Woodlands are an important ecological resource providing key habitats in our fragile environment. They provide a carbon sink at a time when our planet is under increasing threat by global warming. They support a wide range of species which are dependent on these habitats being in good environmental condition.
Unfortunately, due to many factors over many years, a large proportion of our woodland resource is under threat and in decline. We need to enhance these important habitats to protect these key species.
The National Park Authority owns 250 hectares of woodland which is directly managed by the woodland team with the Park Authority’s Cilrhedyn Woodland Centre adding value to the timber that’s harvested as part of the positive management of these woodlands.
Coed Cymru continues to provide essential support to woodland owners in bringing native woodlands back into management through the provision of advice and guidance.
Coed Cymru also continues to develop new products and processes which help assist and develop the timber industry. Recent successes have been seen in timber heat treatment and affordable housing through Ty Unnos.
Woodlands provide a wonderful backdrop to many areas of Pembrokeshire and should be seen to be as important as our wonderful coastline. Access and recreation in the countryside is in demand. Woodlands provide great opportunities for recreational enjoyment which benefits people’s health and well-being, in addition to a better appreciation of our own special environment. Education is going back into the woods with many Forest Schools being established within our county.
We are now starting to appreciate the potential of this wonderful resource in providing multiple benefits across many key areas. Unfortunately the local wood industry has been in decline for many decades and it is vital we act now to save and develop what we have left. All the potential benefits woodlands can provide are very dependent on these woodlands being economically viable supporting a vibrant timber industry. This requires intervention by the public sector.
Another project we’re involved in is Pembrokeshire Timber, which is a partnership of Coed Cymru, Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and is providing an essential stockpile of timber sourced from Welsh woodlands for the timber industry to use in many applications from beams to flooring.
They have provided timber to some very prestigious projects such as the National Assembly for Wales “Senedd” building in Cardiff Bay to the more recent “Environment Centre for Wales” in Bangor, North Wales. They are demonstrating the potential use of our local resource within large commercial projects. Along the way Pembrokeshire Timber is supporting 10 jobs and stimulating positive management of native woodlands.