“Cwmcarn Forest Drive must reopen” says campaign group
News | | Published: 09:40, Wednesday April 19th, 2017.
Last updated: 10:11, Wednesday May 3rd, 2017
Campaigners have launched a bid to get Cwmcarn Forest Drive reopened within 12 months.
The forest road was closed in November 2014 to allow for the felling of diseased larch trees along the seven-mile drive and there have been repeated calls to ensure it reopens once the work is complete.
Around 78% of the larch trees, distinguishable by their short needles and cones, were infected with a fungal disease called phytophthora ramorum, which causes leaves to wilt and a ‘bleeding’ effect on the bark of the trunk.
The felling of around 160,000 trees in Cwmcarn should act as a preventative measure to slow down the spread of the disease.
The Friends of Cwmcarn Forest Drive group has launched a new petition calling for the road to be reopened by Easter next year.
Robert Southall, chair of the group, said: “Unless there is a big show of support for this petition, the Cwmcarn scenic drive will remain closed to cars for good.
“Our first petition was successful in turning an indefinite closure to a two to three year one, and if this new one gains enough signatures we have a definite chance of getting the drive reopened at Easter next year.”
Sally Tansey, Regional Land Manager for South East Wales, from Natural Resources Wales said: “Cwmcarn Forest and its Drive is a popular place to visit, and we thank people for their patience while we’ve been undertaking important works to remove infected larch trees from the site.
“This felling operation is one of the largest we’ve ever had to undertake in Wales and we anticipate that felling and restocking will continue for the next few years.
“We continue to work closely with Caerphilly County Borough Council to look at the potential for the Forest Drive in the future, and will keep the community updated as our plans develop.”
• The petition to reopen the forest drive by Easter 2018 can be signed online at goo.gl/wrsYkO.
This article was amended to correct the figure of trees to be felled from 150,000 to 160,000.