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Felling of diseased Larch trees at Cwm Rhaeadr has begun

Cwm Rhaeadr Forest towards Mynydd Du in the Brecon Beacons

A programme of work to remove diseased larch trees from forestry at Cwm Rhaeadr, near Llandovery, has begun.

A programme of work to remove diseased larch trees from forestry at Cwm Rhaeadr, near Llandovery, has begun.


To keep forest visitors safe during the first phase of felling, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has closed the mountain bike trail and other parts of the forest to walkers and mountain bikers.


As the felling moves into other areas of the forest, diversions and closures will be updated. As soon as it is safe to, sections of the mountain bike trail will be re-opened.


Closures and diversions are clearly signposted on site.


James Tinney, Senior Land Management Officer for Natural Resources Wales, said:


“We don’t like to close off access to our forestry, as we know how valued it is by local people and mountain bikers, but in this case it’s the safest solution to allow the work to go ahead without delay.


“We’ll do everything we can to limit the disruption caused by the work, and where it’s safe to do so, we’ll reopen areas of the forest as the operation progresses.


“Larch disease has had a dramatic impact on our forestry in Wales. It’s unfortunate to have to fell trees, but it does provide us with an opportunity to improve the forest for the future.”


The trees are infected with Phytophthora Ramorum, commonly known as larch disease. In 2013, surveys identified that the disease was spreading rapidly across forestry in Wales, sparking a nationwide strategy to remove diseased trees to stop it spreading further.


NRW is carrying out the work in a phased approach and estimate the work will take a year to complete.


Around 40 hectares – roughly the equivalent of 40 rugby fields – of larch will need to be felled.


NRW is asking people to adhere to footpath closures and follow signs and diversions for their own safety. Failure to do so can result in delays to the work taking place and in reopening the forest.

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