A DENBIGHSHIRE politician has branched out to back a growing scheme.

NFU Cymru was delighted to welcome Ruthin-based North Wales MS Llyr Gruffydd out on farm to plant a tree as part of the union’s #GrowingTogether campaign.

Mr Gruffydd visited Stanley Machin’s Vale Farm, near Bangor-on-Dee, to plant an oak tree, kindly supplied by Coed Cadw – The Woodland Trust in Wales, as part of NFU Cymru’s recently launched #GrowingTogether strategy for tree planting in Wales.

Against the background of ambitious targets to increase tree cover in Wales to help mitigate and adapt to the challenges presented by climate change, the #GrowingTogether initiative promotes a philosophy to future tree planting in Wales that advocates more trees integrated into farming systems – rather than replacing farming systems, allowing food production, farming, trees, nature, landscapes and rural communities to thrive.

Mr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's North Wales MS, said: "Everyone has a part to play in decarbonising Wales and the world and farmers are ahead of the curve in many respects.

"It's important that, as we look to safeguard and improve the environment, that we don't lose sight of the communities and people that work the land.

"Simplistic rewilding merely creates plantations and I'd far rather we adopted a grassroots-based approach that reflects the needs of Wales."

Mr Machin added: "This was a great opportunity to speak with Llyr Gruffydd MS and show him the less productive areas of the farm that we are hoping to plant with further trees in the months and years to come.

“Welsh farmers are uniquely placed to be a part of the climate change solution and tree planting that is sympathetic to productive farming is just one of the many actions we can take on farm to suck carbon out of the atmosphere.

"However, as an industry we are united that climate goals should be collectively met in ways that are sustainable and fair.

"The burden of decarbonisation should not sit solely with Welsh farms.

"Tree planting targets should not be achieved through a binary choice of farming or forestry, instead Wales’ ambitious targets should be progressed in a way that safeguards the multiple economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits that Welsh farming provides.”

The NFU Cymru #GrowingTogether pledge stems from the union’s Growing Together: A strategy for sustainably increasing tree cover in Wales report, launched in September.

The document is a blueprint identifying the barriers and opportunities that exist to deliver on these objectives while safeguarding thriving rural communities and ensuring the continued production of high quality, affordable food in Wales.