Information on forestry operations at St. James woodlands

Closes 14 Jul 2023

Opened 20 Jul 2021

Overview

Update 12/04/2022

Thinning operations have now been completed in St James woodlands near Tredegar, to help open the crop and provide better access for future management of the woodland, as well as promoting stability of the existing trees and increasing light levels to improve biodiversity.

Work to build a new road to improve access to the south of the woodland has also now been completed, where felling work needs to be carried out to remove trees infected by Phytophtora ramorum (more commonly known as larch disease.

This work is anticipated to begin in July 2022 and will take approximately 9 months.

Once the felling operation is complete, the site will be restocked primarily with native broadleaves.

Map showing operations at St James 

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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.

Larch disease 

Larch disease, or phytophthora ramorum, is a fungus-like disease which can cause extensive damage and mortality to a wide range of trees and other plants. Larch disease spreads through airborne spores from tree to tree. It poses no threat to human or animal health. 

Whilst we cannot stop the spread of larch disease, we can take action to slow it down.

In 2013, surveys identified that larch disease was spreading rapidly across forestry in Wales, sparking a nationwide strategy to remove diseased trees to stop it spreading further.

The disease has infected approximately 6.7 million larch trees across the whole of Wales and has had a dramatic impact on our forestry. 

We are legally required to remove infected larch trees under the Statutory Plant Health Notice - Movement (SPHNm) which is issued by Welsh Government.

Replanting

Once the diseased larch has been removed, we will replant with native Broadleave in the affected areas. 

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.

 

Why your views matter

As we prepare to 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.

More information  

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

Read our frequently asked questions about our Forest Operations 

If you’d like to sign up to our newsletter for regular updates about the work please email SEForest.operations@naturalresources.wales

Areas

  • Crosskeys

Audiences

  • Management

Interests

  • Forest Management