Margam Forest Resource Plan

Location and setting

Margam forest amounts to 2,117 Ha and is located West of the town of Maesteg adjacent to the M4 Motorway opposite and to the East of the Port Talbot Steelworks. 

The forest comprises 3 individual forest blocks which are all within close proximity, the names of these blocks are: Cwm Kenfig and Craig yr Aber and Bryn.

The entire area of Margam forest is within the Neath Port Talbot Local Authority Boundary.

Summary of Objectives

  • Diversify the forest species composition to increase resilience to pests and disease whilst building of a robust forest for future generations.

  • Increase areas identified for thinning within the 5 year thinning plan to enable LISS management and PAWS restoration.

  • Increase structural diversity through LISS management where appropriate and consideration of the scale, size and timing of any clearfell avoiding the felling of adjacent coupes. Older conifer crops should be retained where possible to maintain forest structure and productive potential.

  • Improve habitat connectivity by maintaining and enhancing areas of ancient semi-natural woodland and restoring plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites in line with strategic prioritisation policy. Facilitate native woodland expansion where the main crop of larch has had to be prematurely harvested. Restocking of these areas is a key priority going forward to ensure that there is no resulting net loss in forest cover. There is scope to expand and diversify broadleaf sections of the woodland to assist in habitat provision where possible.

  • Use opportunities to locate broadleaved woodland to connect hedgerow habitats and improve resilience.

  • Continue to maintain a sustainable supply of timber production through design of felling and choice of restocking species.

  • Utilise the current road, ride and riparian zone network for the benefit of biodiversity by creating linkages with open habitats and Ancient Woodland Sites.

  • Continue to manage the deer population within Margam Forest so to avoid impacts on Biodiversity and productive forestry potential.

  • Maintain a stable production of timber to supply the Welsh Forestry and Timber Processing Sector.

  • Maintain forest cover across the Forest management unit for the purposes of Carbon Sequestration.

  • Maintain and enhance recreational use and access provision through the woodland.

  • Heritage and cultural features to be identified to avoid damage.

  • Woodland cover must be maintained sufficiently for natural flood management purposes so that surface water flow is minimised.

  • Invest in Natural Water Resource Management to reduce risk of flood waters breaching the A48 and the 320 properties identified in the lower catchment.

  • Plan size and timing of felling coupes and restocking to avoid impacts on water quality.

  • Look for opportunities to provide connectivity between Margam Forest and Margam Park along with Afan Forest.

  • Explore actions with other Public Bodies through PSB to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in Margam Forest and the wider area to avoid re-locating the problem. This includes theft of timber and harvesting machinery / equipment.
  • Illegal trespass by both vehicles and animals is an important consideration which is increasingly affecting how these woodlands are being managed now and in the future.

Comments or feedback

If you have any comments or feedback, you can contact the Forest Resource Planning team at

Related document downloads

Location map PDF [822.9 KB]
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