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15 December 2023
AgriFood

Pilot Sees Sheep Serve up Sustainable Tree Planting Solution

Sheep are providing a local eco-friendly pilot support for part of upcoming county woodland creation work.

Denbighshire County Council is preparing to carry out tree planting at eight schools and four planned new community nature spaces.

This work has received funding support from an £800,000 grant from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Nearly 16,000 new trees will support the Council’s continued drive to reach net carbon zero by contributing to the amount of carbon sequestered (or absorbed).

Developed areas will give better habitat spaces for nature to benefit from as well as spaces for pupils to enjoy and learn from local wildlife.

Other benefits around the schools and community areas will include improved air quality, urban heat cooling, physical and mental wellbeing, and areas of mixed interest for education and play.

Denbighshire Countryside Services are leading the work in partnership with the Council’s Biodiversity Team and Climate Change team.

Rangers delivering the work will be using one of the community nature spaces at Henllan to carry out a pilot sustainable and cost-effective scheme to look after the new trees on site thanks to the support of sheep from a local farm.

Traditionally a layer of mulch is added to a planted sapling to provide nutrients and hold moisture for it as it gets established.

In an ongoing effort to find more eco-friendly and carbon neutral ways to go about this type of work, Countryside Services has chosen to trail the use of local sheep fleece as a replacement for mulch.

Fleece is a readily available, local material that releases nitrogen into the soil as it biodegrades and holds moisture well in the soil around the trees.

Countryside rangers have also worked with volunteers to create simple wooden pegs this month at the Willow Collective, to be ready to secure the local fleece in place.

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said:

“Continuing our woodland creation work across the county is important to help reduce the impact of climate change and lower carbon emissions. This is a fantastic sustainable solution from our Countryside Services to help these new trees grow and assist in continuing to help our local nature recover. I look forward to seeing their development over time. “

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