Welsh Naturalist and TV presenter Iolo Williams has supported the Woodland Trust’s call for the right trees, in the right place, to have a key role in delivering a more sustainable, resilient and wildlife rich landscape in the future.

As politicians begin to work out the detail of the future of agriculture and land use policy in Wales, the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) has launched a petition to this affect that will be presented to the Welsh Assembly on February 27.

People can sign up online until February 6, at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/welshpetition.

Iolo Williams says: “Agricultural policies of the past have inflicted appalling damage the Welsh landscape and wildlife. We now have a once in a generation chance to devise a new system and put this right. It’s essential this this includes support for the planting the right trees in the right place. That’s why I’m calling for everyone who cares about our wonderful Welsh wildlife to go online and sign this petition.”

The Woodland Trust is asking Welsh Government to recast the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) into a Sustainable Land Use Policy - made in Wales. Up until now the CAP has failed to address the need for trees in the landscape to deliver key environmental, public and economic gains – largely trees have been overlooked.

As a result of these policies tree planting in Wales has fallen off a cliff. We are seeing the lowest tree planting levels in a generation, only 100 hectares in two of the last three years1, far short of the Welsh Government’s own ambition.

The trust is pointing out that trees and woods, in the right places, can offer huge benefits to landowners as well as local communities, offering multiple benefits such as:

· Supporting agriculture by protecting soils and sheltering livestock

· Reducing flood risk

· Producing a sustainable supply of timber

· Supporting wildlife

· Protecting heritage

· Protecting and improving the landscape