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A guide on how to tackle crime in the woodlands of Wales was launched in Troserch community woodlands, near Llangennech, Llanelli.
The new booklet – A Guide to Dealing with Woodland Crime in Wales – has been published by Forestry Commission Wales in response to rising levels of crime and anti-social activities in woodlands.
It is supported by all four Welsh police forces and Chief Superintendent Gwyn Thomas, the chair of the All Wales Wildlife Crime Enforcement Group, attended the launch.
He said “This guide will help woodland owners and managers to deal with the effects of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“It also identifies steps that can be taken to work with others to address and reduce the problems.”
Woodland crime can include fly-tipping, illegal use of motor vehicles, theft and criminal damage.
The guide clarifies how to deal with such incidents and the procedures for gathering evidence to assist in identifying and, hopefully, prosecuting offenders, along with advice on how woodland owners and managers can work with the police and other agencies.
45 people from a range of organisations with an interest in woodlands and dealing with crime and antisocial activities attended the launch. They included Llais y Goedwig (which represents community woodland groups), the Confederation of Forest Industries (which represents forest businesses and private woodland owners), the fire service, police, Fly Tipping Action Wales and Keep Wales Tidy.
The launch event was hosted by Troserch Woodland Society, which owns Troserch community woodlands.
It ended with a guided walk around the woodland led by Jonathan Price from the Troserch Woodland Society who explained the problems they had experienced and the steps they had taken to deal with them.
The guide was drawn up in association with a number of groups including ConFor, Llais y Goedwig, Coed Cymru, the Wales Forest Business Partnership and Coed Cadw (the Woodland Trust in Wales). It can be downloaded from the Forestry Commission Wales website www.forestry.gov.uk or requested from Jane Holloway on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 068 0300.
Picture caption: Representatives of some of the organisations at the launch of A Guide to Dealing with Woodland Crime in Troserch community woodlands. Left to right:
1 Steve Jones (Rural and Forestry Team)
2 Matthew Howells (Sergeant South Wales Police)
3 Geraint Jenkins (Sergeant South Wales Police)
4 Daniel Snaith (Keep Wales Tidy)
5 Gwyn Thomas (Chief Superintendent, Dyfed Powys Police)
6 Richie Hammond (Mid and West Wales Fire Service)
7 Jonathan Price (Troserch Woodland)
8 Emma Davies (Fly Tipping Action Wales)
9 Rhys Hughes (Environment Agency crime team)
NOTES TO EDITORS
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
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 provides advice on forestry policy to the Minister responsible for forestry. It provides grant aid to other woodland owners and regulates forestry by issuing felling licences.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Press office contact: Mary Galliers on 0300 068 0300, email email@example.com