Literary roots plant firmly in Brecon Beacons with the help of Cowshed

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Literary roots plant firmly in Brecon Beacons with the help of Cowshed

National Trust Wales, The Woodland Trust and Hay Festival plant the first acre of ‘literary’ woodland at the foot of South Wales’ highest mountain

Today (1 December), the creation of the very first Hay Festival Wood has begun at the foot of Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons as 800 trees are planted among the stunning landscape as part of #HAYTREES.

Students from Mount Street Junior School, were the first to plant species of Rowan, Birch, Alder and Sessile Oak in the one-acre area, Pont ar Daf. The trees were donated by The Woodland Trust and were brought to the Brecon Beacons after being sourced and grown in Wales and just across the border in the West Midlands.

Earlier this year, National Trust Wales and The Woodland Trust announced #HAYTREES as part of Hay Festival’s 30th birthday celebrations. The project aims to plant a total of thirty acres of native woodland trees, across National Trust special places in Wales including Tredegar House, Plas Newydd and locations in Snowdonia, as well as at Pont ar Daf.

#HAYTREES was introduced at the annual Hay Festival, held in May 2017, as part of a programme to educate children in Wales featuring a series of planting in schools to demonstrate the importance of trees in literature and cultivating connections with nature for future generations to enjoy.

Justin Albert, National Trust Director for Wales and Vice-President of Hay Festival, said: “This brilliant initiative is about creating a sustainable woodland for future generations to enjoy and learn from, so it’s fitting to see the next generation involved in planting the trees and making new connections with nature.

“Our remit at the Trust is to protect and restore our special places forever for everyone and the Hay Festival Wood will enhance Wales’s extensive offering and create a wonderful new environment for people to explore.”

Andy Fryers, Sustainability Director of Hay Festival, said: “The Hay Festival Wood campaign has been in the making for such a long time and it’s been so exciting to witness it coming to life. Seeing the students from Mount Street Junior School getting involved in planting the trees was fantastic. Their school is just down the road, so they can come back whenever they like to watch their trees grow; they have the chance to see nature in a new and inspiring way, it’s exactly why we started this project in the first place.”

Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of the Woodland Trust, said: “Seeing our trees being planted by the students was an absolute pleasure. We want everyone to be aware of how important trees and woodland are and having the chance to educate young people as part of #HAYTREES has been fantastic. We’re excited to see how planting goes next year and watch it bring us closer to our target of planting 64 million new trees across the UK.”

Planting will also be taking place on Saturday 2 December from 10am-2pm, with adults and children aged over 14 able to attend. For more information and to reserve one of 100 free tickets, visit:


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