Tree felling at Rhyslyn, Afan Forest Park

Afan Forest Park

Next phase

A felling operation of trees infected with larch disease at Afan Forest is moving to its next phase.

To allow this work to progress, we have made changes to the diversions and closures.

Diversions and closures

Here is an up-to-date list of diversions and closures that are in place.

Afan Walking Trails

Penrhys Trail – remains closed

River and Railway Trail – remains closed

Rhyslyn Riverside Trail – closed

Gyfylchi Ridgetop Trail – open with a diversion remaining in place - start and finish at Bryn Bettws Lodge (postcode SA12 9SP) with a modified trail route.

Old Parish Road Trail – open

Afan MTB Trails

Rheilffordd Trail - closed

Rookie Blue - closed

Rookie Green – open

Blue Scar – open

Penhydd - open

Y Wal and W2 links - open with diversions in place - start and finish at Bryn Bettws Lodge (postcode SA12 9SP) with a modified trail route.

Please be aware of closures to the following sections:

  • Alpha
  • Elevator
  • 6ft Under
  • Resurrection
  • Omega
  • Corker
  • ZigZag
  • Stage 4

Access to the start of the temporary alteration of Y Wal can still be ridden from Afan Visitor Centre.

Whites Level and W2 links - open with diversions in place

Skyline – open

Blade – open

Afan Bike Park - open

Trail reinstatement

NRW officers are working to reinstate the trails affected by the first round of felling.

Once that work has been completed, and as soon as we are satisfied that they are safe to use again, we will be able to re-open more trails.

Operational delays

The condition of the trees we are felling is far worse than suspected when planning this operation. This has made the work to safely remove the trees far more challenging and has led to significant delays.

Vandalism of safety fencing

Destruction of safety fencing by people forcing access to the closed site has also contributed to operational delays. NRW officers have had to replace fencing panels on at least 15 occasions to keep the site safe. We urge forest users to please be patient and adhere to the diversions and closures that are in place. Police have been made aware of the continued vandalism.

Larch Disease

We’re removing these trees as they are infected with larch disease, or Phytophthora ramorum.

This is a fungus-like disease that causes extensive damage and mortality to a wide range of other trees and plants. While we cannot stop the spread of larch disease, we can take action to slow it down.

We are legally required to remove infected larch trees under the Statutory Plant Health Notice - Movement (SPHNm) - which is issued by Welsh Government. All larch in Wales must be felled as part of our nationwide strategy to prevent further spread.

Help us avoid delays

We urge anyone visiting Afan Forest during the time of this felling operation to adhered to the diversions and closures in place.

When diversions and closures are ignored, people enter dangerous operational sites, forcing contractors to stop working until members of the public have moved out of the area. These interruptions can cause delays to the re-opening of the affected trails.

Information points

We will be updating all trail heads and installing information points in car parks at Afan Forest Park ahead of the felling work starting.

Post harvesting

After completion of the harvesting, all affected trails will be reinstated as swiftly as possible, and improvements will be made to some areas.

Visitors will be able to enjoy new viewpoints of the river.

There will also be extensive re-stocking with the planting of broadleaf and mixed conifer trees to grow a healthy and more resilient woodland.

Further questions

If you still have questions that are not answered with the information above, email or call 0300 065 3000. 

Explore more

Newsletter sign up

Sign up to receive monthly updates from Natural Resources Wales