News & press releases

Natural Resources Wales listens to resident’s concerns about the future of Forest Fawr and Larch disease.

October 10, 2017

Following my discussions with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) I was pleased to welcome NRW and councillors to talk to local residents about the planned larch disease fell at Forest Fawr.

As some of you may have seen, following concern over forest restoration over the summer, I launched a petition to raise awareness and ask NRW how they planned to restore the areas where 4,000 trees need to be removed. The petition gained almost 2,000 signatures online (https://www.change.org/p/natural-resources-wales-replant-and-restore-forest-fawr-after-larch-disease-cull) and in local businesses. I then took this feedback to Gareth O’Shea and John Hogg at NRW to voice people’s concerns, and request a meeting with the community before anything else happened. 

At last night’s meeting, NRW were able to listen to people’s concerns and answer questions.

Issues covered included:

Natural regeneration vs replanting – NRW will focus on natural regeneration and “work with nature”, rather than replanting. The regrowth will be monitored and replanting will be considered if necessary.

 Will the soil be contaminated and prevent regrowth?

The soil will not be contaminated and the stumps will be left in the ground.

How will this affect wildlife in the forest?

The activities of the contractors working in the forest will be monitored by NRW to ensure there is no negative impact on wildlife.

Lorries carrying trees through village, road widening, and new signs.

NRW assured us that lorries will not transport trees through the village, as they will travel north past the Black Cock pub to access the main road. Existing fire roads within the forest will be reinforced as part of the works.  They also stated that while the work is underway there will be signage to show which areas are closed. Public rights of way will be closed through felling areas whilst work is being undertaken.

Residents asked about security of site whilst work is ongoing?

The security of the site will be the responsibility of the contractors whilst work is ongoing, but will be monitored by NRW.

Contractors.

Many people were concerned that contractors may not be respectful of the forest and wildlife. NRW assured us that their contractors are highly experienced and will do all they can to minimise disruption and responsibly manage the project. 

Funds from sale of larch and future of the forest.

It was felt that the money from selling the larch should be ringfenced for next 5 years to fund replanting if necessary. NRW could not confirm at the meeting that this would be the case, but they said that they will discuss this feedback and let us know as soon as possible.

Sculptures.

Good news – NRW confirmed that new sculptures will be in place before next March, and most likely early in the New Year.

Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting. I will be keeping in close contact with the community and NRW, to ensure the process is managed and communicated with all concerned, and that the restoration of Forest Fawr is thought out and monitored. 

Next steps:

There will be another meeting in Spring 2018 for NRW to provide an update on the project, and for the community to feedback how it is going.

Thank you to Dave Vater for initially bringing this to my attention, and to everyone who signed the petition – it has really made a difference and led to better communication between NRW and the community.

Finally, I know Forest Fawr means a lot to many people, not just those living in Tongwynlais, so please share this post. 

Please get in touch if you have any further questions. 


Warning: Unknown: open(/home/annamcmo/public_html/files/tmp/sess_icdilrka00dnsgq2ltahan9lj5, O_RDWR) failed: Disk quota exceeded (122) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/home/annamcmo/public_html/files/tmp) in Unknown on line 0