Afan de-forested Park

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  • Afan de-forested Park
  • greeble
    Member

    Look like the remainder of the tree’s in the Afan valley are to be felled. Its a major blow to the area. guess we have to wait atlest 5 or 10 years to see what resembles a forest again.
    In 50 years time there will be Canadian red woods! 😯
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-16941548

    jambalaya
    Member

    We spent some time in a part of Scotland which had been commerically forested and once the trees are cut down it’s a “moon scape”. We’ve seen the effects on a few trails and walking paths in Surrey too.

    As a mountain biker there are plenty of alternatives but it is a blow to local businesses. Once the trees are gone you’re going to want to ride elsewhere.

    It’s a shame but it seems necessary… Some redwoods would be lovely they’re extremely impressive in real life.

    greeble
    Member

    I haven’t ridden the last decent on Whites for that exact reason. I always ride back up after the end of windy point and do Skyline decent. If the remainder is cut I wont be going there for a while

    z1ppy
    Member

    The bit we rode that had already been felled, felt really different, but it may have been because I’ve ridden there so often.
    Real shame though.

    retro83
    Member

    That’s a real shitter.

    Am i missing something… they would have to be felled at some point regardless, they will be replanted, it is a crop, crops get harvested. Will infected wood be used once felled? if not some new nortshore?

    The tracks will still be the same minus trees, in all but atmosphere…?

    My folks live in FC country up in scotland (back of fearnoch)and vast swathes of it gets harvested, changes the landscape for a while but nature soon takes it back and makes it look awesome… I am a fan of the lunar look though.

    greeble
    Member

    Am i missing something… they would have to be felled at some point regardless, they will be replanted, it is a crop, crops get harvested. Will infected wood be used once felled? if not some new nortshore?

    originally.. the whole hills in south wales were forested.
    These were logged for firewood in the industrial revolution.
    Large areas were then planted with pine/fur trees by the pits to make pit props. As they were needed these areas were logged as tunnels grew.
    Large areas were left untouched and when the pits closed or as technology moved on metal was used. the FC inherited large areas for commercial logging ventures. but where recreational areas are these areas will not have been loggged. i.e afan

    sputnik
    Member

    It is such a shame, will be a blow to the riding scene at Afan.
    Myself and my riding buddies are probably going to choose Coed y Brenin over Afan now.

    Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    The infected wood will be used, just the bark that’s infected will be cut away. It’s a shame, and the deforestation wouldn’t have occurred on the same scale – but it needs to be done to stop it spreading to other types of tree.

    Phytophthora is like the foot and mouth of the tree world, it’s a massive problem – not just commercially, but environmentally – you think of the carbon locked in those trees.

    Worth a quick read: http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Pledge-woodland-tree-virus-strikes/story-15155994-detail/story.html

    greeble
    Member

    infected tress will no be used, go to afan entire hills have the trees cut and left onsite to rot.
    If they are logged they are removed as they are cut.
    They can not risk moving the trees incase during transit they spread the disease

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    Yes, infected wood is used after felling. There are controls on how it is transported though.
    Timber is a harvest crop so yes, it does eventually get felled although not on the current scale caused by the disease. However, one side effect is that British softwood prices have remained pretty stable for timber used in construction and residential fencing because of the glut of home-grown Japanese Larch (whilst imported redwoods have risen in price).
    Replanted, it’ll be less than 10 years before trees are beginning to mature again. Does look like the after-effects of a big bomb in the meantime though πŸ™ On the otherhand, if it’s not replanted for a couple of years there’ll be lots of bluebells around next year πŸ™‚

    ah ok so i was missing something, thanks for enlightening me. πŸ™‚

    I was only making that point because I have ridden in forests and at trail centres where parts have been closed whilst work was going on, but they seem to cut, clear and replant in the places I have seen mass deforestation. Still, if its an area they are not going to harvest going forward some indigenous trees would be far nicer than a load more furs and pines… unless the scots pines they’re my favourite.

