Elan Estate, Powys – multipurpose forestry and woodland estate management in a Wales upland setting 420 hectares of upland conifer plantation and upland oak woodland on the flanks of the Elan Valley owned by Dwr Cymru – Welsh Water. The woodland and surrounding area contain several sites of conservation importance including Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protected Areas. Woodland management combines timber production with informal recreation, landscape and wildlife conservation. Under the Better Woodlands for Wales scheme significant grant aid was secured for recreation, conversion to native woodland and continuous cover forestry.
“On an estate which has 400,000 visitors a year it is essential that all forestry work is carried out safely and complying with all environmental guidelines. Andrew Bronwin & Co Ltd has effectively achieved this balance whilst making a good financial return.” Peter Jennings, Head Ranger
Llanover & Coldbrook Estates, Monmouthshire – mixed lowland traditional estate woodland
The woodlands are located in the Usk Valley to the south and east of Abergavenny in Wales and total 312 hectares made up of individual woods ranging from less than a hectare to 80 hectares. The composition of the woodlands is typical of many Estates with a wide range of species both conifers and broadleaves. Access is often an issue requiring creative and cost effective solutions. Recent woodland management has concentrated on the improvement of the younger crops through first thinnings, cleaning, brashing, thinning to waste and the control of rhododendron and laurel.
“With a number of crops early in their rotation intervention at the right time is important whilst maintaining the amenity value of the woods particularly the parkland. Andrew Bronwin & Co has always ensured work is carried out to the correct stage and completed to a high standard despite many challenges posed by difficult access.” James Perks, Resident Land Agent
Ty Commins, Powys – productive upland spruce forest
Three woodlands totalling 126 hectares in south Wales within the Brecon Beacons Nation Park and the Black Mountains SSSI. Spruce dominates with larch, Douglas fir, western hemlock and redwood present. Many of the stands are mature and there is an ongoing woodland management programme of felling and restocking. This is being used as an opportunity to respond to climate change by diversifying the range of productive species and to improve biodiversity by opening out streamsides and planting native broadleaves.
“Our woods grow quality trees and over many years Andrew Bronwin & Co Ltd has effectively marketed the timber realising excellent returns. At the same time we have been able to fulfil our ambitions to improve the conservation value of the woods through careful management of the sensitive areas.” Harold and Joan Lambert, owners
Pendugwm & Gwern Feifod, Powys, Wales – lowland mixed woodland and upland spruce plantation
These two contrasting woodland areas are managed for the same client. Pendugwm Woods comprises 68 hectares of mixed woodland including 9 hectares of SSSI oak woodland. Recent estate management has concentrated on the thinning of the productive conifer areas, the restoration of areas to native woodland, and coppicing/thinning to waste areas of younger native woodland. Gwern Feifod is 56 hectares of mainly upland spruce plantation bordering the Berwyns SSSI. Recent woodland management has included the conversion of 9 hectares of spruce into a habitat for upland bird species by creating a series of pools within a mosaic of native woodland.
“My woods give me immense pleasure. It has been rewarding working with Andrew Bronwin & Co Ltd and together we have diversified the woods so that they provide a range of habitats with work funded through forestry grants and good marketing of the timber resource.” John Blake, owner