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Case Study

Powis Castle Estate

A diverse estate in rural Mid Wales

Background

The Powis Estate has been owned by the Earls of Powis since 1587. The woodlands extend to 600 hectares and form an important landscape backdrop to the castle, the town of Welshpool and the surrounding villages. The main woodland area is surrounded by historic parkland next to a Deer Park.

Andrew Bronwin & Co has managed the woodland on this traditional mixed estate since 2002. Management has to run alongside commercial shoots whilst fulfilling a brief to return a profit. The company has focused on the effective marketing of the timber crops to maximise returns.

Management

Over the last nine years, a thinning programme has been implemented across the estate with the objective of improving the quality of individual stands. An important facet of the thinning work has been the need to produce a regular supply of timber for the Estate’s firewood business. Income has also been generated by the thinning and felling of areas of mature conifers and oak. The range of species present and the small size of many of the compartments mean that the effective marketing of the timber is critical. Through Andrew Bronwin & Co’s detailed knowledge of local and national markets, the estate has been able to maximise its timber returns. Other important work includes the digital mapping of the estate woodland and the expansion and upgrading of the network of access tracks.

Within the last 12 months a five year management plan has been produced for the estate and significant grant aid has been secured from Forestry Commission Wales. This includes funding for uneconomic thinning, restocking, track construction and laurel control.

Testimonial

“Andrew Bronwin & Co took over the management of the woodlands at Powis nine years ago. The Trustees and I have been particularly pleased that, from an early stage and despite a period of adverse trading conditions, they were able to generate a trading profit for the first time in many years. Their expertise in accessing forestry grants and supervising contractors has been of great benefit and it is with some satisfaction that one can see that our woods are looking a lot better than they did a decade earlier”. Tom Till, resident land agent.