May 26, 2024

A sustainable sheep backed solution is paving the way for growth at Henllan’s new Community Nature Space.

Ysgol Henllan pupils recently linked up with Denbighshire Countryside Service rangers and volunteers to shape the new nature site at land behind Meifod Road.

The area is one of four new community nature spaces – alongside similar areas at Rhyl, St Asaph and Clocaenog – that Denbighshire County Council’s Countryside Service and Climate Change teams are creating in the county this year to boost benefits for both local wildlife and residents’ wellbeing.

The Community Nature Spaces work alongside woodland creation work this year at schools across the county has received funding out of an £800,000 grant from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Over 1,700 trees have been planted on the site which will also see new footpaths, a pond, wildflower meadows, a recreation space and picnic area, an insect hibernaculum (aka a “bee bank”) and an outdoor classroom added before the end of this year.

Rangers have now carried out a sustainable and cost-effective method to protect the trees planted on the site by the pupils and volunteers thanks to sheep support from a local farm.

Usually, a layer of mulch is put around a planted sapling to provide nutrients and hold moisture for it as it gets established in the ground.

Countryside Ranger Matt Winstanley explained: “We have picked trailing the use of fleece as a replacement for the mulch as it offers a more eco-friendly and carbon neutral way to support the work we have done here at Henllan.”

“The fleece we put down will release nitrogen into the soil as it biodegrades and holds moisture well in the soil around the trees.

Rangers have also worked with volunteers to create simple wooden pegs at the Willow Collective, to be ready to secure the local fleece in place.

Emlyn Jones, Head of Planning, Public Protection and Countryside Services, added: “This is a fantastic sustainable solution from our Countryside Services to help these new trees grow at Henllan for the benefit of the local community and nature. We are looking forward to seeing the development of the trees over time backed by this sustainable method. “