The woodland is a privately owned area of 100 acres of woodland above Upper Cwmbran which is run and maintained by the Blaen Bran Community Woodland trust. The woodland has a long term lease which has over 900 years to go! As long as the trust maintain the area in accordance with the lease agreement, it will remain a community woodland.
Its location backing onto Mynydd Maen common land allows it to be part of walking trails linking to Twmbarlum Mountain, Cwmcarn Forest Drive and across to Pontymoile.
A case study detailing the area, history and issues faced about keeping the woodland (rather than have it sold to developers) for the community can be read here. Most recently the Forest School part of the woodland was renamed – hence ‘Parsons Wood’ was named!
The area is shown on ordnance survey maps as Coed Gwaun–y–Fferiad – but Blaen Bran was easier! 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.
The known history dates back to pre-Roman times and the area has been used for farming and coal mining. Evidence of this can be found walking around the site.