Usk & Glasfynydd Forest Resource Plan

Closed 21 Nov 2021

Opened 18 Oct 2021

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 Glasfynydd & Usk forest exceeds 1,600 hectares of predominantly coniferous woodland which includes Glasfynydd as the main forest block with Yr Allt, Battle, Glyn Tarrell and Blaenbyrynach.  The woodlands are in South Powys with the exception of the western section of Glasfynydd, located in Carmarthenshire.  Most of the plantations were established by the Forestry Commission in the 1960s.  The woodlands are in the process of diversifying their age-class structure from even-age plantation to mixed age class to increase edge habitat, regulate timber yield and minimise the effects of pests and diseases. 

The forest represents approximately 1% of the Welsh Government Woodland Estate and a similar proportion of the annual timber harvest.  The forest neighbours are large scale upland agricultural holdings and other mid-lowland farms in the Brecon Beacons National Park.  Much of the forest was established on high elevation, wet soils, an environment that limits species choice and management options i.e. Low Impact Silvicultural Systems due to windthrow risk. 

This Forest Resource Plan aims to diversity tree species where possible, particularly after clear-felling where broadleaves and firs and pines offer niche opportunities for specialist bird species.  The landscape is dominated by open hill and forestry which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year with views and access to Pen y Fan and Fan Foel.  Since the existing plan was written in 2007 the Larch, predominantly on valley sides has succumbed to Phytophthora ramorum, much of it has been clear-felled under Statutory Plant Health Notice (SPHN).  Ancient Woodland restoration to date has been targeted on the steep slopes aiming for natural regeneration of broadleaved trees. 

Open space is a key component of all the woodlands however connected forest areas are limited and agricultural land in South Powys fragments connected tree cover. 

Priorities

  • Safe, clean & efficient timber harvesting.
  • High quality land management and restocking operations in line with the UK Forestry Standard.
  • Tree Health, manage Larch and Ash trees in line with national guidance.
  • Identify and resource current and future habitat connectivity opportunities.

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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:

Usk & Glasfynydd 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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Why your views matter

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

Areas

  • Llandovery

Audiences

  • Management
  • English

Interests

  • Forest Management