41. Woods of the World
The National Botanic Garden of Wales is looking to the future in many ways. Perhaps the most ambitious is the Woods of the World project. This is situated to the south of Llyn Uchaf.
Across the planet, there are woodlands that grow in the same climate as that found in Wales – in Tasmania, Japan and the Sakhalin Basin, China’s Yangtze Basin, parts of Chile and North West and North East USA. We want to re-create these semi-natural woodlands on the hillside overlooking Llyn Uchaf. Planting has begun on trees and shrubs, and eventually ground flora from these regions will be added.
All the plants from the dominant tree species down through the shrub layer to the herbaceous plants that would be normally found in association with each other in these countries will be brought together and grown in as naturalistic a manner as possible.
Visitors will be able to walk through a Chinese woodland in spring and see the blossom of the magnolias, rhododendrons and other woodland shrubs beneath a canopy of maples, handkerchief trees and witch hazel. Delicate woodland carpet will add the finishing touches to a landscape many miles from its original home. A path will lead through a Chilean woodland with its own special mix of trees and shrubs. All of these plants will be grown from wild collected seed of known provenance enhancing the scientific conservation value of the collection as some of these temperate rainforest areas are amongst the most threatened habitats in the world.
But we don’t expect the area to mature for a generation. In the meantime, every time you visit have a little look to see how quickly, or slowly, it is maturing.