TREES covering 11 hectares of Welsh forest will be removed after becoming infected with Phytophthora ramorum

Officials have confirmed the larch in Cefni Forest, on the island of Anglesey, will be clearfelled to control the spread of the disease, which can be fatal to a wide-range of species. 

Work is already underway and due to be completed by the end of the month, although the removal of timber could last until March. 

Although diseased, the larch trees are still a viable crop. The estimated 1,200 tonnes of trees removed will go to sawmills licensed to receive infected timber, to be used for house building material, fencing and wood fuel.

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Once the work has been completed National Resource Wales plans to replant the area with a mixture of  broadleaf and conifer trees, to help create a more diverse woodland which will be more resistant to disease.

This, in turn, will help local biodiversity, as well as be a more favourable habitat to support the red squirrel population.

Ian Sachs, forest operations team leader from NRW, said: "Due to the location of the Forest next to Cefni Reservoir, and to comply with the Statutory Plant Health Notice, we have decided not to inject the infected trees. Instead, we decided to fell these trees to try to prevent any further spread of the larch disease.

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“Because of the challenging location above the reservoir, and with it being such a busy recreation site, the work requires access management to keep everyone safe. Unfortunately this means using temporary public access restriction methods. All our operators will be in radio contact to keep disruption to a minimum for forest road users.

“We will work to reduce the impact on the local community wherever possible, but our priority is to keep everyone safe. We thank everyone in advance for their cooperation.”