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Saturday, December 2, 2023

New book highlights growing importance of trees in landscape


* At the launch of Trees in Our Landscape in the Plas Newydd cafe are, from left, Howard Sutcliffe, lead officer of the AONB, Loggerheads Ranger Imogen Hammond and Andy Worthington, chair of the AONB. 

A new book highlighting the growing importance of trees in the natural landscape of the area had its official launch at the cafe in Plas Newydd yesterday (Friday) morning.

The 50-page book, entitled Trees in Our Landscape and available free to the public, has been financed by the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and compiled over the past 12 months.

It has been overseen and collated by resident Loggerheads ranger Imogen Hammond and includes contributions from a host of tree experts.

Trees in 42 locations across a swathe of Denbighshire stretching from Llangollen to Prestatyn are featured.

Each tree, ranging from the Carrog Yew and Pontcysyllte Field Maple to the Cilcain Huntington Elm and the Pentredwr Sycamore, are described in detail with their significance highlighted.

Those interested in taking a closer look are guided to their locations by Ordnance Survey maps.

In his foreword to the book Rob McBride, known as the Tree Hunter, says: “Trees in Our Landscape brings readers face-to-leaf with a diverse selection of culturally significant trees.

“With its clever use of Ordnance Survey maps enabling readers to easily find the trees and the beautifully crafted tree illustrations, it is a joy to turn each page.

“The AONB has curated a fine selection of special trees. It brings greater awareness of their importance in terms of species, habitat, biodiversity and cultural value to the communities living within the AONB.”

At the launch – held appropriately during National Tree Week -  Howard Sutcliffe, lead officer of the AONB, said: “Trees are fantastic. Both the UK and Welsh governments are putting real emphasis on them at the moment.

“The Welsh Government wants all farmers on their land to have ten per cent of tree cover, so the importance of trees has many different aspects.

“They suck up Co2 produced by cars and industry, they produce oxygen to help keep the air clean. They also help stop flooding and provide shade. In fact, up at Pengwern the dairy cows are always under the same tree in the middle of the field.

“As a nation we are just starting to realise the importance of trees and what we have done in this book is identify some special ones.”

Guests at the launch were taken on a tour of the trees in the grounds of Plas Newydd which, according to Howard Sutcliffe, contains a number planted during the first National Tree Week in 1973.

* Copies of Trees in Our Landscape are available free from the cafe at Plas Newydd and Llangollen Library.

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