Brecon Beacons National Park (South) Forest Resource Plan

Location and setting

Between Ystradgynlais and Story Arms (North of Merthyr Tydfil)
Grid Ref: SN90420742

Consists of the following woodlands: Coed Taf, Penmoelallt, Gwaun Hepste, Blaen Llia, Coed Y Rhaiadr and Cwm Giedd.

These forests are situated in within the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. The area covers 3454 Hectares. The surrounding boundaries are the Brecon Beacons and farm land. There are a number of major public roads and landscape will be considered within the Forest Resource Plan

The Brecon Beacons National Park (South) Forest Resource Plan situated within the Brecon Beacons National Park will follow Welsh Government policies and UK Forest Standards (UKFS). The forests which are leased from Welsh Water that surrounds the reservoirs are of high importance for water quality and close work with Welsh Water will be a major stakeholder in the Forest Resource Plan process.

The Forests at Gwaun Hepste is a high recreational value and noted at a top tourist attraction in Wales, due to the waterfalls and walks. The area designated conservation status of a N2K site for its Ash and Oak woodlands surrounding the rivers are noted within the plan and the Forest Resource Plan will consider all aspects of the Site of Conservation management plan. The area of the waterfalls are used by outdoor activities providers, this is noted with the waterfall management plan and working with outdoor provider groups.

Another major factor taken into consideration of this plan is the recent felling of much of the Larch due to Phytophthora Ramorum disease. The remaining forests for timber production has taken this into account.

Summary of objectives

  • Maintaining timber production – This will remain a key driver for these forests. The opportunities to diversify species will be used where appropriate and will enhance the sustainability of the forests. Ancient and native woodlands will be restored and expanded to create better connectivity and landscape value.

  • Recreation - Generally the forests are open to quiet recreational pursuits, such as walking and cycling. This will be maintained and considered during all forest operations. Garwnant Visitor centre is situated within Coed Taf Forest; the waterfalls within Gwaun Hepste are both hot spots for recreation and tourism.

  • Key habitats – The areas throughout the resource plan have been highlighted for natural reserves (UKWAS designation) and meet with the criteria. The plans indicate Long term retentions and areas of minimum intervention to enhance these habitats.

  • Management systems – Much of the forests are the first rotation conifer crops. Where there has been a good thinning regime, the preferred method management is via Low Impact Silviculture System (LISS), this will take advantage of natural regeneration of the new crops or possibly under-planting. Clearfell system will be used as appropriate and will need to be used due to the crops status (unthinned, exposure, soils etc).

  • Access to smaller woodlands – Limited access to manage the woodlands are noted within this plan. This is with the district to programme, finance and consult with the relevant authorities. Without this access, timber felling or restoring native woodlands are limited.


Comments or feedback

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