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A thousand trees in Maerdy

15/10/2008

Four youngsters from the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys will help plant up to a 1000 tree saplings on a disused colliery site in Maerdy as part of an S4C documentary series Cwm Glo Cwm Gwyrdd, broadcast every Thursday at 8.25pm.

Nia Rossiter, Dafydd Francis, Gemma Starkey and Luke Smart will be joined by the series’ presenter, naturalist Iolo Williams. Pupils from Ysgol Gyfun Y Cymer, Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, Ferndale Community School and Maerdy Infants and Junior schools will also take part in the tree planting on 14 and 15 October.

A mixture of indigenous trees – including oak, rowan and hazel - will be planted on the triangle-shaped site at the head of the Rhondda Valley, which also includes part of a former housing estate. Maerdy Regeneration Ltd secured funding from the Forestry Commission to plant “Coedwig Fach Y Maerdy” on this site, as part of the Cyd Coed Community Woodland programme. This infant woodland is being further developed as part of Cwm Glo Cwm Gwyrdd.

The six-part series Cwm Glo Cwm Gwyrdd follows Nia, Dafydd, Gemma, Luke and their families as they attempt to lead greener lives. Each week Iolo Williams sets them a different task, from living without electricity to giving up the car.

The series’ producers, Green Bay Media are working in Partnership with Maerdy Communities First and the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) to plant the trees. The Woodland Trust is currently running the Tree For All campaign, which aims to plant 12 million trees in the UK over a five-year period, one for every child. Rhondda Cynon Taff owns the land on which the tree planting is taking place.

Iolo Williams said: “I’ve been really impressed by the way the four young people taking part in this series have embraced the opportunity to go green. Over the series we see them develop and up their game – both in terms of enthusiasm and commitment.

“I’m also delighted we’ve been able to progress the tree planting scheme, which will help improve the environment in the long term, making a real difference to the local community in Maerdy.”

Clare Morgan of the Woodland Trust, who is organizing the planting, said: “The simple act of planting a tree can inspire children and help get the message across that we need to conserve the woods we have and to replace the ones we have destroyed in the past. So we’re delighted to be involved with the Cwm Glo Cwm Gwyrdd programme. Ultimately, we think all children should have the opportunity to get involved in planting trees, so we’re offering free packs of trees to all primary schools in Wales. Schools can register for these at our website: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/hedge”

Ros Davis, Communities First Coordinator, said: “Its great that children and young people are being given the chance to help create this wonderful new woodland. Hopefully they will help to take care of the environment in the future.”

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