Machynlleth Forest Resource Plan

Closes 9 Oct 2022

Opened 5 Sep 2022

Overview

Natural Resources Wales is responsible for the sustainable management of the publicly owned woodlands and forests of Wales. They are managed for the benefit and well-being of the people who visit them and depend on them for their livelihood. This responsibility includes improving their biodiversity and long-term resilience to climate change so that future generations will also be able to enjoy the benefits they provide. Every ten years Natural Resources Wales reviews the long-term management plans for each forest area. These are compiled in a new Forest Resource Plan.

The Machynlleth Forest resource plan area totals 1809 hectares comprising the five different forest areas of Pennal, Dyfi Bridge, Cilgwyn, Forge and Commins Coch.

The plan covers fully operational and productive forest blocks that, not only deliver multiple ecosystem service benefits but, contribute to the mid Wales timber industry and the local economy.

The forests sit in a landscape that straddles the Dyfi (Dovey) Valley, an important river catchment that feeds into the Dyfi Estuary SAC, SPA & SSSI and flows out into Cardigan Bay.

The Pennal and Dyfi Bridge portions of the forest sit within Snowdonia National Park.

Other important designations close to these forest blocks include the Cadair Idris SAC & SSSI to the north and the Pumlumon mountain range SSSI, Cwm Llyfnant SSSI, Mwyngloddfeydd Esgair Hir Ac Esgair Fraith SSSI and Pencreigiau'r Llan SSSI to the south, close to Forge.

The closest large population resides in the market town community of Machynlleth (population 2,235).  Access to the forests: for Pennal and Dyfi Bridge is via the A487, for Cilgwyn via the B4404, for Forge via the Forge Road south of Machynlleth and for Commins Coch via the A470 trunk road.

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Below is a link to the summary of objectives for the plan followed by the indicative maps for the forest resource plan:

Machynlleth Summary of Objectives

The following document helps to explain some of the categories shown on the maps below:

Explanation of map keys  

Map 1: Long Term Vision (A - Pennal & Dyfi Bridge)

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Map 1: Long Term Vision (B - Forge)

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Map 1: Long Term Vision (C - Commins Coch)

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Map 1: Long Term Vision (D - Cilgwyn)

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Map 2: Forest Management & Felling Strategy (A - Pennal & Dyfi Bridge)

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Map 2: Forest Management & Felling Strategy (B - Forge)

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Map 2: Forest Management & Felling Strategy (C - Commins Coch)

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Map 2: Forest Management & Felling Strategy (D - Cilgwyn)

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Map 3: Forest Types & Restocking (A - Pennal & Dyfi Bridge)

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Map 3: Forest Types & Restocking (B - Forge)

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Map 3: Forest Types & Restocking (C - Commins Coch)

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Map 3: Forest Types & Restocking (D - Cilgwyn)

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Summary of the main changes that will occur in the forest:                 

  • Throughout the coming plan period, the various Machynlleth Forest blocks will remain important productive woodlands, providing a sustainable supply of timber to support employment and the Welsh economy.
  • Species and structural diversity will be significantly enhanced, providing greater resilience to pests, disease and climatic changes.
  • Areas of ‘Plantation on Ancient Woodland Sites’ (PAWS) will undergo a steady conversion back to native broadleaf woodland, with connectivity between these remnant features being maintained and enhanced through the management of adjacent crops. 
  • The expansion of robust riparian corridors of native broadleaf and successional woodland, will further improve habitat connectivity and provide enhanced buffering to protect water quality and designated features further down the catchment, and provide opportunities for natural flood management.
  • An incremental ‘Low Impact Silvicultural System’ (LISS) approach will be favoured wherever the physical constraints of access, exposure and management history of existing crops will allow, bringing 557ha (31%) of the woodland into some form of continuous cover management. As future young crops are brought into a cycle of regular thinning, this proportion will rise further over time.
  • The rapid spread of Phytophthora ramorum will require the highly accelerated removal of  larch crops across the plan area. With 12% of the forest presently comprising larch species, their removal will be a significant driver behind the proposed clearfell program over the next few years.
  • The identification and preservation of  heritage features within the forest, and the provision of healthy access opportunities for the community will remain as important objectives.

Why your views matter

We would like to know your opinion and views on the new plans for Machynlleth so it can help us improve its long-term management.

Areas

  • Machynlleth

Audiences

  • Management
  • English

Interests

  • Forest Management