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Sunday, May 12, 2013

AM rooting out support for national tree survey

Clwyd South Assembly Member Ken Skates is asking for people to take part in a new national survey of trees in their local area.
The Welsh Government is supporting the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) Tree Health Survey that encourages people to investigate and record the trees in their locality.
The survey activities include identifying and measuring trees, examining the trunk, branches and leaves for signs of poor health and recording the presence of pests and diseases. The results contribute to a national research programme on the state of the nation’s trees and the factors affecting them.
The AM is making the plea following the recent loss of the 1,200 year old Pontfadog Oak in Wrexham.
Mr Skates said: “Lots of people were very sad to lose the ancient Pontfadog Oak because it could have been saved if more had been done to protect it.  We must now turn our attention to the other fantastic trees in the area that need our help and attention.
“That’s why the OPAL project is so important.  It shows we all have an important role to play in protecting our natural environment.
“I want people in the area to get online, download the free OPAL survey pack and start investigating and recording the fantastic local trees we have in North East Wales as part of the survey.
“It’s a fantastic thing to do with younger family members in particular and a great way to get them interested in our natural environment.
“Though we have now lost the Pontfadog Oak, there are a significant number of ancient and veteran trees, particularly around Chirk and at the Grade 1 Listed Capability Brown gardens in Ruabon that need greater support.
“In addition we have a vast array of younger trees in gardens and public spaces right across North East Wales that we need to know much more about.
“Get out there, get tree hunting and let’s help protect our local trees.”

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