Following our submission to Transport for Wales, we have successfully secured funding for the improvement of three access routes, within the woodlands. The funding comes from The National Lottery Heritage Fund Community Woodlands Scheme in partnership with the Welsh Government.

The improvement work included:
• Repairs to the Arboretum track, stairs, and treads as well as the installation of a drainage network to improve access
• Enhanced drainage and access, along the route from the Spring Gate to the Ancient Beeches as well as the installation of an additional bridge
• Reinstatement of the track from the Fire Circle to the turning known as Crew Corner

Work on the project started in late summer and will continue until early Spring next year – although a lot has already been achieved. We are pleased with the positive responses from users of the woodland and will use the success of the project as the basis for further improvements in the future.

Larch Removal Project


In line with BBCW’s Larch removal project, notices of public path closures have today been placed at the woodland entrances. We are still waiting for NRW to produce the written permissions for the project to start and should have an update at the beginning of next week.

However, we believe the project will probably begin in January. 


BBCW Committee.

Big Green Week – Woodland Walk

Celebration of Nature and Trees

A guided walk in Blaen Bran on Thurs 29th Sept as part of Big Green week, meeting in lower car park at 10am.

The walk will be no more than two hours, and participants should wear boots/stout shoes and bring waterproofs in case of showers.

Green Flag Award won for 7th year!

Well done to all the volunteers and the users of the woodland who are helping us keep this status! Thanks also to Keep Wales Tidy and the Eco-Warriors of Bran over the year for their time helping.

Just a gentle reminder that it would make all our groups free/non paid volunteering effort a lot more productive keeping your community maintained a lot easier if all users took their tents/rubbish/cans/bottles/used dog poo bags away themselves rather than leaving us to clean up after you!! Contrary to some beliefs, leaving rubbish around doesn’t give people jobs, but it takes away valuable volunteer time from improvements that we could be doing instead to make our community even better.

Nice to know the efforts of all our community groups are keeping the woodland achieving international quality standards at! Well done all!

Why do volunteers need to manage land?

There’s a common misconception that land that the public can use like Blaen Bran are always funded by the government or local council. That’s just not true! One of our directors recently produced and presented this information the Torfaen Climate Advocates Group about our woodland challenges and aims…..

Check out our member page if you want to contribute to the cause either by volunteering or financially, or both! Click here for some information on how volunteering your time and effort could help. It could be a useful free alternative to contribute to the community rather than wasting your energy on a machine that gets you nowhere in a gym 🙂 !!


A significant number of Larch Trees within the woodland are affected by the disease Phytophthora Ramorum. This means that in due course, the trees will die and become unsecure, before finally falling.

Many of these trees are as much as 80 feet high and will present a significant risk to users of the woodlands.

To manage the risk, the Committee has put arrangements in place for the trees to be felled, removed and the ground mulched between July and September, with a replacement planting programme of locally sourced, indigenous broadleaf trees, to preserve the character of the woodland, taking place in November and possibly December.

A smaller number of other trees will be involved in this exercise, but all efforts will be made to minimise the impact.

This means that there will be periods of time, during this exercise, when access to the woodland will be restricted. Notices will be placed around the woodland, detailing the nature of the restrictions.

There will also be Blaen Bran volunteers on site to advise walkers of the restriction in place and of the routes still available, during this period.

We felt it was important for you to be made aware of this work at the earliest opportunity and to reassure you that all efforts will be made to minimise the level of disruption.

As more details emerge, we will provide regular updates on our website and Facebook group.

Relax in Cwmbran

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