Woodland oasis in Wrexham's Caia Park

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A GREEN oasis could soon spring up in an unlikely area of Wrexham – Caia Park.

Members of the council’s executive board will be asked to approve plans for seven community woodland areas at their meeting next Tuesday.

The areas would radiate from The Dunks open space in the middle of the estate.

The five-year scheme would cost about £130,000, which would be met by the Forestry Commission.

Martin Howarth, the council’s countryside and rights of way manager, said local authorities across Wales are being encouraged to establish their own urban woodland areas.

Three have already been set up in the south of the country and the Caia Park project would be the first in the north.

The scheme would involve planting 7,000 native broad-leafed trees in the Smithfield and Wynnstay wards.

These would include ashes, oaks and hazels, planted in fenced areas to help them become established.

Residents would have easy access to enjoy a stroll through what would become a “green lung” for the area.

Mr Howarth said: “The trees would be quite small and they would be planted with gaps in between, rather than in regimented rows such as you see with a conifer plantation.

“Most of the work would be done by contractors but we will also be encouraging members of the local community to become involved. A number of the planting areas are close to schools so we would like to get the children involved as much as possible.

“The seven areas include one behind St Anne’s School and others close to The Venture and Queensway Sports Stadium. The Dunks is one of the biggest areas of open space in the area and we want to do something to soften it a little.”

Mr Howarth said if the scheme is given the go-ahead, planting would begin soon – the trees have to be planted during the winter.

Everything would then be complete before next spring.

He added: “Woodlands give people a sense of well-being and walking through one generally makes them feel better. We have already discussed this with the local community and they are very positive about it. Schools in the area are also very keen.”

Council leader, Cllr Aled Roberts, said: “This scheme builds on the environmental work we have done in Caia over the past 10 years. If the board gives its approval this will be a flagship project for North Wales.”

Keith Gregory, a member of Caia Park Community Council, said: "I think it is a good idea to have a greener environment in the area and most residents seem to be quite happy with it.

"I did originally have some concerns about it because they wanted to create one big woodland area, which I don't think would have worked.

"But in the Smithfield part of the area they are now creating three smaller areas of woodland linked by footpaths, which should be very good."

See full story in the Leader

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