Woodlands and Forestry

Sustainable forest management recognises the importance of linking the economic, environmental and social values of forests

Our trees and woodland in Wales provide many benefits to individuals, communities and industries related to harvesting natural resources. Trees are an important part of a healthy ecosystem by attracting vital pollinators and supporting integrated pest management - meaning less money on expensive and environmentally damaging fertilisers.

Trees improve soil conditions from increasing protection from wind, limiting water erosion and providing natural drainage - integrated 'green spaces' in urban areas act as natural flood defences. Benefits to farming include helping to boost crop yield, by slowing wind speeds and improving crop-water efficiency, and offering the opportunity to increase production through silvoarable and silvopastoral schemes. Trees improve wellbeing and provide an essential connection with nature.

Some of the biggest threats to trees and ancient woodland in the UK are from over exploitation of natural resources (logging, clearing for pasture), pests and diseases (e.g. Ash dieback) and changing weather patterns (climate change).

  • Take part in wildlife activities or volunteer for a woodland group. Woodland Trust has a range of volunteer opportunities
  • Campaign to protect and safeguard vulnerable woods with the Woodland Trust
  • Plant some trees - remember tree species should be well suited to local conditions and be capable of tolerating climatic and other stresses, such as insects and diseases, throughout the growing period
  • Become a Tree Charter Champion. The Charter for Trees, Woods and People sets out the principles for a society in which people and trees can stand stronger together. The Tree Charter was launched by the Woodland Trust on 6 November 2017; the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest.
  • Start or join a community woodland


Woodland Trust
The Woodland Trust is the UK's largest woodland conservation charity. They have three main goals:

  • Protect woodland - 1059 woods saved - More than 1,000 irreplaceable ancient woods have been threatened over the last 10 years. You can campaign with the Woodland Trust to join together with others and be the voice for woods and trees.
  • Restore woodland - 22,586 hectares of ancient woodland under restoration - Ancient woods have been around for many centuries - long enough to develop into ecosystems that are rich, complex and irreplaceable. From restoration on our own estate to providing advice and support to private landowners with ancient woodland sites, we are at the forefront of championing the restoration of ancient woodlands through the UK.
  • Create woodland - 41,497,408 trees planted - Over the next 10 years, we're aiming to plant 64 million trees and we can't do it without you. Every sapling that we provide is UK sourced and grown to minimise the risk of importing and spreading tree pests and diseases. Find out more.

Woodland Trust has thousands of resources to help you understand more about our native trees and ancient woodlands, and ideas for how you can became more involved in nature, including helping you find your local woodland.

Woodland Trust needs help protecting, restoring and creating woodland. You can do this as part of an organisation, community or as an individual by:

  • Planting in your community or school - If you are a school or community group in the UK who want to make a difference to your local environment, you could be eligible for our tree packs. Thanks to funding from our partners, our packs are available at no cost to you.
  • Start recording nature through Nature's Calendar. This UK wide project involves members of the public recording the signs of the changing season e.g. first bluebell flower, first frogspawn and first ripe blackberry. The data it used by scientists studying the impact of climate change.
  • Report sightings of tree pests and diseases to the Forestry Commission using their Tree Alert website.
  • Implementing recovery packs and following practical steps you can take when dealing with tree pests and disease.
  • Add to the Ancient Tree Inventory. Help protect our valuable tree heritage. Record ancient and old trees and put them on the map. There are already 160,000 trees listed but there are thousands more to add. We need your help to find them.
  • Encourage your business to become a Woodland Carbon Partner.

Llais y Goedwig

In Wales community woodlands can be found in many types of woodland, of varying sizes and in diverse locations. With a 300 member strong grassroots network, Llais y Goedwig is the proud voice of community woodlands in Wales. Through local and national networking events, Llais y Goedwig helps bring community woodland groups together to share their experience; the Llais y Goedwig Annual Gathering is a fantastic event with many opportunities to network and share good practice with individuals and organisations tackling comparable issues and opportunities.

Since 2008, Llais y Goedwig has continuously represented the interests of community woodland groups in Welsh policy debates and published a Manifesto for the Forests of Wales. Llais y Goedwig is currently undertaking research into critical areas of forestry in Wales - including studies of woodfuel supply and the potential for non wood forest products to support social enterprises.

llais y goedwig

Getting started with a Community Woodland

Just as there is no single model of a community woodland group in Wales, then there is no fixed process for creating one. Each woodland group starts in a unique way - seeing how others did it can be a very useful, and give some tips based on real experiences:

Natural Resources Wales
Natural Resources Wales has a dedicated woodland section to inform, encourage and support those interested in enhancing the Welsh woodland:

Tir Coed

Tir Coed

Tir Coed is a charity based in Mid-West Wales that 'improves lives through woodlands'.

