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Roadside trees are being removed from two Carmarthenshire woodlands to make them more homely places for the rare plants and wildlife that live there.
Clearing some of the trees that run along the tracks within Pembrey and Penybedd woodlands will also pave the way for Forestry Commission Wales to carry out thinning operations – and help towards tackling climate change.
For the waste material from the roadside clearance will be gathered up by a machine called a brash baler and turned into compact bales for use at the nearby Western Wood Energy Plant.
Pembrey and Penybedd, which together cover 1,200 hectares, make up some of Britain's sand dune forests and are home to many rare botanical species, 31 species of butterfly, migrant songbirds as well as birds of prey such as sparrowhawk and goshawk.
Pembrey forest also forms part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Forestry Commission Wales Community Ranger Jonathan Price said, “We are carrying out this important work in order to improve the site for conservation reasons and to allow better access for future work programmes.
“It’s all part of the management of Welsh Government woodlands to enable them to provide environmental benefits both now and in the future.
“We apologise for any inconvenience but we will keep visitors informed through signs in the forests.”
Removing encroaching vegetation from forest roads and baling it as biomass also saves on annual road maintenance costs and significantly improves safety for road users.
Caption: The brash baler at work in Pembrey forest.
NOTES TO EDITORS
A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
For more information on work at Pembrey and Penybedd woodlands, contact Jonathan Price on 0300 068 0213, mobile 07789 922748.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Visit News@FCWales for news, images, press office contact details and links to case studies.
Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email email@example.com