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Woodland update


Residents with a suspicious frame of mind have been concerned that at some stage the Forestry Commission, now part of Natural Resources Wales, will clear fell the FC woodland in Talley, leaving the hillsides above Talley bleak and unattractive for a considerable period before regeneration, natural or controlled, restores a tree cover.

Readers of Y Llychau may recall that the FC had planned to engage in clearing three coupes or stands of trees in the woodland, involving the selective felling of areas of larch and spruce, and replacing them with a wider range of hardwood and conifers of a much more attractive pattern for wildlife, walking etc. These plans have been put on hold because of the spread of Phytophthora Ramorum, an infection which is fatal to Japanese larches in Wales and elsewhere, and which requires widespread felling to seek to quarantine the infection. Planned felling of the kind scheduled for Talley has been overtaken by the commitment of tree fellers to large scale felling of larch.

It had recently been hoped to begin the Talley felling this autumn, involving short term disruption of some well used woodland paths; but even as this decision was being made, news came that a massive area of the Brechfa forest would have to be felled because of Phytophthora, and thus all resources would have to be committed to this task. It is ironic that one of the issues raised by objectors to the Brechfa wind farm plans was about bio security and Phytophthora in particular. The concern must now be of course that Brechfa to Talley is a short distance as the crow flies so that the chances of the Talley larches being infected is great. Under those circumstances clear felling of the areas of larch would be inevitable, and although in the long run the FC is committed to a more sympathetic scheme of regeneration, in the short to medium term the visual impact may be considerable.

And even as I write this I learn that my gin is under threat from some virus affecting Juniper in a fatal way!

Information obtained by John Rees on behalf of TCAA