Wye Valley North Forest Resource Plan Consultation

Closed 20 Dec 2023

Opened 20 Nov 2023

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, which set out the long-term vision for these woodlands and are the basis for 10-25-year silvicultural programmes of work (management of the trees) that set out to deliver this vision.

Wye Valley North Forest Resource Plan includes 13 woodlands in Monmouthshire covering approximately 1,946 hectares. The setting for of the majority of the woodlands is mostly improved agricultural grassland, native broadleaved woodland, and urban centres. The majority of woodlands are Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) or Ancient Semi Natural Woodlands (ASNW), with the Wye Valley being one of the most important areas in Wales for Ancient Woodland. The woods are also well used by the local community for informal recreation.

Wye Valley North Objectives

Below is a summary of objectives for the plan:

  • Restoration of the ancient woodland in the FRP area is a primary objective in line with the SE Area Statement, WG Woodland Strategy, and Wye Valley AONB Action Plan, with gradual removal of existing conifers over time through LISS allowing natural regeneration of broadleaves and diversification of species.
  • Maintain timber production where appropriate, including productive broadleaves. This will provide opportunities to diversify species and structure of the woodlands, which will enhance the sustainability and resilience of the forests, as well as provide economic benefits.
  • Diversify the forest species composition to increase resilience to pests and diseases, and the effects of climate change, whilst building a robust forest for future generations. Remove remaining stands of larch, manage ash, and manage invasive non-native species appropriately, including cherry laurel.
  • Invest in forest infrastructure to provide better access to allow more diverse management prescriptions within the woodlands, carry out regular thinning where possible, remove remaining larch stands, and conservation objectives.
  • Work with partners and other NRW teams to identify and deliver opportunities to connect and enhance priority habitats, protected areas within and adjacent to FRP woodlands, and priority and protected species, to improve resilience and connectivity and prevent negative impacts from management activities. Such as connecting and restoring ancient and native woodland, coppicing, connecting open habitats and rides, taking account of the various bat species present in the area during any management activities, and restoring and expanding areas of open heathland where appropriate.
  • Work with partners to encourage and increase responsible use and low impact recreation on the WGWE to deliver wellbeing benefits for local communities, user groups and visitors, and to reduce anti-social behaviour, including off-road vehicles, and fly tipping.
  • Forestry management should not contribute to the existing level of flood risk both within the woodlands and anywhere offsite and where possible, measures should be implemented to reduce any potential risk of flooding; both are to be achieved through good forestry practice in accordance with the latest UK Forestry Standard and relevant forestry guidance; and through consultation and engagement with the relevant Lead Local Flood Authority during planning of felling operations. Consideration of measures to reduce the volume of flows leaving forest blocks as a result of felling operations should include Natural Flood Management.
  • Forestry management should not cause any reduction of water quality both within on-site water features and watercourse draining off-site through good forestry practice in accordance with the latest UK Forestry Standard and relevant forestry guidance and have regard for the Severn River Basin Management Plan (2021-2027).
  • Work with our partners and communities to identify how and where the WGWE can deliver nature-based solutions for health and wellbeing and provide opportunities to connect people with nature, and where we can involve communities in its management.
  • Being good neighbours - Consult and engage with neighbours, communities, and other stakeholders regarding the management of the WGWE and upcoming operations to improve relationships and knowledge on how and why the estate is managed, reduce conflict, and encourage closer working relationships.
  • Work with neighbours and other stakeholders regarding the management of deer, grey squirrel, and wild boar on the WGWE and neighbouring areas to reduce negative impacts. Manage open space on the Welsh Government woodland estate to facilitate wildlife management.

Read the Wye Valley North Objectives (pdf)

Maps

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

Explanation of map keys

Overview of Forest Resource Plan Forests

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Map 1 - Long Term Primary Management Objectives

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Map 2 - Forest Management Systems

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Map 3 – Indicative Forest Types and Habitats

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

  • More broadleaves along river corridors and valley sides
  • Restoration of Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites
  • Diversification of tree species
  • Removal of remaining stands of larch to deal with phytophthora ramorum

Why your views matter

We would like to know your opinion and views on the new plans for Wye Valley North so it can help us improve the long-term management of the forest.

What happens next

A summary of the consultation responses and outcomes will be available on this website 4 to 6 weeks after the closing date.

Events

  • Forestry Drop In Session

    From 6 Dec 2023 at 11:30 to 6 Dec 2023 at 18:00

    There will be a drop in session at The Narth Village Hall on the 6th December 2023. The Forest Resource Planner and Forestry Operational staff will be present to chat to anyone about the future of the forest in the Wye Valley North area.

Areas

  • Trellech United

Audiences

  • Management
  • DCWW

Interests

  • Forest Management