There are some beautiful trees and ancient hedgerows at Lofftwen, and we intend to keep them all. But the diversity of species is currently poor and their planting too spaced out to provide habitats that can support a greater variety and density of wildlife.
In times past, much of Lofftwen was planted with trees, but the last of the larger plantations were harvested in the 1940s to help with the war effort. With the help of the Welsh Government we have planted more than 123,000 trees over approximately 55% of the land at Lofftwen. These trees are predominately native broadleaves and the only native conifer to Wales, the Scots Pine.
WHICH SPECIES OF TREE ARE WE PLANTING?
We have planted 32 different species of tree in predominately intimate mixtures to avoid large homogenous blocks of the same species of tree. The list includes: Sessile Oak, Pedunculate Oak, Wild Cherry, Birch, Rowan, Alder, Small leaved lime, Aspen, Hawthorn, Grey Willow, Goat Willow, Beech, Field Maple, Sweet chestnut, Hazel, Dogwood, Hornbeam, Viburnum, Spindle, Crab apple, Sitka Spruce, Douglas fir, Scots pine, Lodgepole pine, Norway spruce, Coast redwood, Western red cedar, Noble fir.
How will the forest be managed?
These trees will provide a range of essential habitats for a diverse array of wildlife. Although we will be harvesting some of the trees for timber at some point in the future, this will only be done using sustainable approaches to silviculture that conserve these habitats, such as Continuous Cover Forestry. We will therefore be utilising selective rather than clear felling methods of forestry management and will always replace the trees we harvest with new ones for future generations. Part of this will include allowing the woodland to regenerate naturally.
where are we planting?
We have also taken great care as to where we plant trees. We have excluded areas that were considered environmentally sensitive by Natural Resources Wales in addition to significant areas that our own ecological assessment highlighted as environmentally sensitive. We have also excluded planting areas of historic or geological interest and worked to preserve key views across the site.