Presteigne Woods Forest Resource Plan

Closed 27 Feb 2022

Opened 24 Jan 2022


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 Presteigne Woods forest is 443ha over 7 distinct woodland blocks that sit in the Lugg catchment on the border of England and Wales:

  • Nash Wood 215ha
  • North Wood 30ha
  • Benbow Wood 24.9ha
  • Burfa Bank 50.7ha
  • Navages Wood 58.2ha
  • Worsell Wood 29.4ha
  • Bradnor Wood 35ha

The Forest Resource Plan represents less than 1% of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate with mostly harvester/forwarder working and scope for thinning crops to produce high value sawlog products.  The forest neighbours are medium scale intimate mixed woodlands of similar character.   Much of the forest was established on higher elevation, wetter soils in areas that still allow for a wide choice of tree species despite vigorous weed competition and moderate windthrow risk.

This Forest Resource Plan aims to diversity tree species where possible, particularly through thinning with seeding thinnings to create light conditions that promote natural regeneration of a range of trees species.  The landscape is dominated enclosed farmland as a backdrop to tourism and peri-urban enterprise.  Phytophthora ramorum has avoided the larch crops to date but clear-felling of larch to promote species diversification has been planned for many years.  All seven woodlands require annual thinning interventions with well-timed and publicised clear-fells.

The woodlands in this Forest Resource Plan demonstrate high timber productivity at small to medium scales adding to the protection of water quality, landscape and outdoor recreation. 

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Below is a link to a downloadable 'Summary of Objectives' for the plan followed by the indicative maps for the forest resource plan:

Presteigne Woods 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 

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Map 2: Forest Management & Felling Strategy 

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Map 3: Forest Types & Restocking 

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

  • Throughout the coming plan period Presteigne Woods will remain an important productive woodland, 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 slow and 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 riparian corridors of native broadleaf and successional woodland, will further improve habitat connectivity and provide enhanced buffering against surrounding designated sites.
  • 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.
  • The rapid spread of Phytophthora ramorum will require the accelerated removal of all larch crops from the area within the next 10 years.
  • Maintaining an appropriate landscape setting around the various Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMS) present throughout the valley, the identification and preservation of other heritage features 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 Presteigne Woods so it can help us improve its long-term management.


  • Presteigne


  • Management


  • Forest Management