“One tree is a big deal,” says local activist.

A volunteer project in Cardiff is giving away free trees to households to fight climate change.

Hannah Garcia has been involved in the project for several years.

A volunteer community garden in Cardiff is trying to encourage people to plant a tree to help the environment.

Railway Gardens in Splott is hosting a free tree giveaway, as part an initiative between the Welsh Government and the Woodland Trust.

The plan is to give away 295,000 saplings by March 2023 through local collection hubs, to engage ordinary people, in the effort to help tackle climate change.

“Wales is trying to plant so many trees because they are fantastic for carbon storage and in helping the fight against climate change,” said Hannah Garcia, director of Green Squirrel, the social enterprise behind Railway Gardens.

“One tree can host so many different species of living things, lichens, mosses, birds, insects, and mammals,” she said. “So yeah, one tree is a big deal.”

Over 100 trees have been given away to households in Cardiff and beyond.

There can be up to 76 volunteers helping out in the gardens.

“There has been a mix of people locally who’ve found space for a tree and are happy to care for one, and people have come from further afield too, Penarth, Barry, and even Newport, to come here to Splott to get trees,” said Hannah.

“People are really excited about the opportunity to grow a tree themselves and look after it,” she said.

The giveaway comes in time for the opening of the first of two community orchards in Bute Park on the other side of the city.

The orchards were opened this week, to replace roughly 50 trees that had been extensively vandalised in September 2021.

The Railway Garden was opened in June 2019, the site was previously a derelict fly tipped former playground.

“It was a horrible thing to happen, everyone was just confused and baffled and appalled, but what was great was how everyone came together. It was awful, but as often happens, people pulled together and some really good things came out of it,” said Hannah.

The issue of tree vandalism is not a new one, but Hannah believes that with education and engagement it can be minimized.

“People are always going to vandalize trees but I think building a sense of ownership within people is important, and as individuals, we can all speak out against it, and make it known that that’s not what we do and that it’s not acceptable,” she said.