As the countdown to Christmas begins in earnest, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is urging people to help protect Wales’ woodlands this winter by only buying Christmas trees from local suppliers.
The call comes following a speight of thefts of young conifer trees from NRW-managed woodland in Afan Forest in Neath Port Talbot, and Alwen Forest near Ruthin over recent days.
NRW manages a significant amount of forests on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate and each forest has its own design plan, which has long term objectives, be it for conservation or commercial purposes.
And as part of its support of National Tree Week, NRW is reminding people to respect the woodland they have come to visit by leaving the trees standing on the forest floors, as opposed to their living rooms.
James Roseblade, Senior Land Management Officer at Natural Resources Wales said: “Cutting down a tree from one of the woodlands we manage is a criminal offence and any report of thefts will be passed on to the police to investigate. Forests are a vital part of Wales’ biodiversity and play a key role in the conservation of endangered species such as the red squirrel and support the local economy through its timber production.
“We know nothing beats the smell of fresh pine needles this time of year. So, if you want a real tree in your living rooms this Christmas, there are plenty of suppliers across Wales who grow and sell fresh trees. Therefore, why not support those business this year and buy local.”
To report an incident, contact the NRW incident line, 24 hours a day on 0300 065 3000 or email email@example.com.