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Plea for information after thieves raid community woodland

Children planting stakes to support tree saplings

Stakes to support tree saplings, planted by local schoolchildren, have been stolen from the new Spirit of Llynfi community woodland site in Maesteg.

Natural Resources Wales is asking anyone that may know anything about the incident to report it to the Police. The 86 stakes were stolen from young orchard trees towards the end of last week.

Over the last few months, 7,000 trees have been planted by children from nine local schools and local people. Their work is part of a project to transform the former Coegnant Colliery and Maesteg Washery sites into a rich woodland where people can enjoy all the health benefits of being surrounded by nature.

Geminie Drinkwater, Project Officer for Natural Resources Wales said: "It’s very sad to think that someone has deliberately damaged something that is being created by the local community for the local community. We suspect that the stakes have been stolen to be used for someone's garden fence. If anyone knows who has taken the stakes, or sees anything suspicious, please contact the police.”

The Spirit of Llynfi project is managed by Natural Resources Wales working with communities in the Upper Llynfi Valley. A total of 60,000 trees have been planted over 30 hectares since December last year.

Once the trees have established, health trails, sculptures, ponds and a green gym will be created, offering a place for people to relax, exercise and socialise in the peace of the woodland.

The project is part funded by the Welsh Government’s Nature Fund. Ford Motors, which has 300 employees living in and around the Llynfi Valley, is also making a significant financial contribution to the project and has committed volunteering days to support the development of the project.

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