Felling of diseased larch trees in Betws y Coed

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is to start the process of felling diseased larch trees at Miners’ Bridge woods, near Betws y Coed this month.

An area of the woods covering 5.5 hectares has become infected with phytophthora ramorum and trees will be removed to control the spread of the disease.

Conifers surrounding the infected larch will also be removed to mitigate against crop instability and future storm damage.

In total around 1,400 tonnes of timber will be removed.

The work, which is being carried out under a Statutory Plant Health Notice, will start on September 26 and is expected to last up to nine weeks.

During the work, traffic management will be in operation on a section of the A5 next to the site and a public right of way closure will be in place for the woods to ensure the safety of the public.

This includes restricting access to Miners’ Bridge.

Ian Sachs, Forest Operations Team Leader for NRW, said:

“It is vital these trees are felled to prevent any further spread of the disease.
“Because of the location of the site, the work requires both traffic management and access management to keep everyone safe.
“Unfortunately, this means temporary public access restriction to the site.
“We will work to reduce the impact on the local community wherever possible, but our priority is to keep everyone safe. We thank everyone in advance for their cooperation.”

The site is part of the Afon Llugwy Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and work will be carried out sensitively, under an assent permission from NRW, to protect its rare mosses.

As many as possible of the broad-leaved trees in the area will be retained to provide canopy cover for the mosses.

The work will also be carried out in liaison with CADW as the site is also home to Afon Llugwy Lead Mine Mill.

Although diseased, the trees are still a viable crop and they will go to timber mills licenced to take infected larch and will be used for various purposes including fencing and timber for construction.

Once the work has been completed, NRW plans to replant the area with native broad-leaves to compliment the SSSI features, and minimise impacts of non-native species on the woods.

Further information on tree health in Wales is available at Natural Resources Wales / Tree health in Wales and if you have any enquiries regarding this work contact North West Wales’ Forest Operations Team on 0300 065 3000 or ForestOperationsNW@cyfoethnaturiol.cymru