So what's the problem?
The proposed holiday park scheme will result in the direct loss of ancient woodland to facilitate the installation of lodges and associated infrastructure. Large swathes of trees will be felled to help prepare the woodland for the scheme, working out at over two hectares of tree loss. While some of this felling will be for woodland management purposes, this benefit will be hugely outweighed by the impact of the commercial plans, including pollution during construction, alterations to the waterways across the wood, and disturbance to the wildlife through human activity.
But won't people who love nature want to visit?
The Woodland Trust does advocate for the sensitive use of ancient woodland, to encourage people to enjoy it and inspire their children about this irreplaceable habitat on their doorstep - we will need these younger generations to help protect it in the future.
However, by visiting lodges which will have a detrimental impact on the woodland and wildlife, visitors will not be able to appreciate all the spectacles that undisturbed ancient woods have to offer. Ancient woodland is very sensitive to disturbance through trampling, pollution and nutrient enrichment, so it's key that this habitat is managed appropriately.
What is restored ancient woodland?
This woodland is designated as a restored ancient woodland site (RAWS). These ancient woods are in the final stage of the restoration process of converting plantation on ancient woodland sites (which were seeded with conifers back in the 1950’s to help with the shortfall in timber supply) to native broadleaf woodland. The process can be lengthy if conifers are removed too quickly as the ground flora have become used to the shadier conditions, but if done sensitively the woodland can begin to thrive once more.
Isn't Coed Wern currently in a poor condition?
While the woodland appears to have suffered somewhat from a lack of management since it's restoration a few years ago, if a management plan is now fully implemented, the woodland could flourish as broadleaf ancient woodland once more.
Fundamentally, the lack of current management of the woodland is certainly no reason to build a holiday lodge development on top of it.
Aren't the applicants going to manage the woodland as part of the application?
Yes, and any woodland which will be managed for the benefit of wildlife is welcomed by the Trust. However, it is the inclusion of lodges and other infrastructure alongside the management of the woodland which is of concern to us, as the lodges are not for the use of forestry works. This development is a commercial business venture; the woodland should be managed appropriately without the associated detrimental impacts of the scheme.
What can I do to help?
By getting in touch with the Council to voice your concerns, you will also be giving a voice to the woodland's wildlife. You can use our simple form on the right of the page to send an email objection to the Council, or if you'd like to find out more information about the proposals, you can follow the link here.
Who can I speak to about this application?
If you have any questions, you can get in touch with our team at [email protected]