Blighted Welsh forest restocked with more diverse tree range

Around 170,000 young trees are being planted in a popular south Wales forest devastated by Phytophthora ramorum.

Image: NRW
Image: NRW

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has begun restocking areas of Cwmcarn Forest in Ebbw Vale which are gradually being cleared of Phytophthora ramorum-infected larch.

The new trees have been grown from locally collected seed and will cover around 80 hectares of land across the southern part of the forest. They include both conifers and native broadleaves in an effort to boost resilience to climate change and disease in the future.

Felling of over 160,000 larch trees meanwhile is expected to continue until 2020, with around 30% of infected trees having so far been removed from the forest. Temporary closures and diversions of trails and paths remain in place.

NRW regional land manager Sally Tansey said: "We've made a lot of progress over the last two years, and we are now taking important steps to secure the future of the forest.

"We are working with Caerphilly County Borough Council to look at some different options for ownership and management of the site, and to explore its potential for the future."

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