Ystwyth Valley 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 Ystwyth Valley Forest Resource Plan amounts to 1,218 hectares, incorporating many of the discrete woodland blocks running along the valley, from the outskirts of Aberystwyth at its western extremity, to Pont Rhyd-y-groes, on the flanks of the Cambrian Mountains, in the east.

The woodlands transition through several distinct zones, with the Lower Ystwyth containing numerous smaller blocks, forming an integral part of the rich agricultural and wooded landscape. Moving further up the valley, the dramatic landscape of the Ystwyth flood plain and gorge is bordered by substantial areas of diverse, yet productive, steep valley-side woodland. In its central and eastern reaches, these steep slopes rise onto more exposed parts of the Ceredigion upland plateaux, where more extensive areas of productive forestry have historically been managed.

The whole of the forest resource plan area lies within Ceredigion Local Planning Authority.

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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:

Ystwyth Valley 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 (East)

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Map 1: Long Term Vision (West)

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Map 2: Forest Management & Felling Strategy (East)

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Map 2: Forest Management & Felling Strategy (West)

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Map 3: Forest Types & Restocking (East)

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Map 3: Forest Types & Restocking (West)

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

  • Throughout the coming plan period, the Ystwyth Valley 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 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 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, bringing 518ha (43%) 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 accelerated removal of all larch crops from the valley within the next 10 to 15 years, with a significant area already under notice for removal within the next 3 years. This requirement will be the main driver directing the clearfell program over the coming plan period.
  • 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 the Ystwyth Valley so it can help us improve its long-term management.

Areas

  • Aberystwyth Bronglais
  • Aberystwyth Canol/Central
  • Aberystwyth Gogledd/North
  • Aberystwyth Penparcau
  • Aberystwyth Rheidol
  • Ystwyth

Audiences

  • Management
  • English

Interests

  • Forest Management