SATURDAY 2ND DECEMBER 2023
10.00hrs to 12.00hrs
Small cash donations to BBCW are welcome.
You are invited to the Blaen Bran Community Woodland Annual General Meeting.
To be held on Wednesday 23rd August 2023 at 6.45pm,
in the Ebenezer Chapel, Upper Cwmbran.
(31 The Square, Upper Cwmbran, Cwmbran NP44 5AQ)
If you are curious, as to what trees and plants are growing at Blaen Bran at the moment, come and join some of the BBCW volunteers for a gentle walk around the woodland.
SATURDAY 13TH MAY.
10.00hrs meet at the Mineslope Ruins.
The location (using What Three Words) is https://w3w.co/risky.locker.chains .
Following our request for interest in the Tree Planting volunteer session, we are holding it on Saturday 29th April from 10.00am to approximately 12:00pm. Anyone is welcome to come up and help – bring who you can 🙂 !! We have 1000 trees to do, so why not use the woodland as a gym for the day. Maybe bring the family so you can have your own ‘special area’ of the woodland that you planted with your children so they can grow up with the trees and see them develop. The more volunteers we get, the quicker the job will be!
As there is some track work and removal of diseased trees which is a little behind schedule, it will be necessary for anyone volunteering to meet us at the ford (near the Mineslope Cottage) at the entrance to the woodland by 10:00am. The location (using What Three Words) is https://w3w.co/risky.locker.chains . We we will escort you from there to the tree planting area using the safest route.
Please ensure you bring some warm/waterproof clothes (in case of a change in the weather), a drink and some snacks with you. Tools will be provided and you will be shown what needs doing and how when you are there.
Hopefully see you there!
Blaen Bran Community Woodland are currently performing an annual check on our membership database to check it is up to date.
We have sent an email with subject “BBCW – Membership audit and volunteering question” to all our paid members on the evening of 20th April 2023.
Due to specific email queries, it has recently come to our attention that some members are not receiving emails into their normal Inbox, but they are going into users “Junk” folder.
Can you please check your emails to see if you have had one, and if so, reply to it?
If you have not received an email at all and you are a member, it is likely we don’t have an email address for you, so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org from your preferred contact email address with :
– your first name and surname
– your existing website username (only if you have already registered on the website)
I can then confirm we have you on our membership database (we have no contact details for some members!).
If you do not use or monitor your email address, please let us know via Facebook private message instead.
We are in the process of updating our membership process to make things easier for you and our volunteer membership coordinator and communications people to administrate, maximise your privacy in internal processes and allow us to introduce (hopefully exciting!) member only content onto the website over the next few months.
Note that all BBCW staff who maintain the woodland are volunteers. Membership subscriptions currently go towards all costs associated with keeping the woodland insured, safe for users, for subcontractor costs for work that we can’t legally do ourselves, and also materials and machinery for the woodland maintenance our volunteers do. In our spare time, we want to provide member only content on the website, but this involves time and skills many of our volunteers don’t have, so is a bit slow going! If you want to contribute to the website or physical woodland tasks, please contact email@example.com.
Thanks for your continued support.
Following recent updates on the progress of the Larch project, we can confirm that the woodland will be open to public access from Monday 13th March, 2023.
Whilst all felling activities have been completed , work will continue in terms of the hauling and removal of felled material, so there will still be large vehicles on site for the next few weeks.
With this in mind, we would advise all walkers to be aware of the potential hazards at this time and also suggest that dog walkers consider keeping their dogs on leads during the next few weeks.
Where possible, volunteers will be available on site to advise woodland users.
Once this phase of the project has been completed , work will begin on the broadleaf planting scheme . We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have already expressed an interest in helping with the planting.
Again, we apologies for the inconvenience, but feel sure you appreciate the future benefits that will arise from the project.
Blaen Bran Community Woodland has been plagued by Phytophthora Romorum (a disease which infects Larch) for many years. This disease means that as time progresses the Larch within the woodland will become more and more of a risk to users and as such has been removed.
Whenever a block of woodland or particular species is removed a consideration needs to be made as to whether the remaining trees will be a hazard to such a heavily used area. The spruce plantation by Mountain Air gate has never been thinned and as such just removing the Larch was not an option. All of the remaining trees would have ended up falling over due to the wind and soil conditions present. Hence the removal of the block.
Above the reservoir is a similar issue. The large spruce has heavy decay present. As they and the Scots Pine there were heavily leaning towards the tracks, reservoir and the ancient boundary Beeches, which are of significant ecological value. We have to take a holistic view towards woodland management and ensure the safety of woodland users.
The Scots Pine has been suitably thinned to allow for continued growth and for a movement towards a continuous cover system. With this system there should (barring disease or significant weather events) be no need to clear fell this stand in the future.
There is an extensive replanting program being put in place to replace the clear felled sections with native broadleaves with a heavy percentage of Oak, Cherry and Beech present along with understory trees. This will involve bracken management and scraping down to the mineral soil to give the trees the best chance.
If you would like to take an active part in the planting programme, please contact us.
If you have any questions , please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Blaen Bran Community Woodland Committee
Further to our previous updates, the Larch Removal Project has reached the stage where there will be an increased number of items of heavy plant within the woodlands, which, for operational reasons, will now be working simultaneously , at a number of different locations.
This has implications for the safe use of the woodlands at this point in time .
We therefore have no alternative but to close the woodland to public access from Monday 20th February , 2023 until Monday 13th March , 2023.
We apologies for the inconvenience , but feel certain that you will recognise the need to minimise the risk to woodland users.
Further to our recent update, we are advised that vehicles will now be on site from the morning of Monday 13th February, 2023, to begin work on the Larch Removal Project.
Felling is likely to start on the same day with hauling starting later the same week or at the beginning of the following week.
This work is likely to continue for some three to four weeks, so there will be a significant physical presence on site with regular movement of hauled material away from the woods.
As previously stated , appropriate safety measures will be in place, but users of the woodland are advised to exercise caution during this period.
In addition to the contract personnel , Blaen Bran volunteers will be on site, where possible, to update woodland users , as appropriate.