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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

MP visits Chirk Castle to support tree planting campaign

* Simon Baynes MP planting with General Manager Lizzie Champion and Head Gardener David Lock at Chirk Castle.

Clwyd South MP joined the National Trust's campaign to plant four million blossom trees across the UK by 2030 by planting a blossom tree at Chirk Castle.

Mr Baynes is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Woods and Trees, and supports the National Trust's commitment to plant and establish 20 million trees across the country. 

The Trust is planting native and historic varieties, and other trees such as blackthorn and hawthorn, to support nature and to bring back blossom to areas that need it. 

The blossom tree, a crabapple Malus Florentina, was planted at Chirk Castle where Mr Baynes met Lizzie Champion, General Manager, and David Lock, the Head Gardener. The castle is owned by the National Trust and is open to the public.

Mr Lock has worked at Chirk Castle for over 40 years, starting as a gardener and then becoming Head Gardener in 1988. 

There are four gardeners at Chirk, one of whom is shared with Powis Castle, and 20 garden volunteers.

Chirk Castle has a 10-year vision for the gardens that includes developing the kitchen garden, which provides fresh produce for the castle tearoom, and plans to restore the 17th century pleasure ground woods. 

Over the next five years, the National Trust says it will be continuing its efforts to plant blossom trees in areas that need them and to ensure that urban communities can experience the natural world. 

Cities such as Newcastle, London, Plymouth and Birmingham will see blossom being planted for everyone to visit, enjoy and reflect.

Lizzie Champion, General Manager at Chirk Castle, said: “Through the #blossomwatch campaign we are proudly bringing the beauty of nature closer to everyone in Wales. 

"Thank you to Simon Baynes MP for planting a blossom tree in the garden at Chirk today. We hope that everyone who visits will enjoy watching as it blooms each spring.”

Speaking about the planting, Mr Baynes said: “It was a great pleasure to plant a blossom tree at Chirk Castle, near where I live in Clwyd South. 

"I have been visiting the Chirk Castle gardens for many years and have seen them flourish under the expect care of Head Gardener David Lock and his team of staff and volunteers.

“As Chairman of the APPG for Woods and Trees, the National Trust’s commitment to planting over four million blossom trees is a matter very close to my heart, and I was so pleased to be able to be part of this effort in Clwyd South.”

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