Stump Up For Trees
Keith Powell and Robert Penn, Co-founders, Stump Up For Trees
We are Keith Powell, seventh generation Black Mountains farmer, and Robert Penn, local author and broadcaster and together we are the founders of Stump Up For Trees, a community based charity situated in the East of Bannau Brycheiniog, with a mission to plant a million trees.
The charity was only formed in 2020, but the idea had real traction, and now we have a wide range of local community members working with us as trustees, employees and volunteers.
Our model is simple and we are focused on working with the local farming community to re-purpose the least agriculturally productive areas of land for tree planting, biodiversity and natural flood management.
Our pilot plant saw 135,000 native broadleaf trees planted on a 64-hectare section of deep bracken on the steep flanks of Bryn Arw Common, in the Black Mountains. Not only was this the biggest woodland created in Wales during the 2020-21 planting season, it was also the first planted at such a scale on common land.
We hope that by the time our project reaches maturity, we will have made a real difference to both the treescape and biodiversity of the Park. We believe that success for our project means an improved treescape across the region, including more native broadleaf woodlands and hedges on farms, and the restoration of habitat at scale on common land.
Realising our ambition to plant a million trees within this living, working landscape means employing a variety of planting methodologies, not just the broadleaf woodlands you might associate with tree planting schemes: we support the reinstatement of old and the planting of new hedgerows, agroforestry (where food production and silviculture are combined), and the creation of wood pasture (we call ffridd) on commons. Fundamentally, trees need to be planted in the best possible way, in the right place and for very good reasons.
Y Bannau:The Future is collective hope. Knowing that we are part of a wider movement within the region to enhance the landscape for the benefit of humans and nature is of great value to us.