"Blackwood RFC is a community rugby club in South Wales that runs teams under the Welsh Rugby Union for 6-18 year olds alongside a youth team, ladies team and two senior men’s teams. 

Back in 2020, the club and its grounds were heavily flooded by Storm Dennis. Part of this flood eroded a substantial part of the riverbank which runs alongside the club’s main pitch – most of the trees and hedges were washed away. Without the trees, the riverbank would erode further and we’d lost valuable wildlife shelter and scenery too. We wanted to restore this, so we applied for a wildlife tree pack which would make a difference on all these fronts.

Planting day

We received a wildlife tree pack of 420 saplings. We didn’t speak to any advisers, but the Trust’s website was full of useful tips and guidance. It was our first tree planting exercise as a club and everyone got stuck in. Grandparents, parents and players of our mini and junior sections came along as willing volunteers and together with committee members, planted the riverbank with the new trees at our event on 19 March. All the saplings were planted by midday!

1
morning
100+
volunteers
420
saplings

Huge benefits 

Through the experience of the tree planting, we feel that the rugby community here at the club has become stronger. The children will be able to see the trees growing as they rise through the age groups here at the club.

Once they're established, we hope the trees will be a visual delight and encourage more wildlife to the area – we’ve seen otters here recently. It also fits with the club’s wish to become carbon neutral and is just one part of our plans to achieve this.

We hope that those who joined us on the day will spread the word too, encouraging other groups and schools in the area to do something similar and help improve our local environment even more.

Future planting plans

We came up a bit short in replanting the entire riverbank and hope to plant another 200 trees. We’ll definitely be applying for another tree pack from the Trust in 2022."

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