Information on Forest Operations at Wentwood Forest

Closes 21 Sep 2023

Opened 15 Sep 2021


Upcoming operations

Forest thinning operations have now started in Wentwood forest near Newport, to begin the first steps in helping to restore the forest back to Ancient Semi Natural Woodland. 

This process will take over 50 years.

The first  thinning will allow access to the crops, providing better access for the future management of the woodland and will help to promote stability within the remaining crop.

The thinning will also increase light levels reaching the forest floor enhancing the flora and fauna within the wood.

In parts of the thinning areas a higher number of trees than usually expected of a first thinning will be taken and these areas will be underplanted with native broadleaves.

After a number of thinning’s it is hoped that these underplanted trees will become seed bearing and act as a seed source to regenerate the conifer areas as the rest of the conifers are felled in subsequent interventions. 

Update 12/04/2022

To reduce disturbance to breeding birds, we will continue to closely monitor and survey the woodland for any signs of bird nests.

The site has been affected by recent storms and clear up work for this will be undertaken at the end of the contract along with any reinstatement works of the footpaths.

 Map showing affected area in Wentwood (forestry thinning operation) 

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Woodland access

It is likely that we will have to close off public access to some areas of the woodland while the work takes place. Live harvesting sites are incredibly dangerous, and this is necessary to protect the safety of our staff, our contractors and visitors to the woodland.

Please adhere to closures and diversion notices when they are in place.

Nesting birds 

Before any work begins, we work closely with a bird surveyor to thoroughly survey the site for any nesting birds. Any nests that are found will have an exclusion zone put around them and the teams will work around the area until the birds have finished breeding and vacated the nest.

Timber haulage

Haulage vehicles will need to regularly access the woodlands to remove harvested timber from the site. For sites which are close to communities, there will be a maximum of eight lorry-loads a day. In built up areas there will also be a further restriction on this activity to hours outside early mornings and evening rush hours.

Frequently asked questions 

Will you have to close access to the forest during felling?

We understand how much people value their local woodland and closing an entire woodland is always a last resort. The health and well-being benefits associated to being out in the woods have been well documented and is a part of the Welsh Government’s Woodland for Wales Strategy.

During forest operations, we will endeavour to keep as many trails, footpaths and forest roads open to the public as possible. However, this is not always possible and there are times when areas of the woodland must be closed to ensure the safety of forest users and our forest operators.

The areas closed can often feel a little excessive to the public, but there is good reason for this. There are safety issues associated with mechanised harvesting machinery which can result in injury or even death for machine operators and bystanders.

Please obey signage associated with harvesting activities as it is there for you own safety.

I use this woodland every day, why can’t I keep using it when I know the contractors are not in there working?

It is not always easy to know when a harvesting work is taking place. Even when the harvesting machinery isn’t working, there can be other operational activity occurring within the wood. These activities also have risks associated with them. Machines can also break down and can be waiting for parts, which means that trees can be left unsafe. If a site is closed to the public, it is closed for their own safety.

Where can I walk my dog when the forest operations are going on?

We will always re-direct paths and Public Rights of Way where possible. However, this cannot always be done and if this is the case, you will need to find alternative arrangements for walking your dog while the operations are underway.

How will you get the timber out of the forest?

The timber will leave the forest on timber wagons on a set route. The route will be use public highways and will be chosen to ensure as little disturbance as possible to local communities.

The number of lorries is dependent on the size of the coupe and the amount of timber produced, and this can vary from site to site. When a site is close to a local community, we will restrict the number of timber wagons to a maximum of eight per day. In built up areas there will also be a further restriction on this activity to hours outside mornings and evening rush hours.

How do you safeguard wildlife during felling?

Felling areas of woodland (called ‘coupes’) takes two years to plan before the work is carried out. This allows us to ensure that there is enough time to undertake all ecological surveys required for the coupe, including survey of birds, bats, badgers, fauna, flora and other European protected species.

All felling is conducted in accordance with the UK Forestry Standard, which outlines best practice when dealing with a number of these species. NRW also has its own internal conservation policies to further protect and minimise any disturbance to species found within its woodlands.

Why is it important that visitors keep to paths and clean their boots?

Larch disease is spread by water borne spores. This means that mud on your boots and clothing can spread the disease. We encourage you to wash your boots and clothing at home after visiting our woodlands.

Why your views matter

As we  undertake this essential operation, we want to make sure people are aware of the planned work, understand why it’s happening and how it might impact them.

Give us your views

We will provide regular updates on this page about the work as the operations progress.

Read our frequently asked questions about our Forest Operations 


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