§ Mr. Chapman
asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what plans his Department has made to celebrate and contribute to the Tree Council's annual national tree week from 19 to 27 November;
(2) what plans he has to encourage amenity tree planting schemes; and how many trees have been planted by his Department in the past 12 months;12W
(3) if he will support the Tree Council's efforts to increase public awareness of the need for more tree planting and better tree care;
(4) if he will encourage schools to participate in the Tree Council's national tree week from 19 to 27 November.
§ Mr. John Stradling Thomas
I am always ready to support activities, such as those promoted by the Tree Council, directed at increasing awareness of the need for more amenity tree planting and better tree care. In Wales, Government support for amenity tree planting is provided in a variety of ways, for example, in the context of industrial schemes undertaken by the development agencies; environmental improvement schemes supported by the Welsh Development Agency, the Countryside Commission and the urban programme; and the landscaping of motorways and trunk roads. Grants are also available under farm capital grant schemes for planting trees as shelter belts and for planting hedges.
The question of participation by schools in national tree week is best taken up direct with local education authorities and schools themselves. Local authorities were encouraged in my Department's trees and forestry circular No. 64/78 to support the council's objectives by fostering local interest and participation in tree planting and protection through local voluntary groups and schools.