Autumn antics will help plant more trees in Wales

Education settings across Wales have been rewarded for their ‘antics’ this autumn which will see more than 115,000 trees planted.

Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) annual Acorn Antics campaign took place between September 13 and November 9 with schools across the country challenged to collect seeds to grow more trees from locally collected acorns.

A total of 384.75kg of acorns were collected from 32 locations generating more than £1,690 for those that rolled up their sleeves, embraced the fresh air and scoured the ground for acorns.

Increasing the tree canopy across Wales is a crucial part of efforts to tackle the climate and nature emergencies and to help achieve the nation’s net zero carbon ambitions.

Ysgol Calon y Dderwen, Powys, was awarded the Golden Acorn Award for the second year running for collecting the most acorns.

They will receive a £150 prize in addition to the £208.34 they were awarded for collecting nearly 50kg of acorns.

The Digital Award winner is Albany Primary, Cardiff, who captured their Acorn Antics in a video. They also receive a £150 prize in addition to the £70.84 they were awarded for collecting 16kg of acorns.

The acorns have been delivered to a tree nursery and when they have developed into small trees, they will be planted within the area from which they were collected.

Aled Hopkin, NRW’s Specialist Advisor for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, said:

“I would like to thank everyone who took part in this year’s campaign, and congratulate the winners of our two annual awards. We value each group’s participation as we look to help our natural environment.

“Acorns have been collected from a range of locations including school fields, parks, farms, village hall grounds and housing estates.

“This year, acorn season arrived a little later and, on the whole, we have seen fewer acorns collected. It is possible trees in certain areas had a big crop last year and will need a few years to recover.

“It has still been a successful year and we have helped collect enough acorns to plant around 115,400 trees - the equivalent of 245 football pitches.

“With an ever-changing climate, Welsh oak trees face a fight for survival against pests and diseases. Trees grown from local seed stock will have a higher growth rate and ability to survive and resist diseases than trees grown and imported from further afield.

“This is part of our wider work to reverse the decline in biodiversity, and to build the resilience of ecosystems so nature can adapt and continue to provide the basis of all life – clean air, clean water, food and a stable climate.”

You can view Albany Primary’s video at Acorn Antics 2023 - Albany Can Do It