Urgent tree felling work has started at Afan Forest Park

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is temporarily closing some forest paths and trails while tree felling operations are carried out in Afan Forest Park near Port Talbot.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is temporarily closing some forest paths and trails while tree felling operations are carried out in Afan Forest Park near Port Talbot.

NRW estimates that just over five acres - roughly the equivalent of two rugby fields - of trees near Rhyslyn car park will need to be felled.

The trees have been deemed at risk of falling and will need to be felled as a matter of urgency to keep visitors to the forest safe.

There are also plans to clear and remove a large area next to the river Afan which is covered in small tree branches. This will improve drainage and the overall condition of the track  for walkers and cyclists.

To allow contractors to carry out the work safely, a small number of paths and mountain bike trails will be closed or have diversions put in place for up to eight weeks.

The free Rhyslyn car park will remain open.

James Roseblade, South West Senior Land Management Officer for Natural Resources Wales, said:

“NRW manages a fantastic network of trails and paths for people to explore on foot or by bicycle, as well as official waymarked mountain biking trails. We need to make sure these remain safe for all visitors.

“The trees are at risk of falling and need to be felled as quickly as possible.

“Every option has been explored to minimise the disruption and we have put diversions in place wherever possible.”

Work to upgrade a section of path next to the Nant Cynon stream will also begin on Monday 3 February. This work will improve the drainage and surface of the path.  

The end section of the Penhydd and Blue Scar mountain bike trails will also be affected whilst work is carried out.  

The path upgrade is likely to be completed in two weeks. The path and trails will be re-opened as soon as it is safe to do so. 

James added:  

“I know Afan Forest Park is a much-loved place and I thank the community and visitors for their patience while we make these improvements. 

“We’re asking people to please 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 re-opening the forest.”

For more information about the diversions visit the Afan Forest Park section of the NRW website.

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