Nia Griffith MP has joined forces with the National Federation of Women’s Institutes to promote their natural heritage project. The MP is working with members of the Carmarthenshire WI Health, Education and Public Affairs sub-committee – Julie Jolliffe, Eleanor York, Caralinda Jefferies and Angela Thomas – on the project, which aims to preserve, protect and plant urban trees. Mrs Thomas, who lives in Mynydd-y-Garreg, will be co-ordinating the Llanelli area.

Natural Resources Wales, who are partnering the project, have mapped the tree cover in all towns and cities across Wales – the first country in the world to do this – and just as it is becoming clearer how much trees deliver for us in reducing flood risk, mitigating climate change and improving health and well-being. Three quarters of urban areas in Wales have lost trees since 2010.

The Llanelli MP will be helping Angela to contact local councils and voluntary bodies and bring together their representatives and interested members of the public to pool information and ideas about how to develop and update tree strategies. To this end, a meeting is being planned for the Llanelli area at 9am on Saturday 17th March in the Selwyn Samuel Centre.  

Angela Thomas explained, “A recent survey has shown that the vast majority of WI members are concerned about climate change, and this tree project is a very practical way that we can help mitigate the effects of climate change, as well as having a more immediate impact on local areas, by improving the quality of air in our towns and reducing flood risk. “

Speaking about the initiative, Nia Griffith said, “I was delighted when Angela told me she was taking on the tree project because it is an excellent initiative, and I know Angela is a great organiser who gets things done. Five Roads and Pwll WI have already signed up and we are looking forward to hearing from the other local WIs.

“We are so lucky in Carmarthenshire that we can enjoy so much greenery, but, as is so often the case, if we don’t look after things, we are in danger of losing them. The public have already shown their huge support for parks like Parc Howard, but we need to look at the wider urban area.

“Inevitably as time passes, some trees have to be removed because they have become a safety hazard or have got too big and are threatening the foundations of buildings, so we need proper strategies to plant more and incorporate appropriately-sized trees into new development.”

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