We have an Open Day on Monday 6th May 2013 from noon - 5pm. We are raising funds for Action for Children through a small entrance charge and the sale of refreshments. There is a guided walk starting at 2pm. Please phone us on 01691 648016 if you would like further details.
Our forest is a mixed woodland of 29 hectares (about 70 acres) lying on the north-west facing slope of a valley that runs up to Lake Vyrnwy in the Berwyn Mountains in Mid-Wales. It is an ancient woodland with documentary evidence showing that it has been covered with trees at least since 1800. The indicator plant species present suggest that it has been woodland for very much longer than that. Small areas, particularly along the stream boundaries are ancient semi-natural woodland although most of the wood was replanted between 1951 and 1965. However, there are around fifty veteran Beech, Holly and Sweet Chestnut trees many of which are thought to date from around 1800.
The elevation of the wood ranges from (650 ft) and 320m (1030 ft) so that much of the woodland is on steep slopes. While this provides an eye catching vista for those driving down to Llanfyllin from Lake Vyrnwy, it does provide a challenging setting for working the wood.
The principal timber species are Beech, Douglas fir, Oak, Larch, Noble fir, Norway spruce,Sweet chestnut, Ash and Alder. There are a total of 33 tree species in all. Over 350 species of plant, fungi and bryophytes have been recorded in the past few years and we are managing the wood in ways that ensures the health of this rich diversity.
We manage the woodland and harvest trees so as to maintain the canopy cover without felling large blocks at a time. The hardwood - mainly Beech and Oak - is being thinned a bit at a time to cover our firewood sales. The softwood - mainly Douglas fir and Norway spruce - is being thinned selectively to make the log stores. The wood has been assessed as sustainable to the UK Woodland Assurance Standard and is certified by FSC, the Forest Stewardship Council.
By actively managing the wood and harvesting the timber every year, we are able to generate an income which enables us to look after the woods and to encourage new growth in place of the trees removed. It also provides valuable habitats for the wide variety of wildlife that lives in the woodland. We have over 80 bird boxes throughout the wood which provide nest sites for a number of species, including Pied Flycatchers.
For several weeks at the beginning of 2012, the Forest School has been working with a number of children who are educated at home. This has given them invaluable experience of working together and developing new skills.