Information on larch felling – Wentwood and Trellech Common

Find out more about why we have to fell larch trees in the Wye Valley, Monmouthshire

**Update**

  • Wentwood Forest - Felling has been completed, but the removal of timber has been paused due to a nesting bird
  • Trellech Common - Felling has also been completed, but machinery will still be operating for footpath reinstatement.

27 January 2021

Removal of larch trees

Tree felling operations are taking place in order to comply with at Plant Health Notice issued on the larch trees within the woodland. The Larch has been infected with Phytophthora ramorum (larch Disease).

The map shows the operational areas and the proposed order they will be worked.

NRW will close and open these areas as operations move around the woodland.

This work is expected to be completed by May 2021.

Larch disease 

Larch disease, or phytophthora ramorum, is a fungus-like disease which can cause extensive damage and mortality to a wide range of trees and other plants. Larch disease spreads through airborne spores from tree to tree. It poses no threat to human or animal health. 

Whilst we cannot stop the spread of larch disease, we can take action to slow it down.

In 2013, surveys identified that larch disease was spreading rapidly across forestry in Wales, sparking a nationwide strategy to remove diseased trees to stop it spreading further.

The disease has infected approximately 6.7 million larch trees across the whole of Wales and has had a dramatic impact on our forestry. 

We are legally required to remove infected larch trees under the Statutory Plant Health Notice - Movement (SPHNm) which is issued by Welsh Government.

Find out more about phytophthora ramorum.

Forest Access

Access to the forest will remain open, but to keep visitors safe, restrictions will be in place in the affected areas.

Safety

Please obey all prohibition signs within the woodland, it is for your own safety and that of our operators and be aware that timber wagons will be using the forest roads, Please step aside and let them past.

Replanting

NRW operates under sustainable woodland Management and is certified under the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme (UKWAS). 

All the areas which have been felled will be restocked.

This woodland is designated as a Plantation on an Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS).

It is Welsh Government’s Policy to restore these sites and therefore the species chosen to restock these sites will be native broadleaves.

The restocking of the sites will be done through a combination of planting and natural regeneration. This will ensure the correct density across the site and also ensure the trees are well adapted to their environment, ensuring future resilience.

Proceeds from selling the timber

All income from timber sales goes towards the operating costs that we incur through managing the Welsh Government woodland estate. Our costs exceed the revenue generated by timber sales so we also receive additional financial support from Welsh Government. This enables us to continue to provide many free facilities throughout Wales for the benefit of local communities and visitors.

Nesting birds

Before work began we worked closely with a bird surveyor to thoroughly survey the site for any nesting birds. Any nests that are found will have an exclusion zone put around them and the teams will work around the area until the birds have finished breeding and vacated the nest.

Feedback

We welcome feedback from site users so that we can minimise inconvenience and improve our operations.

If you have any questions you feel are not answered here or would like to give us feedback on our communications, contact us:

General Enquiries: enquiries@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

Telephone: 0300 065 3000 (Mon-Fri, 9am - 5pm) Minicom service: 03702 422 549**