LEARNERS from all over Wales have been taking part in Natural Resources Wales’ (NRW) biggest ever Acorn Antics campaign.
Over 30 education and learning groups collected approximately 386,400 acorns in three weeks – enough to plant 257 football pitches full of oak trees.
The Acorn Antics project, which takes place each year, helps NRW plant more trees which have been grown from local seeds.
The project also gives young people the opportunity to learn about, and connect with, the natural environment in Wales.
Ffion Hughes, Education Co-ordinator, Natural Resources Wales said: “We piloted the project in North East Wales over the last two years, but this year we opened the opportunity to education groups across Wales.
“The reponse has been huge and we’re proud to help more people get outside and learn about our woodlands and forests.
“In three to four years we will be able to replant the succesful saplings in the area they were found as acorns.”
Education groups such as Brownies, Cylch Meithrin, Scouts and primary schools took part.
With acorns collected from school grounds and country parks. Some were even collected from the grounds of a tennis centre and an art gallery.
Ffion continued: “We want to thank everyone who organised or took part in collections, and the landowners who gave permission for groups to collect acorns from their sites.
“2017 has been a great year for Acorn Antics which will help ensure there will be plenty of Welsh oaks for the future.”
NRW have sent the acorns to the Forestry Commission tree nursery in Cheshire where they will be grown into saplings.
Replanting local seeds helps reduce the risk of spreading pests and diseases which can devastate forests.
Oak trees help provide a home for wildlife, and help reduce the effects of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
They can also help reduce flood risk and help create great places for people to relax and enjoy the outdoors.