IT IS HOPED that a major tree planting project will transform two towns in Denbighshire into 'nature havens'.

Denbighshire County Council will plant 11,000 trees at Rhyl's former tip site Glan Morfa. A further 7000 trees will be planted at other sites in Rhyl and Cae Fron, Denbigh.

The major project is part of the Council's "corporate priority" to protect and enhance the county’s environment and will include improved access opportunities to quality green open spaces.

Cllr Tony Thomas, Denbighshire's lead member for Housing, Regulation and the Environment, said: "These towns were chosen as they have one of the lowest percentages of canopy cover in Wales and when the community was asked what was important to them, green infrastructure, including trees, came out strongly.

"This project will provide positive change. The areas are easily accessible for local residents on foot and will enhance them as clean, green and safe open spaces for people to enjoy."

The trees will be a mixture of species native to the area. Community planting days will be put on during the project.

Cllr Thomas added: "It is not just about trees as other habitats will be created by way of wetlands and wildflower meadows which will transform derelict areas into valuable reserves for wildlife and people.

" Spending time in well-designed, green open spaces is needed for both physical and mental well-being.

"The project will enhance the environment and give residents the chance to enjoy and experience nature within their towns.

"Investment and improvements to green infrastructure can help change people’s attitudes and behaviour."

The Council’s priorities over the next five years were drawn up after the County Conversation consultation.