Nant yr Arian Forest Resource Plan

Location and setting

The Nant yr Arian forest resource plan area totals 756 Ha and is situated approximately 9 miles to the east of Aberystwyth, near the village of Ponterwyd in the Cambrian Mountains.

The forest mostly lies within the Rheidol river catchment, with small sections in the Clarach and Leri catchments, which all flow into Cardigan Bay.

The forest can be accessed from the A44, at Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre and the village of Goginan. The northern sections are accessible from a minor council road between the villages of Ponterwyd and Penrhyncoch.

The whole of the forest resource plan area is in Ceredigion Local Planning Authority.

Summary of objectives

The following management objectives have been agreed in order to maintain and enhance the resilience of ecosystems, and the benefits they provide:

  • Diversify the species composition of the forest by promoting a more diverse restocking strategy, which will include more varieties of broadleaves and natives as well as productive conifers, especially in the recently felled areas effected by Phytopthera ramorum and the core recreation areas around the visitor centre.

  • Improve the internal structure of the forest by developing age class diversity, variety of tree size and mixtures of species, through a variety of forest management systems.

  • Diversify woodland types within the forest, by increasing the variety of coniferous woodland and the expansion of native and riparian woodland habitats.

  • Plan for the removal any of any remaining areas of significant larch under the Larch Reduction Strategy.

  • Maintain a sustainable supply of timber and Invest in forest infrastructure to provide better access to allow for more Low Impact Silvicultural Systems and thinning management where possible.

  • Create a diverse permanent forest structure and ecosystem that includes riparian and native woodland, natural reserves, long-term retentions, successional woodland and a mosaic of open habitats including forest roads and rides, whilst allowing for a variety of woodland management regimes, including minimum intervention, and areas where natural processes can take place.

  • Increase the quantity of deadwood in the forest, which supports a diverse biota within the forest ecosystem.

  • Improve woodland habitat connectivity especially along the riparian river networks linking the Lower Rheidol Valley to the Upland Ceredigion ecosystems for important European Protected Species such as Otters and Pine Martens.

  • Provide open and riparian habitats for protected bird species such as nightjars and red kites.

  • Maintain optimum environmental conditions around Cwmsymlog SSSI and Craig- y-Pistyll SSSI for the benefit of the rare vegetation types and habitats in these sites.

  • Ensure compliance with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive when undertaking operational activities by following best practice as outlined in the ‘UK Forest Standard - Forest and Water Guidelines’ to protect water quality and freshwater ecosystems within the forest.

  • Expand the existing riparian woodland network, which provides buffering against harvesting operations and helps to improve water quality in freshwater ecosystems.

  • Plan smaller felling coupes and use Low Impact Silvicultural Systems where possible, to help minimise the impact on water quality as well as reducing the visual impacts on the landscape.

  • Minimise the potential adverse effects of acidification on the freshwater ecosystems in the 2 water bodies which are failing, or at risk of failing ‘Good Ecological Status’ due to pH in the area, by keeping clear felling in any three-year period below 20% of the catchment area.

  • Restore the Ancient Woodland Sites in and around Coed Nant-yr-Arian and Allt Tyn-y-Graig through the gradual removal of conifers.

  • Keep all Scheduled Monuments such as Blaen Cwmsymlog lead mine and Castell S Hillfort clear of tree and scrub vegetation and consult with CADW on their management.

  • Protect all monuments and historical features in the Upland Ceredigion Historic Landscape Area when carrying out forest management operations.

  • Improve the visual and sensory and landscape habitat value of the forest by increasing species diversity, age class and native habitats and breaking up the abrupt and regular forest boundaries.

  • Manage and maintain the forest around Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitors Centre for the benefit and enhancement of the visitor experience.

  • Consider more Low Impact Silvicultural Systems and a permanent forest structure along the main recreation routes between the Visitors Centre and the upland Lakes of Llyn Blaenmelindwr and Llyn Syfydrin.

  • Maintain and improve recreation opportunities for walkers, cyclists and horse riders along other well used forest roads and public rights of way.

  • Maintain Public Rights of Way on any routes affected by planned harvesting operations including, felling, thinning and restocking. Any existing Public Right of Way that is currently planted over for historical reasons will be reinstated as per the definitive map.

  • Explore opportunities for working together with adjoining landowners, stakeholders and projects to develop priorities and plans which will improve the connectivity and long-term resilience of ecosystems in the wider landscape.

  • Continue to explore the potential for wind energy projects in the TAN 8 Strategic Search Area D, just north the forest, and the 5km buffer which overlaps with the forest.


Comments or feedback

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

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