PUPILS from Ysgol Pum Heol braved the strong winds last week, Friday (Feb 8) to join a tree-planting ceremony with Nia Griffith MP and Cllr Jim Jones.

After the ceremony at Five Roads Community Centre, pupils were given green hearts with wild flower seeds to take away and plant.

The event was organised by Five Roads Women’s Institute as part of the WI’s national campaign to see more trees planted, to help combat climate change and make up for the loss of trees over the past few years, particularly in urban areas.

Following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, in September 2017 NFWI-Wales launched a two year project to Preserve, Protect and Plant Urban Trees.

The project is engaging WI members across Wales as champions of trees in their local communities. Members are being supported to survey, observe, preserve, protect and engage communities in tree planning and on-going monitoring. They are also raise awareness about the value of trees to the wider public.

Trees in Wales’ town and cities deliver many social benefits as well as mitigating climate change. However, recent studies show that 73% of urban areas in Wales have lost trees since 2010 and 7,000 trees were lost between 2006 and 2013. This project will aim to help reverse this decline.

Working with Five Roads Heritage Society and Llanelli Rural Council, the WI organised the planting of trees around the recreation field as well as a birch by the Community Centre to commemorate World War One, and an oak to replace the original tree planted for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Nia Griffith MP said: “This is a great initiative by Five Roads WI and their President Judith Merritt, doing something practical: planting trees to enhance our environment and help slow down global warming. We need more action like this, not just talking.”

Cllr Jim Jones added: “I hope that the children will enjoy seeing these trees grow, and in years to come will remember that they were here at the planting.”

Former headteacher Bryan Hitchman, Chairman of the Five Roads Heritage Society explained the significance of the World War One commemoration, and later spoke to the pupils in the hall about climate change.

Bryan said: “One of the things that we can do to help combat climate change is to plant more trees, as trees absorb carbon dioixide which is one of the gases which contributes to climate change. “

Judith Merritt, President of Five Roads Women’s Institute summed up, saying: “This is just one initiative. We are also giving pupils green hearts with wild flower seeds to sow.

“The green hearts are the symbol of the climate change coalition, and show our commitment to trying to do our bit to tackle climate change.”

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