Brecon Beacons East Forest Resource Plan

Location & Setting

The Brecon Beacons East Forest Resource Plan covers 385.94 hectares and is made up of 8 woodlands in Monmouthshire, 5 of which are within the Brecon Beacons National Park. The woodlands are situated to the west and south of Abergavenny, and to the north and east of Blaenavon.

The setting for the woodlands is a mixture of improved farmland, hedgerows, and other broadleaved woodlands, as well as some unimproved common and steep valley sides of the Blorenge, and Mynydd Garnclochdy.

Summary of objectives

  • Diversify the forest species composition to increase resilience to pests and diseases, and the effects of climate change, whilst building a robust forest for future generations. Remove remaining stands of larch and manage ash appropriately for ash dieback disease.

  • Increase structural diversity through Low Impact Silvicultural management, and natural regeneration, where appropriate and consider the scale, size and timing of any clearfell, avoiding the felling of adjacent coupes.

  • Maintain and enhance areas of ancient semi-natural woodland and restore plantations on ancient woodland sites through the gradual removal of conifers over time, using Low Impact Silvicultural Systems and thinning management where possible, in line with Ancient Woodland Management Plan. Remove stands of western hemlock, Western Red cedar, rhododendron, and red oak, where they are negatively impacting on Ancient Woodland restoration.

  • Utilise and improve the current road, ride and riparian network for the benefit of biodiversity by creating linkages with open habitat and opening up these areas to increase the amount of open space in the woodlands. Remove conifers along riparian zones where encroaching and over shading and maintain rides.

  • Invest in forest infrastructure to provide better access to allow for more diverse management prescriptions within these Ancient Woodland Sites.

  • Use opportunities to connect and enhance habitats within and adjacent to FRP woodlands to improve resilience and connectivity. Such as connecting broadleaved woodland to surrounding hedgerow and woodland habitats and creating varied edge habitats where they adjoin upland heath grassland.

  • Ensure woodland operations do not negatively impact on section 7 species and habitats present in the FRP blocks or on adjacent protected areas and identify ways to enhance habitats and biodiversity. Control spread of INNS.

  • Plan the size and timing of felling coupes and restocking to avoid negative impacts on current and future drinking water supplies and freshwater condition and prevent sediment runoff impacting on water quality, including on the River Usk Special Area of Conservation.

  • Avoid disturbing heritage features during operations, with particular attention to the Scheduled Ancient Monument at Yr Graig and other hotspots as identified by Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust. Manage and enhance for public amenity as appropriate.

  • Increase opportunities for the public to use rides and roads for recreation in addition to existing assets to promote health and wellbeing benefits.

  • Identify opportunities to maintain a sustainable supply of timber production through design of felling and choice of restock species where the main management priority is not Ancient Woodland restoration, and within ancient woodland areas where possible.

  • Increase the amount of standing and fallen deadwood across the area through appropriate management practices during felling operations and ongoing management in line with Deadwood Management Plan for Welsh Government Woodland Estate.

  • Manage afforested peat in Wern Fawr appropriately and reduce drainage and disturbance.

  • Identify opportunities to prevent stock accessing woodlands and negatively affecting tree regeneration.

  • Prevent anti-social behaviour, including off-road motorbikes and fly tipping, affecting recreational enjoyment of the woodlands and negatively impacting on the soil and groundcover.

  • Explore the options to improve haulage access and prevent damage to narrow country lanes, and habitats when storing timber.

  • Reduce any potential impact of flooding through stakeholder engagement and good forestry practice, in accordance with The UK Forestry Standard: The government’s approach to sustainable forestry (2017); UKFS and Forestry Commission Practice Guide 25 Managing Forest Operations to Protect the Water Environment. Explore opportunities for nature-based solutions to manage and reduce flood risk.

Summary of Main Changes that will occur in the forest

  • Clear felling of larch and other conifers in the next ten years

  • More broadleaves along river corridors

  • Restoration of Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites


Location map

Long term primary objectives

Forest management systems

Indicative forest types and habitats

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