Cwm Einion and Upper Rheidol Forest Resource Plan
Location and setting
The Cwm Einion and Upper Rheidol forest resource plan area totals 2,371 Ha and is situated to the north east of Aberystwyth, just west of Plynlimon in the Cambrian Mountains.
The forest mostly lies in two river catchments: the Rheidol to the south; and the Einion to the north (part of the Dyfi), both of which flow into Cardigan Bay.
The plan area includes the main forest block, which spans from Cwm Einion in the north to Nant y Moch Reservoir in the south, with three smaller blocks located to the south which are Bryn Gwyn, Creignant Mawr and Blean Peithnant.
The forest can be accessed from the south along minor council roads originating from the A44 near Ponterwyd. From the north and west it can be accessed from the A487 via a dedicated forest road and several minor council roads.
Most of the forest resource plan area is in Ceredigion Local Planning Authority with a small part in Powys.
Summary of Objectives
The following management objectives have been agreed in order to maintain and enhance the resilience of ecosystems, and the benefits they provide:
- Diversify the species composition of the forest by promoting a more diverse restocking strategy, which will include more varieties of broadleaves and natives as well as productive conifers.
- Improve the internal structure of the forest by developing age class diversity, variety of tree size and mixtures of species. This will be achieved by gradually moving away from a predominantly clear fell management system to more adaptive continuous cover forestry system over the timespan of the plan.
- Diversify woodland types within the forest, by increasing the variety of coniferous woodland and the expansion of native and riparian woodland habitats.
- Remove any larch infected with Phytopthera ramorum and plan for the eventual removal of any remaining areas of significant larch under the Larch Reduction Strategy.
- Remove Rhododendron from riparian areas in Cwm Einion as part of a valley wide control program in conjunction with adjoining landowners.
- Maintain a sustainable supply of timber and improve the long term commercial viability of the forest.
- Invest in forest infrastructure to provide better access to allow for more Low Impact Silvicultural Systems and thinning management.
- Safeguard current timber haulage routes and explore new haulage access and mineral rights to maintain the long-term commercial viability of the forest.
- Create a diverse permanent forest structure and ecosystem that includes riparian and native woodland, natural reserves, long-term retentions, successional woodland and a mosaic of open habitats including forest roads and rides, whilst allowing for a variety of woodland management regimes, including minimum intervention, and areas where natural processes can take place.
- Increase the quantity of deadwood in the forest, which supports a diverse biota within the forest ecosystem.
- Expand the dry heath and blanket bog habitats adjoining Pen Creigiau’r Llan SSSI and Plynlimon SSSI and explore potential grazing or agroforestry management options with links to adjoining land such as Bwlch Carrog and Pen Carreg Gopa.
- Restore, maintain and link dry heath habitats in Moel y Llyn and Banc Bwlch y Garreg to Afon Einion and Afon Lluestgota riparian networks, to help create habitat connectivity for important European Protected Species such as Otters, Water Voles and Pine Martens.
- Minimise changes in microclimatic conditions by careful forest management in and around Esgair Hir and Esgair Fraith Mines Site of Special Scientific Interest to help protect the nationally rare ‘metallophyte’ lichens and associated flora.
- Help to preserve the nationally rare mineral spoil heaps in Eaglebrook Mine Site of Special Scientific Interest and associated Henfwlch mine, by preventing vehicular and motorbike access and maintaining microclimatic conditions for the rare lichens found on site, through careful forest management.
- Maintain and protect the Water vole population in Nant Rhuddlan, whilst looking for new opportunities to enhance and expand the riparian habitat.
- Ensure compliance with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive when undertaking operational activities by following best practice as outlined in the ‘UK Forest Standard - Forest and Water Guidelines’ to protect water quality and freshwater ecosystems within the forest.
- Expand the existing riparian woodland network, which provides buffering against harvesting operations and helps to improve water quality in freshwater ecosystems.
- Plan smaller felling coupes and use Low Impact Silvicultural Systems where possible, to help minimise the impact on water quality, by reducing the risk of sedimentation, peak flows and critical loads in acid sensitive catchments, as well as reducing the visual impacts on the landscape.
- Minimise the potential adverse effects of acidification on the freshwater ecosystems in the 6 water bodies which are failing, or at risk of failing ‘Good Ecological Status’ due to pH in the area, by keeping clear felling in any three-year period below 20% of the catchment area.
- Restore areas of deep peat in Llechwedd Mawr and Pen Creigiau’r Llan together with the expansion of successional upland native woodland habitats.
- Keep all Scheduled Ancient Monuments clear of tree and scrub vegetation and consult with CADW on their management.
- Protect all monuments and historical features in the Upland Ceredigion Historic Landscape Area when carrying out forest management operations.
- Consider the visual impact of management operations and long-term proposals in Cwm Einion on views from Snowdonia National Park.
- Improve the visual and sensory and landscape habitat value of the forest by increasing species diversity, age class and native habitats.
- Maintain and improve opportunities for continued use of forest roads and public rights of way including other tracks and paths within the forest, for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
- Maintain Public Rights of Way affected by planned harvesting operations including, felling, thinning and restocking. Any existing Public Right of Way that is currently planted over for historical reasons will be reinstated as per the definitive map.
- Explore and promote opportunities for linking new and existing routes and develop recreation facilities in the area with third parties to help promote tourism and the economy of the area eg MTB routes between the Dyfi and Rheidol catchments.
- Explore opportunities for working together with adjoining landowners, stakeholders and projects such as the ‘Summit to Sea’ to develop priorities and plans which will improve the connectivity and long-term resilience of ecosystems in the wider landscape.
- Continue to explore the potential for wind energy projects within the forest area which overlaps with the TAN 8 Strategic Search Area D and its 5km buffer.
Comments or feedback
If you have any comments or feedback, you can contact the Forest Resource Planning team at firstname.lastname@example.org