A new site is set to help grow the green shoots of Denbighshire County Council’s work to improve biodiversity across the county

The Council has set up a local provenance tree nursery at Green Gates farm on the edge of St Asaph.

This new site aims to produce 5,000 trees and 5,000 native wildflower plants a year, with the hope to expand in the future.

Following the Council’s declaration of a climate and ecological emergency in 2019, this project is part of an ongoing commitment to enhancing biodiversity across the county,

Across Denbighshire there are now nearly 60 Wildflower Meadows project sites, including highway verges, footpath edges, cycleways and amenity grasslands with more sites planned for inclusion this spring

These sites, along with the 11 roadside nature reserves, equate to about 30 football pitches worth of grassland managed as native wildflower meadows.

As well as protecting wildflowers, the meadows are also boosting the welfare of native insects to Denbighshire.

The Council has also established a project to look at creating four new woodlands across Denbighshire and is planning to plant nearly 5,000 trees before March this year.

All seed and cuttings are taken from plants within Denbighshire, meaning that they are much more adapted to our climate and conditions than plants that come from other parts of the UK. By choosing local provenance it also reduces the risk of introducing foreign diseases and pests to the area and preserves local genetics and regional variations within plant species.

The plants and trees grown at the tree nursery will be used to help boost biodiversity within the county, through providing more wildflowers for our pollinators and more trees for our birds and other wildlife.

Some are being used to improve council land for wildlife, such as planting wildflowers on road verges which have become depleted of wildflowers over time due to regular mowing.

Through the road verge project the council has reduced the mowing on appropriate verges, making them more suitable for wildflowers.

As well as boosting biodiversity on council owned land the trees and wildflowers will be made available to local groups and landowners who are keen to encourage wildlife on their landholdings.

Cllr Tony Thomas, the Council’s Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “We are proud to have such an important facility at St Asaph which is helping us achieve our goal to maintain and enhance biodiversity across the county.

“The tree nursery will also be used to boost the fortune of less common species. Currently the nursery is growing juniper, wild service and black poplar trees, all of which have declined massively over the last century.

“St Asaph is fortunate to have a group of black poplars already, but in many areas there are few remaining, and in particular very few females, as these are often removed due to the quantities of fluffy seed they produce.

“If you are a local landowner who has a black poplar on their land we would be keen to come and take cuttings to grow on. Alternatively, if you would be interested in planting black poplar on your land please get in touch.”

As the work at the tree nursery increases the Council is also keen to get local people involved as volunteers. Volunteer work would include potting and maintaining the plants, surveying the surrounding fields as they develop and potentially assisting in planting activities. If you would like to get involved please get in touch using this email address biodiversity@denbighshire.gov.uk

For more information on the Council’s Climate and Ecological Change work please visit the link below: