Farewell to the forest?

Newborough forest pines at the edge of the shore

Newborough forest pines at the edge of the shore

The Forestry Commission began planting Newborough forest back in the 1940s. It is now an established and diverse forest of immense character and beauty. The forest makes a beautiful backdrop to areas of the beaches of Llanddwyn and Penrhos.

Since April of this year, the Forestry Commission (Wales) has been subsumed into Natural Resources Wales (NRW). Whereas the Forestry Commission’s mission was (and still is in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) to “protect and expand forests and woodlands” NRW’s mission is to “make the most of our natural resources”. Rather a bland and uninformative mission really. They also want to fell and then destump parts of Newborough Forest that abut the shore.

Monterey cypresses and sprawling pines at the forest edge

Monterey cypresses and sprawling pines at the forest edge

These forest edges provide some of the most atmospheric scenery at Newborough with trees sculpted by the wind and skeletal remains of dead trees that the woodpeckers love to feed on. The area abounds with wildlife: but not, on the whole, the “right” wildlife.

The reasoning on NRW’s part is that the site is not complying with the requirements of its Special Area of Conservation status: a status confirmed in 2004…when the forest had already been in existence for nearly 60 years.

A smattering of holm oaks (ever-green oaks) survive on the forest edge

A smattering of holm oaks (ever-green oaks) survive on the forest edge

It’s a sadly ironic situation that on an island that already has so little tree-cover there will soon be less.

The track along the edge of the forest and the dunes.

The track along the edge of the forest and the dunes.






2 thoughts on “Farewell to the forest?

  1. barry

    Well, I suppose it was always managed as somebodies garden, I just thought it was a bit more ‘mine’ and less ‘theirs’. I think I will miss the bluebells most, or maybe the annual bee orchid count. I did a quick list on 22 july
    and although some will survive……..Say a fond goodbye to most of…………
    Acer platanoides
    Acer pseudoplatanus
    Achilea ptarmica
    Agrimonia eupatoria
    Agrostis capillaris
    Ammophila arenaria
    Anacamptis pyramidalis
    Anthoxanthum odoratum
    Arrhenatherum elatius
    Betula pubescens
    Brachypodium sylvaticum
    Buddleja davidii
    Carex arenaria
    Carlina vulgaris
    Centaurea nigra
    Centaurium littorale
    Cerastium angustifolium
    Cirsium vulgare
    Convolvulus soldanella
    Cornus sanguinea
    Dactylis glomerulata
    Dactylorchis purpurella
    Dactylorhiza maculata
    Dryopteris filix-mas
    Elytrigia juncea
    Epilobium montanum
    Epipactis muelleri var dunensis
    Epipactis muelleri var muelleri (unconfirmed)
    Erodium maritimum
    Euphorbia paralias
    Festuca rubra
    Filipendula ulmaria
    Galium verum
    Hedera helix
    Heracleum sphondylium
    Holcus molle
    Hyacinthoides non-scripta
    Juncus bulbosus
    Lonicera periclymenum
    Lotus corniculatus
    Myosotis laxa
    Oenothera cambrica
    Ononis repens
    Ophrys apifera
    Phleum arenarium
    Pilosella officionarum
    Plantago media
    Poa annua
    Polygala vulgare
    Prunella vulgaris
    Pyrola rotundifolia
    Quercus ilex
    Quercus petraea
    Ranunculus acris
    Rosa canina agg
    Rubus caesius
    Salix cinerea
    Salix repens
    Sedum acre
    Sedum anglicum
    Senecio jacobaea
    Sonchus asper
    Tamus communis
    Taraxacum spp
    Teucrium scorodonia
    Thymus polytrichus
    Trifolium arvense
    Trifolium pratense
    Trifolium repens
    Ulex europaeus
    Viburnum opulus
    Viola tricolor ssp curtisii
    Yucca recurvifolia

    1. Kay hortographical Post author

      Mmmm. An impressive list – thank you for taking the time to post it.
      I sometimes feel watching the “management” of the area is a little like watching a puppet show: you know somebody’s pulling the strings, but just who that somebody is remains a mystery – and I think it keeps changing, so strategies & policies lurch from one direction to another. More so since NRW came into being.


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