Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is looking to plant tens of thousands of new oak trees across South East and South-Central Wales, creating new woodland habitats and restoring broadleaf areas for wildlife and for people.
Two years ago, NRW staff volunteered to collect acorns from trees of excellent quality from around Newport and Monmouth and send them to grow at a tree nursery in Delamere.
Trees were assessed on several features, including their shape, size, age and the size of their leaves. Oak trees that perform well in these categories produce acorns that are more likely to grow into high quality trees.
Out of the 70,000 acorns collected, 51,000 have successfully matured and are set to be replanted near their original collection site.
Replanting these trees near the sites they came from ensures they are well suited to the environment and that there is a minimal risk of spreading plant diseases.
The acorns were picked and sorted by hand which means NRW could ensure the acorns collected were of a high quality.
Jonathan Singleton, forest operations officer for NRW, said:
“Safeguarding the environment is a huge part of the work we do, this not only includes protecting habitats that already exist but creating new ones as well.
“Two years ago, we were thrilled with how many acorns we managed to collect and now we’ll have enough mature plants to grow over 30 football pitches worth of oak trees.
“These new broadleaf woodlands will bring a number of benefits including a new habitat for wildlife to thrive in and thousands of trees to help combat climate change. “
The two main sites the acorns were collected from were the Rolls of Monmouth and Newport Golf clubs.
The trees are due to be delivered in January to their designated sites with 25 being replanted at the Rolls of Monmouth Golf club.