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    Not sure about the policy in Wales but just over the border here in Forest of Dean there is an ongoing policy of planting more hardwood (broadleaved/deciduous) trees along the edges of inclosures and also even leaving some areas to return to managed heathland. A lot of the crop trees in this area (as in Afan) are redwoods (Larch, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, etc) but most of the crop whitewoods (eg Spruce) mostly come from Scottish forests.

    There is a lot of Larch in scotland… you can tell its larch this time of teh year cos they’re brown still…

    This is worth a read…

    http://www.stopburningourtrees.org/

    The normal market for homegrown timber is under huge pressure right now due to the advent of wood fired power stations. Seems that it is more carbon neutral to simply fell ’em and burn ’em . Rather than make something useful first, then either re-cycle it or burn it then.
    I’ve worked in the timber industry for years and this make my blood boil.

    Premier Icon psling
    Subscriber

    Yes, the demand for timber for (subsidised) biomass furnaces has put real pressure on the sheet material industry and the agricultural fencing materials industry, pushing prices up due to demand and, ironically, meaning more imported timber with all the negative green impact of transporting it.

    huw
    Member

    As a mountain biker there are plenty of alternatives but it is a blow to local businesses. Once the trees are gone you’re going to want to ride elsewhere.

    It is such a shame, will be a blow to the riding scene at Afan.

    Just wondering, as it has been raised a couple of times, but why do you need trees to ride your bike?

    The trails at Afan (apart from Penhydd, but that was going to be lost anyway before the phytophthora outbreak) have been unaffected by the felling. There were closures for periods of time but everything is now open again, and better in my opinion. Nicer views of the surrounding countryside, compared to being confined inside oppressive relatively featureless, pine forest before. The clearfelled sites do look “ugly” for a short period of time but soon regenerate.

    Afan Forest is a commercial forest so will be subject to felling from time to time, not at the scale that has occurred but there was a good reason for it, to stop the spread of disease. And it’s only the Larch that’s been felled.

    Huw ! That really is a good point. Any coniferous plantations which have trails through them are only grown as a crop, when all said and done.
    The “ambience” may change after felling, and there will be disruption as it takes place, but it’s no different from a path alongside a field full of wheat. It’s just that the path round the field will probably be dull as dishwater compared to the trail to the valley floor in the forest.

    jambalaya
    Member

    Seems to me we should make an effort to ride there before the felling, for old times sake and for the community. I feel for the owners of the Lodge.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I Tdoes seem that any mono-cultured environment is more at risk of this type of incident?

    When we moved to our current home 12 years back, local forest had several areas clear-felled. They were all replanted and trees replanted in those areas are well over 15 foot now. It doesn’t take long and has been going on for years. It’s the trails which are new and couldn’t exist without the landowners doing what they do.
    I agree it seems a shame to spoil “our” environment and that sometimes felling due to diseased trees is necessary, but they were planted as a crop, not a mtb trail backdrop.

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Member

    I have noticed that some of the trails on the deforested parts at Afan, some of the Skyline section, don’t seem to be bearing up to well now they are more exposed to the weather.

    _tom_
    Member

    Once the trees are gone you’re going to want to ride elsewhere.

    Why?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    cakefacesmallblock – Member

    it’s no different from a path alongside a field full of wheat.

    Wheat roots don’t make for very interesting trails.

    meddle
    Member

    I live here at Afan, it used to be beautiful driving up the valley road from Port Talbot winding and bending inbetween trees, now it just looks like a bomb has been dropped at some parts with tree stumps everywhere, not very nice at all.

    Ah well, be nothing nice to look at except boring hills soon. Windfarm, deforestation, what next to ruin the scenery? both are necessary though I suppose.

    Damn this place has changed over the last 15 or so years, every mountain here was forest at some point, maybe only 50% atm, less will be once they’re done.

    danjthomas
    Member

    If you dont want to cause more damage than the trees dont stop riding there. There are some businesses reliant on us lot such as guest houses, the lodge, shops, skyline and even the local house prices. The ride will be the same, when im hitting the down sections looking at the trees i trend to ride into them!! The current atmosphere may disappear but a new one will replace it…surely?

    There are some parts that are fire road and less woody in the area so ride those too. Look a Google maps and plan new routes or better still Mr forestry should do it for us.

