The National Forest for Wales is growing – come and explore a woodland near you

This week (25 November – 3 December) we’re celebrating National Tree week, a week dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of the importance of trees to mark the start of tree planting season (November – March)

Trees play a vital role in helping us tackle the climate and nature emergencies, and our forests and woodlands across Wales provide us with fantastic recreational spaces to enjoy, which can help improve our health and wellbeing.

Recently, the Welsh Government announced that twelve more of our forests and woodlands, which are managed by our fantastic forestry and land management teams across Wales, will join the growing National Forest for Wales network.

The twelve sites include Beddgelert forest in the heart of Eyri (Snowdonia) National Park in North Wales, Sirhowy and Cwmcarn in South Wales, and Artists Valley in Mid Wales.

We caught up with Richard Owen, NRW’s Estate Recreation team leader to find out more:

It’s great to see that the National Forest for Wales is growing. Which forests and woodlands that NRW help to manage have been announced as part of the National Forest so far, and do you have any recommendations if people are planning a visit?  

So far, there are a total of twenty-six woodlands that we manage here at NRW which have joined the National Forest for Wales network. They span the length and breadth of Wales, and each are unique and contribute something different.

Up in North Wales we have Beddgelert forest, which is a treasure trove of walking and cycling routes and offers plenty of dramatic land scape opportunities if you’re a keen photographer. There are stunning views across to Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), you can picnic by the secluded lake of Llyn Llywelyn and listen out for the sound of the Old Welsh Highland railway trains which run through the forest on route from Caernarfon to Porthmadog.

In Mid Wales we have Hafren forest, which is home to many walking trails and bridleways through the heart of the forest alongside the River Severn to Blaen Hafren Falls. In the summer months it’s home to Ospreys who spend the summer by a reservoir called Llyn Clywedog. You can watch the live feed from one of the Osprey nests during the breeding season (which is normally March to August).

Then in the south we have Cwmcarn forest. It features a seven-mile-long drive with eight stop-off points with a range of newly developed visitor facilities including play areas, accessible footpaths, sensory tunnels and a wooden sculpture trail.

You can find a full list of our woodlands that are part of the National Forest here and here

What does it mean to you to see more woodlands from the Welsh Government Woodland Estate (WGWE) included as part of the National Forest?

We’re really pleased to be able to work with and help support the Welsh Government's plans and play our part in helping to create the National Forest in Wales, particularly in the face of the Climate and Nature emergencies.

Our forests and woodlands are fantastic recreational spaces, and they provide us with multiple benefits for our communities and wildlife across Wales, as well as supporting the economy, which is why it’s so important that we look after them for future generations.

It’s a really positive endorsement for our dedicated teams who work hard to manage these sites in accordance with the UK Forestry Standard.

You can find out more about how our teams care for and manage our forests in our video here.

How can people find out more about the National Forest?

You can find out more about the National Forest for Wales on the Welsh Government website.

If you manage or own woodland in Wales and would like to apply to be part of the National Forest we would love to hear from you.

We have a dedicated team of National Forest for Wales Liaison Officers who are located throughout Wales. They are available to offer support and guidance on prospective sites and how you might evidence the National Forest for Wales outcomes.

You can find out more about the team and why they are so passionate about their roles in delivering the National Forest.

You can contact the team by emailing:

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