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Reasons For The Project

Why The Native Tree Nurseries of Powys Project Came About
Promoting opportunities to diversify - producing an innovative product.
Local provenance trees are simply native species of tree which are grown from seed collected from a region appropriate to where the trees will be planted.
Historically in Wales many planted native trees have been grown from seed collected from very different areas (either lowland UK, or worse from continental Europe). Very often the trees have also been grown in lowland nurseries, with very different environments.
A body of scientific evidence has grown up in support of longstanding anecdotal evidence of the negative impacts planting native trees grown from imported seed can have, particularly on native biodiversity and poor seedling survival rates.
Over the past 10 years expert opinion has changed to recognize the importance of using local provenance seed to grow native trees, with local provenance trees increasingly being recommended or specified as conditions of grant awards (e.g., Tir Gofal, Woodland Grants Scheme/Better Woodlands for Wales, etc).
Currently, most agencies involved in tree planting, including Coed Cymru, Forestry Commission, C.C.W., Woodland Trust, National Trust,  Flora Locale, Highways Directorate of W.A.G. and Unitary Authorities now recommend using local provenance trees.
Demand exceeds the supply of Local Provenance Trees.
Because of these changes in practices and wider appreciation of the issue, there is now a large and increasing market for local provenance trees.
However, there are still very few tree nurseries in Powys, collecting seed from native trees to produce local provenance tree seedlings.
In September 2003, as part of wider market research, the Forestry Commission undertook a study of the demand and supply situation for local provenance trees in Powys. In November 2003, Glasu funded a feasibility study. This investigated the commercial potential of producing local provenance trees and opportunities for businesses in Powys to diversify into this innovative and sustainable poduct.
Thanks to this pilot study and its positive findings, Glasu was able to develop a more extensive Leader+ funding proposal, which was approved in February 2007.
The project supported 5 growers in Powys to produce local provenance trees as well as making considerable efforts to publicise the issue of local provenance to a wider audience.
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