecosystem resilience are maintained and enhanced.
Through the project, 5,000 native broadleaved trees were donated by The Woodland Trust and 32 landowners planted c.6,500 trees on 42 sites across Llanidloes and surrounding countryside. Planting was mainly targeted at field edges and corners to enlarge existing wooded areas and enhance connectivity. A community orchard was also created within the town.
The project was entirely volunteer-led and managed. Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust provided advice and support regarding planting locations. The Woodland Trust donated most of the trees and will continue to follow progress as a pilot scheme for potential adoption in other areas. Llanidloes Town Council donated land and fencing materials to create a community orchard with 20 fruit trees donated by a local supplier. Both local primary and high schools were engaged with the project. Other landowners planted trees themselves and, in several cases, installed fencing (at their own cost) to aid establishment.
Powys LNP provided tools to assist with planting and ongoing management, particularly of the fruit trees in the community orchard. An additional 1,450 oak trees from a Welsh nursery were purchased at 50% discount by landowners to save being composted.
This project is a great example of collaborative working which would not have been possible without the buy-in and management across residents, community groups, schools, landowners, NGOs!