04th May 2022

Linc plants 900 new trees in South Wales

South-Wales housing association Linc Cymru (Linc) has successfully planted 900 trees, greening-up the places people live and improving the environment.

The 900 trees, donated by energy company Ovo as part of their ‘I Dig Trees’ scheme, have been planted around sites managed by Linc and local partners to improve local areas for residents and for wildlife.

Linc’s Environmental Officer, Rebecca Billington, has taken care to ensure that every tree has been planted in a place it can thrive. The trees will bring benefit to Linc’s tenants and attract wildlife.

Rebecca worked with local residents and volunteers to plant all the trees between December 2021 and April 2022.

The right tree in the right location

Many of Linc’s homes are in urban areas so it was important that the trees were planted where each tree could thrive but also where tenants wanted them.

The donated trees, provided as 40-60cm whips, included smaller hedgerow species like hawthorn, dog rose and hazel, and larger-growing woodland varieties like oak and hornbeam.

The location for each of the 900 trees was chosen carefully, so every specimen would be assured a long life. The planting was planned so the trees would not outgrow their space or risk damage to buildings, underground services or overhead cables.

“The trees will have longevity, they’ll be there for many years to come, benefitting the area today and in the future,” explains Rebecca.

Line of sight

Residents at Linc’s extra care scheme, Cwrt Yr Orsaf, were keen to screen off the nearby railway without losing the extensive views beyond. Rowan trees and wild cherries were the perfect choice – their smaller stature and light foliage will allow residents to enjoy the scenery whilst also having extra privacy from passing trains.

Hazel Davies, Scheme Manager, said, "The tenants at Cwrt Yr Orsaf were thrilled to receive a donation of beautiful trees which they planted in partnership with Rebecca, our Environmental Officer. We hope that the trees will attract wildlife to the garden area, and we have plans to install bird boxes in the future to encourage birds to nest, providing a great opportunity for tenants to birdwatch and enjoy nature at its best.’’

Return of the native

Rebecca and a team of 12 volunteers created a brand-new native hedgerow at Linc’s Extra Care Scheme Maesyffynnon, in Aberdare, planting 550 trees. The hedge will provide a buffer from the road, improving air quality, and create a greater diversity of habitat structures. It will take around two years for the young whips to become an established hedgerow, bringing flowers for pollinating insects and shelter, nesting and foraging for birds.

Tenants of Llys Enfys Extra Care scheme in Cardiff asked for trees to be planted in their garden after the nearby railway company removed a group of mature trees. Using a photo of the site taken before the removal of the original trees, Rebecca identified the tree species and replaced them like-for-like with Silver Birch, Aspen, and Downy Birch.

“It’s important to support biodiversity with species that support and enhance the existing local ecology,” says Rebecca.

Bridal blooms

At Lysaght Institute, Linc’s community venue for weddings and events in Newport, 58 new trees will provide a screen from the road. The planting includes wild cherries to create a blossoming backdrop for bridal parties, making the area more attractive for locals and better for wildlife.

Natural partnerships

Linc worked with fellow housing association Newport City Homes to increase planting in Bettws Brook that had become overgrown and filled with litter. Larger species were planted here, including hornbeam, English oak and green beech, rowan and bird cherry with the aim to bring colour and wildlife for the local residents to enjoy in the future.

Green future

Inspired by the unique Wellbeing of Future Generations Act of Wales, Linc aims to hand over a better world to future generations. The new trees will enrich the lives of residents and enhance the environment. Trees in an urban setting bring a cooling effect, improve air quality and create a green barrier.

With Rebecca’s expertise, Linc plans to take a proactive approach to regreening, strengthening biodiversity around built environments and increasing the green infrastructure for wildlife.

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