Operating in under-used Natural Resource Wales owned woodlands and community woodlands with public access. These woodlands are often deemed economically unviable and have frequently been left unmanaged for years. Tir Coed utilises these woodlands as a tool for rural development and rural diversification unlocking the potential of the woodland to provide:

  • A community facility
  • Educational and health activities
  • Job opportunities
  • Improving the woodland environment for wildlife and future generations

Tir Coed works in rural, economically deprived areas with little access to services or opportunities but regions which are often rich in woodland thus the Tir Coed model creates new economic, social and environmental opportunities.

Projects to be inspired by

Coetir Cymunedol Blaen Bran

Blaen Bran Community Woodland

Blaen Bran protects and preserves 100 acres of woodland above Upper Cwmbran for the use of the community. The area is of natural and historical interest and is situated on the side of the Mynydd Maen (Stone Mountain) with wonderful views over Cwmbran and extending to the Severn and Llandegfedd reservoir and provides a feeling of freedom, peace and quiet as a getaway from the town.

Coed Gwern

Coed Gwern

Located near Machynlleth, the Centre for Alternative Technology have approximately 20 acres of woodland under management. This is divided between the main site and quarry, and the woodland across the road, Coed Gwern (Alder wood). The woodlands are quite different in their ages and recent history. CAT manages the woodland to achieve 3 main goals. To enhance biodiversity, harvest useful products and share knowledge.

Coed Lleol - Actif Woods Wales
Coed Lleol is the Welsh branch of the Small Woods Association, which has a significant track record in managing Social Forestry projects, as well as projects to promote sustainable management of small woodlands for social, environmental and economic benefit. Previous projects of Coed Lleol included a Community Woodland project to kick start a now independent support network for community woodland groups, Llais Y Goedwig. Coed Lleol aims to 'reconnect people and woodlands in Wales' and currently runs the Actif Woods Wales project in 9 locations throughout Wales; Anglesey, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Wrexham, Flintshire, Aberystwyth, Gwynedd, Treherbert and Merthyr. Actif Woods Wales is an innovative health and wellbeing project to help people get healthy the woodland way and supports activity groups, including woodland management work, bushcraft, woodland gym, crafts and nature education in partnership with health and environmental organisations (such as Mind, Macmillan and AONB's) as well as training and support, including setting up a Social Forestry OCN course running in several centres in Wales and England.

Coed Marros Co-operative

The Coed Marros Co‐op started as a group of five people who pooled their resources to purchase and develop Coed Marros as a community woodland. The Co‐op has primarily focused on developing a Community Woodland using Permaculture principles, livelihoods for themselves and a strong and supportive link with the local community.

Coed Phoenix Nature Reserve
Coed Phoenix is a former Spruce plantation that we are transforming into a mosaic of wildlife habitats. The woodland is gradually being restored to predominantly site-native woodland. This will be mainly Sessile Oak, Birch, Willow and Rowan.

Blaen Bran

Keep Wales Tidy - Long Forest

The Long Forest initiative is a community engagement project run by Keep Wales Tidy in partnership with the Woodland Trust and the University of South Wales. It is funded by the Welsh Government's Nature Fund. The Long Forest initiative encourages local groups, landowners, schools and businesses to become more actively involved and informed in the management of hedgerows, woodland and ancient trees through practical demonstrations, hedgerow surveys and expert training.

Long wood Community Woodland

Long Wood Community Woodland (CGLWCW) is a social enterprise based in West Wales. Established in 2003 the woodland is managed for timber sales and as a recreational facility on a not for profit basis ensuring sustainable community focused development of the woodland as a commercial, educational and recreational community owned asset.

More Woodland Groups and Support

Confor - plantation forestry

Continuous Cover Forestry Group

MWMAC - practical professional training

Royal Forestry Society

Timber Research and Developement Association

Woodland Heritage


www.woodlands.co.uk - UK's leading woodland estate agents- excellent blog


Species in Wales

Amphibians & Reptiles



Terrestrial Mammals



Helping Wildlife

Wildlife Gardening