2,500 volunteers help Cardiff’s urban forest grow 30,000 trees bigger


2,500 community volunteers braved one of the wettest winters on record to help plant 30,000 trees in just 6 months, as part of a project to create an urban forest in Cardiff.

"The wet conditions are great for the new trees," explained Project Manager, Chris Engel, "they just soak it all up, but it did mean we had some pretty muddy days. It never dampens the spirits though. Planting trees isn't just good for the planet, it's good for the soul as well and even if they went home caked in mud, I don't remember a day when our volunteers weren't wearing a smile as well."

Established in 2021 as part of Cardiff Council's One Planet Cardiff response to the climate emergency, the Coed Caerdydd (Cardiff Forest) project has resulted in 80,000 new trees being planted at 280 different sites in Cardiff, including more than 100 parks and open spaces, 17 different schools and 11 community sites as well as on privately-owned land. This season the project has increased its focus on street trees, with more than 200 large new street trees planted in streets with low or no tree canopy cover.

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Volunteers celebrate the planting of another tree.

Recalling her volunteering with the project, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, Cllr Jennifer Burke, said; "I got lucky with the weather so maybe I didn't quite get the full experience, but the combination of being outdoors and doing something ‘hands-on' to help tackle climate change was a really positive experience. I can see why many of our volunteers return week after week - it's definitely something I'd encourage others to get involved with.

"What has been achieved through Coed Caerdydd in the space of three short planting seasons is a fantastic achievement - in the region of 24 hectares of land planted with new trees that as they grow will help absorb carbon emissions, reduce air pollution, support biodiversity, and importantly if we keep getting the sort of winters we've just had, help reduce the risk of flooding."

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Volunteers braving the wet weather to plant another tree.

Chris Engel added: "Since the Council started the project over 10,000 hours have been volunteered which is incredible really, and it's not just tree planting people can help with - there's always plenty to do over the summer months as well.

"We can always use a hand in the tree nursery, looking after our tree stock so that it stays nice and healthy, ready for planting out next season and then we've got our Tree Guardians who volunteer to help us look after the newly planted trees and make sure they get plenty of water over the drier months in the summer."

For the latest volunteering opportunities, follow

If you have a suggestions for public spaces, schools, or community sites that would benefit from some new trees in the nest planting season, or if you're interested in volunteering as a Tree Guardian,


Coed Caerdydd 2023/24 in numbers:

  • 30,000 trees planted across 150 sites in Cardiff between November 2023 and April 2024, with help from 2,500 volunteers.
  • 1,167 trees donated to 211 households.
  • 1,300 trees donated to 14 community groups and schools across Cardiff.