Preparatory work will begin next month at Fforest Fawr in Tongwynlais, Cardiff, ahead of plans by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to remove infected larch trees from the site in September next year.
People visiting the area will notice machinery working in the forest over a few weeks to prune and prepare the trees, but access will not be restricted while this takes place.
Next year, NRW will begin harvesting approximately 4,000 infected larch trees from the forest. This is part of a nation-wide strategy to combat the disease which has affected approximately 6.7 million larch trees across Wales.
Dead larch trees in the forest are a prominent reminder of the impact this disease is having on forests across Wales.
Gareth Roberts, Local Area Manager from Natural Resources Wales said:
“We know that Forest Fawr is well loved by the community and we want to reassure people that we will do everything we can to minimise any disruption from these works.
“Although it is some time off, we are already planning the harvesting in two phases, so we can always keep areas of the forest open for people to use, and so we can minimise the impact on protected species and the local wildlife.
“It is upsetting that we have to remove the trees, but we know the forest will still be a wonderful place for people to visit in the future.
“We will continue to work with local businesses and interest groups to keep them up to date as our plans progress, and during the harvesting work.”
Once the harvesting begins in September 2018, work is likely to continue through to 2021.
After the harvesting has taken place, NRW will encourage native species such as beech, oak, birch, wild cherry, rowan and hazel in the forest to naturally regenerate. NRW will monitor the regeneration in the forest over the following years before considering if any replanting is required.
Some of the wooden sculptures along the trails will also be removed as they have reached the end of their life and become rotten and damaged. NRW plans to replace these early next year.
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