    Also, its not possible for the whole area to be felled, i know the area well and its far bigger than people who only visit the trails realise. it stretches for miles and miles. I think parts would have grown back by the time they would get to the end.

    Wheat roots don’t make for very interesting trails.

    No ! I meant in as much as it’s a route past some crops !

    I’m not suggesting the Afan trails are no good, not at all, it wasn’t what I said!

    Wheat roots are indeed dull !

    mrgoll
    Member

    I have noticed that some of the trails on the deforested parts at Afan, some of the Skyline section, don’t seem to be bearing up to well now they are more exposed to the weather.

    It is a little bit of everything really. Without the trees sucking up the water, more erosion will for sure occur – because the ecosystem has changed.

    It does have advantages though because mother nature will quicly cut new paths down the hillsides – and new natural trails be born.

    The pines do pop up fast, I think the english system psling mentioned of planting different types of trees around the borders and all that will for sure be adopted here soon enough – it is common sense. Monoculture is as we can see in this case a disease in it’s own right.

    For me worst thing about the bald hills is that in the hot summer months – without the shade – it will be (I imagine) pretty intense in places (not been to afan for over almost two decades!!).

    Get well soon Afan trees!! πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    I have been walking and biking in Mabie and Dalbeattie forests for 30 yrs or more and have seen trees come and go πŸ™‚
    Once they have been clear felled it feels strange for a bit, the Edge at Ae for example but you soon get used to it and new views never seen open up. Then you enter a period where you wish the trees would be cut back to allow you the views, like Elevator at Mabie. Another p
    Another place that was altered by tree felling was Lattrigg near Keswick. First few times down there it was really weird playing with the brain ❗
    There is absolutely no need to boycot the area\trails just because felling has taken place. It will feel different for a bit but you will soon become used to it πŸ˜†

    Carpe diem
    Member

    Word has it the FC and council are in talks ( allegedly ) with this lot: http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/Wood-chip-power-station-given-ahead/story-12433511-detail/story.html

    So FC/ council gets a grant to fell,then a deal to sell to the power station and their quids in big style!

    Hope they pump some of it back into Afan.

    mogrim
    Member

    Just wondering, as it has been raised a couple of times, but why do you need trees to ride your bike?

    Only been the once, but the contrast between the exposed parts and the dark, foresty bits was wonderful. It’ll definitely lose part of the appeal – not all, granted, but definitely be less.

    And a massive lol at “For me worst thing about the bald hills is that in the hot summer months – without the shade – it will be (I imagine) pretty intense in places (not been to afan for over almost two decades!!)” – it’s in Wales FFS, not Spain!

    wrecker
    Member

    Whites final descent has lost a lot of character but the trees a poorly so it has to be done.

    Klunk
    Member

    the only thing that stops my wife freaking out are the trees, shes not good on open trails across steep hill sides.

    david jey
    Member

    Sorry but I don’t really follow the logic of ‘they’ve chopped the trees down, so I’m not going to ride there anymore’!?

    I’ve lived in the valley for the past year and have seen substantial deforestation already go on. Frankly I’ve already forgotten what the old sections looked like when they were wooded, and I certainly don’t ride down the end of Whites thinking ‘oh woe is me, I have only this world-class trail on a deforested hillside to ride my bike on’ πŸ˜‰ Granted the end of Whites does feel v exposed and so would the end of the Wall if they do the same to that. But that doesn’t make them worse trails IMO, just different. Erosion doesn’t appear to be a problem – some sections do carry more runoff after rain (most recently the exposed bit in the middle of Nant y Bar for example) but don’t seem to be deteriorating as a result.

    As pointed out above, it’s a working forest and the landscape is going to change. A section above the village, looking out from our back garden was deforested last summer. Sure it was a bit ugly when they first ripped everything out but even over the winter (without much plant growth) it no longer looks very different to the surroundings.

    Maybe I’m just spoilt by the rest of the landscape round here – I suppose if you’ve driven three hours here for the weekend, then you want to soak up some scenery whilst riding your bike…

    muddyman
    Member

    be great in the summer to have trails out in the sunshine instead of . . . . . oh hang on this is wales isnt it !!?? erm ???? ill get my coat 😳

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