THE first sites for Wales' National Forest have been announced.

Locations across the country have been earmarked as exemplar sites for the National Forest – a connected network of forests which will span the length of Wales.

Announced in the spring, the National Forest will be a long-term project matching the scale and ambition of the Wales Coast Path, linking together a network of woodlands across Wales.

As well as improving existing woodlands to meet the National Forest standard, plans will also see more trees planted by Welsh Government in collaboration with partners such as communities, farmers, foresters and public bodies.

Along with providing spaces for leisure and nature, new managed woodlands created for the National Forest will also help to capture and store carbon – and the timber will provide a sustainable resource for construction.

The 14 new sites announced are part of the Welsh Government estate, and are managed and maintained by Natural Resources Wales.

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: "I am delighted to announce the very first sites which will form part of our National Forest.

"They are among the very best woodland in Wales, and will serve as exemplars for the benefits we would expect from other sites and new woodlands before they could become part of the National Forest."

The Minister added: "I am pleased that we will also be unveiling the brand for the National Forest – it represents the enthusiasm shown for this project, and the logo chosen reflects the views of people from across Wales.

"We are keen to build on that enthusiasm, collaboration and sense of collective ownership as we look to incorporate not just existing forests into the National Forest, but also push forward to create new expanses of woodland."

The 14 sites are:

  • Gwydir Forest Park
  • Clocaenog Forest
  • Coed y Brenin Forest Park
  • Dyfnant Forest
  • Dyfi Forest
  • Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest
  • Hafren Forest
  • Coed y Bont/Coed Dolgoed
  • Presteigne forests
  • Brechfa Forest
  • Afan Forest Park
  • Spirit of Llynfi Woodland
  • Wentwood
  • Wye Valley Woodland

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