UK: Newport Ahmadi Muslim group hopes to bring community together with trees


A LOCAL group is hoping to bring the community of Newport together with the plantation of 400 trees.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, which has been present in the city for more than two years, has already planted 250 trees on the site of the Serennu Children’s Centre in Rogerstone.

With a team of around 12 volunteers, the group has spent each weekend of April diligently planting trees on the site in seven-hour shifts.

The group’s members have been trained by National Botanic Garden Wales on the art of tree planting.

The trees have been donated by Gwent Woodland Trust to the self-funded association, which relieso rely solely on the contributions of itstheir volunteers to continue itstheir work in the community.

The gesture is part of the Islamic edict of being responsible for the environment and looking after the community, and the group hopes to unite the community of Newport – regardless of faith or beliefs.

Saleh Baqi, 38, president of Newport chapter, said: “Every year, we plant trees with different organisations and we’re working with dozens of charities locally and nationally, including local faith groups.

“It’s just a small gesture for the community. We want to bring together faith groups and churches, regardless of mindsets and beliefs, rather than tearing them apart.

“We’re just so grateful to have the opportunity to do it and everyone’s been extremely supporting and welcoming.

“The trees will be there forever and, as a dynamic organisation, we hope to work with other groups in the community in the coming seasons.”

Mayor of Newport, Councillor Matthew Evans, added: “I’ve seen first-hand the work the association has been doing in the last year. I’ve been very impressed and this is yet another lovely gesture.”