Wales is embarking on an ambitious ecological program to create a large national forest, extending across the entire country. The initiative, led by First Minister Mark Drakeford, would connect existing protected woodland with large-scale tree-planting projects, with the aim of restoring biodiversity loss, fighting climate change, and protecting the local community. The forests would store carbon from the atmosphere in their roots, therefore improving air quality; secure the soil to prevent flooding and erosion; and provide a home for indigenous wildlife such the black grouse, Scottish wildcat, and red squirrel.
According to Drakeford, “We have a responsibility to future generations to protect nature from the dangers of our changing climate, but a healthy natural environment will also offer protection to our communities from the dangers we ourselves face.”
$5.7 million has been devoted to the project, with an additional $11.7 million going towards Glastir Grants — a program for farmers designed to help stop the diminishing natural wilderness.
The entire length network of woodlands could be walked, in the same way as the popular Wales Coastal Path, and could prove a successful tourist attraction.
According to the BBC, the Welsh government wants to start planting 4,900 acres per year as soon as possible.