Infected Welsh larch to be replaced with native species

 Bwlch Nant-yr-Arian - image: Natural Resources Wales
Bwlch Nant-yr-Arian - image: Natural Resources Wales

A larch plantation in west Wales infected with Phytophthora ramorum is to be felled in an effort to slow the spread of the disease to other areas and other tree species.

Some 4,000 tonnes of timber will be removed from Bwlch Nant-yr-Arian near Aberystwyth, according to Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which manages the site. Popular with mountain bikers, the area will shut for three months while the work is carried out.

NRW recreation manager Gareth Owen said: "We aim to replace the coniferous trees with about 13,000 oak trees and other native species before next spring, replicating the ancient oak wood which once covered most of Wales."

The disease was first found in Wales in the Afan Forest Park near Swansea three years ago and had infected trees over about 3,000 hectares by the end of last year.

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